Condyloma, also known as genital warts, is an infection caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
Generally, the incubation period for condyloma is 2-3 months from transmission, but it can be much longer. So, you could be living with condyloma without realising it.
The virus causes warts which may appear on the penis, foreskin, and edge of the glans (the helmet), on the labia and around the vagina, on the cervix, and in and around the anus.
The warts may also occur in the urethra. Condyloma can be hard to detect, partly because the warts are skin coloured and partly because they can be small and flat. Condyloma has no other symptoms than warts.
How is condyloma passed on?
Condyloma is transmitted via oral, anal and vaginal sex, as well as close body contact. There is really no fool proof way of protecting yourself against condyloma, as the warts can be in places not covered by a condom.
There are several different ways of treating condyloma. The most common is an acid solution which you brush on for three days and which chemically removes the warts. This can be repeated if necessary. Condyloma can also be treated in several other ways depending on where the warts are. A doctor can gently cut or freeze them off. Another way is to burn them off using a laser or electricity. It can be hard to get rid of the condyloma completely, so the warts may reappear. The infection does, however, often heal up by itself in 4-6 months. There are cases of longer healing than that though.
The earlier the condyloma is discovered, the less likely it is to spread, and the easier the treatment. So, you can only gain from finding out whether you have condyloma!