Living with Genital Warts

Living with a sexually transmitted infection is irritable and not an easy feat. It affects people differently because anogenital warts can be a one-time occurrence or they can be a recurring problem. Many people who have anogenital warts find them embarrassing and often withdraw from sexual contact but it is estimated that the majority of sexually active people will experience anogenital warts at some point in their lives. People with the infection may feel alone and separated from the rest of the world but it is actually a very common sexually transmitted infection and it is the second most common STI in the world after Chlamydia.

Some people don’t realise that they have anogenital warts for a long time after they have become infected and this is what makes the infection so common because people pass the virus on without even noticing. Generally the warts will appear within three months of infection but it can be years before they appear. If you think you have been infected or you notice symptoms similar to that of anogenital warts, it is important that you get checked out at the doctors immediately. Many people chose not to seek medical attention because they are embarrassed but the quicker you get treated; the quicker the problem will go away. Make sure that you follow whatever treatment has been set out for you and abstain from sexual contact during an outbreak of anogenital warts. Always wear a condom to ensure as much protection as possible and talk to your partner about their sexual health and yours. You should also maintain a healthy lifestyle so that your immune system is as strong as it can be to fight off the infection.

Remember, treatment will not cure the condition but it will get rid of the warts that are present on the skin. 30-60% of warts that have been treated will recur and this can be distressing. However, continue to treat the infection and the longer it has been since an outbreak, the less likely that you will have a recurrence.

Lacking confidence

For some people, anogenital warts are a very embarrassing condition and it greatly lowers their self-esteem. Some people have a low confidence and withdraw from sexual contact altogether for fear of rejection at the condition. It is important that you are safe during sex and also that your partner knows about your condition. Many find it difficult to tell their sexual partner about the infection but it is unfair to have sex with someone when they could be at risk of a sexually transmitted infection. It is easier to talk to your partner about it as it can restore your confidence and allows both partners to be informed about the sexual health of one another.

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