Genital warts usually appear as soft, moist, pink- or flesh-colored swellings, usually in the genital area. They may be raised, flat, or cauliflower-shaped. They can show up:
- On the vulva
- In or around the vagina or anus
- On the cervix
- On the penis, scrotum, groin, or thigh.
After sexual contact with an infected person, warts may appear within weeks or months, or never appear at all.
Infection with certain types of HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer. Almost all women will have HPV infections at some point, but very few will develop cervical cancer. The immune system of most women will usually suppress or completely get rid of the virus. Only HPV infections that do not go away over many years can lead to cervical cancer.
(Click HPV and Cervical Cancer for more information.)