The visual exam and the speculum exam are the most
important for diagnosing genital warts. Sometimes a doctor may use a magnifying source or colposcope to see some areas more clearly.
Some doctors may use an
acetowhite test to make the warts more visible. A vinegar solution (weak acetic
acid) may be applied to the skin to show the difference between normal and
abnormal tissue. A slight burning sensation may occur when the acetic acid is
applied. The acetowhite test is not routinely recommended to confirm genital
A gynecological exam may also include a Pap test. A Pap
test can show if there are any abnormal cell changes caused by certain types of
HPV. Some types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) cause genital warts and some
can lead to cervical cancer. The HPV infection that causes an
abnormal Pap test will be treated differently than the
types of HPV that cause visible warts.
The size, position, and
appearance of the rectum, vagina,
cervix, uterus, and
ovaries are determined during these exams.
Why It Is Done
A gynecological exam may be done as
part of a routine checkup or to find out whether you have genital warts or
other sexually transmitted infections.
Findings of a gynecological exam may include
Genital warts are not seen during the exam. HPV may be
present even if the exam is normal and no genital warts are seen. Many women
infected with HPV do not have visible genital warts.
Genital warts are seen during the exam. Treatment is
The number, size, and location of visible
What To Think About
Genital warts may be discovered
during a routine gynecological exam. Many women do not notice genital warts if
the warts are small or are on the vagina or cervix.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.