The visual examination and the speculum examination 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 examination 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 managed 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 examinations.
Why It Is Done
A gynecological examination 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 examination may include
Genital warts are not seen during the examination. HPV may be
present even if the examination 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 examination. Treatment is
The number, size, and location of visible
What To Think About
Genital warts may be discovered
during a routine gynecological examination. Many women do not notice genital warts if
the warts are small or are on the vagina or cervix.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology Kevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology