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What Is the Hybernation Period for Genital Warts?

by Sarah Densmore
  • Overview

    Between 500,000 and 1 million people contract genital warts each year.
    According to Planned Parenthood, the hibernation period, or time between contracting genital warts and showing symptoms, can range from six weeks to six months. However, the Mayo Clinic says only two-thirds of people who have sexual contact with an infected person actually develop genital warts themselves.
  • Unseen

    You can have genital warts and not know it. They can be so small and flat that you can't see or feel them.
  • Dormancy

    Genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). You can be infected with HPV and not develop genital warts. Then, in response to a medical condition that weakens your immune system, you can suddenly have an outbreak. These conditions include pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and Hodgkin's disease.
  • Women

    If you're a woman, having a pelvic exam will allow a doctor to find any warts you may not be able to see. Having a Pap smear will detect abnormal cervical cells that may indicate the presence of HPV.
  • Men

    If you're a man, a doctor can perform a visual inspection of your genital area. This may include applying a vinegar solution to make small, flat warts more visible.
  • Vaccination

    Gardasil is a vaccine that protects against certain strains of HPV. It's available to males and females age 9 to 26 through health-care providers.

    References & Resources