The effects of genital warts on sexual function

What is the impact of genital warts on the sexual function of men and women?

Researchers compared the sexual function of men who had genital warts, to the sexual function of healthy peers. The results showed that men with warts reported the presence of sexual dysfunctions with greater frequency than the healthy male group. A similar study on women has also been published recently. This study, conducted on a group of women who attended an outpatient gynecological clinical in Greece showed that a higher rate of sexual problems was reported after the diagnosis of warts. Specifically, they frequently reported that their sexual desire and the frequency of their sexual encounters had decreased.

How are the negative consequences of warts on sexual functioning be explained?

These studies have not explained the mechanism that might link the diagnosis of warts with higher reporting of sexual problems. However, in both these studies it was evident that both the diagnosis and the warts themselves were automatically accompanied with negative affect such as anxiety, depression and shame. It is likely that these feelings eventually affect the sexual life of men and women. It seems that apart from the potential health effects, a diagnosis of HPV, some types of which cause gental warts, triggers a negative effect on mood, health and sexual life. Therefore, the management of a patient who is diagnosed with genital warts should include dealing with dimensions beyond physical health, such as the consequences on the feelings, the relationship and sexual life of the patient.

Kucukunal A, Altunay IK, Mercan S (2013) Sexual dysfunction in men suffering from genital warts. J Sex Med 10: 1585-1591.


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