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Genital Warts Incubation Period

Genital warts, also known as venereal warts, are an extremely contagious sexually transmitted disease. They can be caused by any one of several strains of the human papillomavirus (or HPV for short). Some people who are infected may never exhibit any outward symptoms, but others may eventually develop lesions or growths that resemble cauliflower and have a tendency to grow in clusters. These growths can develop on the outer genitals, on and around the anal area, inside the vagina or urethra, or in the mouth and throat if the HPV was contracted through oral sex.

However, it is important to note that as is the case with any viral infection, there is often a latency or incubation period involved with HPV infection. The genital warts incubation period can vary widely from individual to individual. In one person, it could be a mere two weeks. In another, it could be as long as several years. Because of this factor, determining the exact source of the infection can be difficult to impossible.

There is honestly no reliable way to tell how long the HPV incubation period might be in your particular case if you have been exposed and infected as a result of that exposure. However, determining factors may include your overall health, how you were exposed to the virus in the first place, and how strong your particular immune system happens to be. Stronger immune systems are better able to keep the virus and any related outbreaks at bay for longer periods of time.

If you know you've been exposed or think it is highly likely, it's important to visit a doctor for testing as soon as possible. As is the case with any type of infection, the sooner genital HPV is detected and treatment is begun, the better your chances at keeping things under control and staying as healthy as possible. With any luck, you may never have to experience an outbreak at all or at the very least, keep outbreaks to a bare minimum.

It is especially important to note, however, that lack of outward symptoms or outbreaks does not mean lack of ability to spread genital warts to others. Even if your own particular HPV infection is still in incubation, others can definitely catch it from you and proper precautions should always be taken to prevent this. Barrier protection methods such as condoms can help lower the likelihood of a partner becoming infected, but they don't prevent it altogether as the virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact and not fluid exchange.

The only surefire way to avoid spreading or contracting genital warts in the first place is to abstain from sexual activity altogether, including oral and anal sex. Definitely do not have sex if either you or your partner has visible warts that have yet to be dealt with and always be aware of both your own and your partner's sexual history at all times to better determine whether or not you should be screened for possible infection.

Aside from making sure to be responsible about your sexual health and choice of sexual partners, it's always a good idea to live a healthy life style to the best of your ability and do all that you can to keep your immune system at its strongest whether or not you are dealing with genital warts. The weaker your immune system, the more likely you are to experience outbreaks or other related symptoms.