STDs Expert Forum
Do genital warts tingle before they first appear?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Do genital warts tingle before they first appear?

I have tried looking for answers on the internet and have found alot of different things. I was wondering how quickly genital warts can show up? Can they show up within 5 days? Does the skin tingle or feel irritated before a wart can grow or appear? What do they look like? I regretfully had unprotected sex one time with my now ex-boyfriend and noticed the skin between my labia majora and labia minora was tingling or felt like something was coming two days later. About 3 days later a row of about 8-10 tiny bumps showed up. They're not clustered and when I rub my finger over them they feel smooth. I thought that I might be having an outbreak because I already have genital herpes Type 2. But the bumps are still there after about 8 weeks and haven't changed color or size or anything. I'm getting worried and all the different information on the internet is freaking me out a little.

I was wondering if genital warts can show up quicker because of already having herpes? Are there flu like symptoms that associated with genital warts since it is a virus? If it is genital warts, where is the best place to find more information? Also, having both genital herpes and genital warts, how would that affect someone?
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Welcome to the STD forum. Reacting initially to the question posed in the title you chose, before reading the question itself:  No.  HPV rarely if ever causes tingling or similar symptoms, either before or after warts appear.

Warts may rarely show up as early as 2 weeks, but typically it's 1-3 months.  Five days probably is impossible, and herpes would not have any effect on this.  Most genital warts look like, well, warts.  Sometimes they are smooth bumps, and many are "flat" -- pretty much invisible.

You have correctly concluded that the bumps you describe cannot be herpes, which cannot persist 8 weeks.  If they are warts, you caught them sometime well before the sexual encounter 3 days earlier.  Other causes of genital bumps include enlarged sebaceous glands, folliculitis, and a minor viral infection called molluscum contagiosum.  Having both genital herpes and genital warts doesn't make either one more serious or have different symptoms than otherwise.

You need to stop trying to figure out the cause of the bumps by online research.  See a health care provider.  I'll be happy to comment further if you want to return with a comment about the diagnosis after you have been professionally examined.  In the meantime, don't lose a lot of sleep over this.  Most likely it is nothing serious -- even if you have genital warts, most cases are easily treated and more an inconvenience than an important health problem.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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