Preparing for your appointment

You'll probably first bring your signs and symptoms to the attention of your family doctor. If you are a woman, you may wish to schedule your initial appointment with your gynecologist.

What you can do

Before your appointment you may want to write a list that describes your:

  • Symptoms. Describe your symptoms and note whether your sexual partner has ever had similar symptoms.
  • Sexual history. List all recent exposures to possible sources of infection. These may include having unprotected sex or sex with a new partner.
  • Key medical information. Write down any other conditions you're being treated for and the names of any medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.

Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For genital warts, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • Do I have genital warts?
  • Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • What tests do you recommend?
  • Should I also be tested for other sexually transmitted infections?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend, if any?
  • How soon after I begin treatment can I expect to get better?
  • Am I contagious? How can I reduce the risk of passing this infection to others?
  • Should my partner be tested for this condition?
  • When can I safely have sex again?
  • Will my genital warts come back?
  • Am I at risk of complications related to genital warts?
  • How often should I be screened for other health conditions related to genital warts?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time if you don't understand something.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in-depth. Your doctor may ask:

  • What are your symptoms, if any?
  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • Do you practice safe sex? Have you done so since you became sexually active?
  • Have you recently had sex with a new partner?
  • Has your partner been tested for sexually transmitted infections?
  • Have you had the HPV vaccine? When?
  • Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant?
Nov. 19, 2016
  1. Habif TP. Sexually transmitted viral infections. In: Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 6th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. Accessed Sept. 9, 2016.
  2. Genital HPV infection: Fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Sept. 9, 2016.
  3. Breen E, et al. Condylomata acuminata (anogenital warts). Accessed Sept. 9, 2016.
  4. Bennett JE, et al. Papillomaviruses. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. Accessed Sept. 9, 2016.
  5. Goldman L, et al., eds. Papillomavirus. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. Accessed Sept. 9, 2016.
  6. Gynecologic cancers: What should I know about screening? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Sept. 9, 2016.
  7. Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Sept. 9, 2016.