The 20 Most Common Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Verywell Health

2. Genital Warts

Genital warts have been known as a sexually transmitted disease since 300 BC. They are caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts appear pink in color and protrude from the surface of the skin. This common STD is known to be the most common symptom of a genital HPV infection. In most cases, genital warts appear between one and eight months after exposure. They tend to cause few symptoms and are occasionally painful. Genital warts can sometimes be red, itchy and uncomfortable and outbreaks have been known to cause anxiety in some people.

Types 6 and 11 of HPV are the common strains that cause a genital warts outbreak. An infected partner can transmit this STD via direct skin-to-skin contact during genital, oral or anal sex. Doctors diagnose genital warts based on symptoms and take a biopsy for confirmation. Genital warts are not caused by the same strains of HPV that cause cancer.

Condoms can prevent the transmission of warts as well as some HPV vaccines. The main treatment option involves a medicated cream and occasionally cryotherapy. About one-third of genital warts cases resolve on their own without treatment. It’s estimated that roughly 1% of the United States population has genital warts. Close to one-third of those infected with genital warts will have them reoccur some time after their initial infection.