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How do I get tested for genital warts?

How do I get tested for genital warts?

Updated on:
September 20, 2021

There is no specific test for genital warts. A healthcare provider will look at the affected area and make a diagnosis of genital warts based on the number, shape, size, colour, and location of the skin changes (and other symptoms). If you think you've been exposed to genital warts, there are steps you can take. Genital warts have a characteristic appearance and are often easily identified visually by a trained healthcare provider. 

Rarely, a biopsy is performed in which a small sample of the skin infected with genital warts is taken and analyzed under a microscope to rule out other conditions that may resemble genital warts. 

What tests are available for genital warts?  

Visual examination by a trained healthcare provider is the most common way to identify genital warts. There are no specific tests for genital warts, but a biopsy may be done to exclude other conditions. 

Where can I go to get a diagnosis done for genital warts?

Your healthcare provider and walk-in clinics can perform a visual examination to diagnose genital warts.  

Sexual health testing facilities, like STI clinics, can also usually perform screening and treatment for all strains of HPV.

How long does it take to get the results back on a genital warts diagnosis?

Diagnosing genital warts can be done through visual confirmation by a healthcare provider during an examination. You will be told immediately if you have genital warts and your healthcare provider will discuss treatment options with you. 


Resources: 
https://www.healthline.com/health/hpv-test#who-should-be-tested
https://www.healthline.com/health/pap-smear#pap-smear-by-age
https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/medical-tests/tu6451
https://www.healthline.com/health/sexually-transmitted-diseases/hpv-without-warts#risk-factors
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1581465/

Reviewed by:
Emeline Mugisha

Emeline’s expertise stems from over a decade of community/public health practice among marginalized communities in the U.S. and abroad, with a clinical focus on HIV and infectious diseases.

Using a social justice lens, she is a fierce advocate for empowerment-based practice, trauma-informed care, and cultivating rest as tools for advancing towards whole-life wellness.

She holds a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.