Sexually transmitted diseases are a serious health threat, and many of them can be very embarrassing to admit to having. Anal warts--a sexually transmitted disease in which warts grow on the rectum, anus or in the anal canal--is one such condition. Knowing the symptoms, and what causes anal warts can help seek out proper treatment.
Anal warts are caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV. While anal warts appear only in the rectum and anal areas, HPV can be spread through any sort of sexual contact. If a person contracts HPV, they may also develop anal warts, usually within six months.
There are a list of common symptoms that occur when a person develops anal warts. The most obvious are the warts themselves, fleshy growths on the anal area. Other complaints include itching, moisture, and bleeding in the anal area.
There are some people who develop anal warts without any symptoms. The warts in this case are all internal, and they may be very small. In cases like this the first time that the person suffering from the condition knows there's something wrong is when their internal warts bleed and cause pain that requires them to see a doctor.
Since warts may occur naturally on the skin, a doctor must examine the patient's symptoms to make sure they are in fact suffering from anal warts. If the warts are internal, then the doctor must an anoscope (a short instrument inserted into the anal canal) to see the warts and make the diagnosis.
Anal warts can be treated a number of different ways. They may be burned off after a local anesthetic is given to the patient. Medication may be given if the warts are small, and a common medicine is podophyllin. Applied directly to the wart, it will exfoliate it. Anal warts may also need to be removed surgically, but this is usually reserved for larger warts that pose a danger to the patient's health.