What the hell is this growing on my private parts? As with most common warts that you and I may see on our hands and exposed skin, genital warts are usually caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There is an exception to this (condylomata lata which are due to secondary syphilis) but this is rare and treatment is the same. Genital warts usually occur 2-18 months after exposure. They vary in size and shape and the goal of therapy is to eliminate current warts, reduce recurrence, provide wart-free periods and control the size and number of lesions. Many of these warts are low risk for causing other problems but some types are associated with cervical cancer.
The good news for you is that effective treatments are readily available and can be prescribed by a physician. Some treatment options can even be applied by the patient at home. Thanks to your immune system, many times these even spontaneously disappear. The immune system needs to pick up the virus and produce an antibody to the viral antigen. Once this occurs, remission may occur but recurrences are common.