Anal warts are caused by the human papilloma virus, which is usually transmitted through sexual contact but not necessarily through anal intercourse. The same type of warts may occur on the penis, scrotum, vagina or labia. The time from exposure to the virus and growth of the warts is commonly from one to six months, but it can be longer. During that time the virus remains in the tissues but is inactive. There are many types of human papilloma virus; some cause warts on the hands and feet and others cause genital and anal warts.
In most cases, a single treatment will not cure anal warts. Close follow-up is critical because the virus may continue to be present and cause new anal warts to form. Even after there are no visible warts, the virus may remain in the tissue and you might be able to transmit it. Small warts that reappear are easily treated in the office. Follow-up visits are necessary even after there are no visible warts. Visits may be necessary for up to six months.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.