Infection from HPV is quite common. Many will become infected and not even know it. If symptoms are going to occur it will depend on what type of HPV has been contracted. In general, many people that get genital HPV will clear it via their immune system without further treatment needed. In fact, 90% of the time the host’s body will clear the infection. If HPV remains there is risk of cervical and anal cancer.
HPV thrives as a virus in mucus membranes found in genital areas and on the skin. Genital warts showing up is a possible and visible symptom that you are infected. Here is a photo cauliflower shaped genital warts. Note that warts can appear in other forms including raised, flat, pink, or flesh colored. Warts may also appear by them self as a single wart or in colonies like below.
Genital warts don’t always show up right after having intercourse with an infected individual. A wart may appear a week after intercourse or even a month and up to years later. Since HPV is often without symptoms the infected person may have not known they were infected. Warts in females can occur internally and may not always be apparent. If you think you’re infected, make sure to get a test. Warts may become irritated and then bleed and cause itching. The warts shouldn’t be a major source of pain at most a mild pain. The warts are very contagious and can spread to others via skin to skin contact but not from sharing towels.