For people with genital warts, the primary goal of treatment is to eliminate warts that cause physical or psychological symptoms.
Genital warts may be new, recurrent or have been present for many years.
No one treatment is superior to the others, and no single treatment is suitable for all patients or all warts.
The health care provider should provide information about all the treatment options (including no treatment) in order for an informed decision to be made about the preferred choice for removing the genital warts.
The type of HPV treatment will be decided on based on a number of factors such as patient preference, available resources and the experience of the health practitioner. Other factors include the size, number and location of the genital warts, age and pregnancy.
All treatment options currently available in New Zealand involve some drawbacks, such as pain, possible scarring, and expense. Additionally, some of the warts which were cleared initially may in some people have recurrences which means going back for further treatment.
If there is no significant response to the HPV treatment within 4–6 weeks, an alternative diagnosis, change of treatment modality, or onward referral should be considered.
Please read on for more information about treating genital warts, including the options for home treatment, cryotherapy (freezing off the warts) and non-treatment.