Genital Warts

Genital warts is a sexually transmissible infection (STI). This page outlines the symptoms and ongoing management of genital warts.

What are they?

Genital warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).  They are small lumps in and around the vagina and anus in women and on the penis and around the anus in men.

How do you get them?

You can get genital warts through close skin to skin contact, usually during sex.

What are the symptoms?

Small lumps on the genitals. These lumps may be itchy.

How is it treated?

Obvious warts are treated, mainly for cosmetic reasons.  The common treatments are:

  • a cream to rub on, which acts by helping the immune system fight the virus, or
  • a liquid painted on the warts which kills the infected cells, or
  • freezing with liquid nitrogen, or
  • diathermy (heat).

Will this impact my partner/s?

If partners have warts they should be treated. Using condoms/oral dams will help reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

More information

For information on genital warts contact the New Zealand HPV Project on 0508 11 12 13 or

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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