Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
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 engaging in 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 improvement?
- 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 resume sexual activity?
- How likely am I to experience future outbreaks of genital warts?
- 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 visiting?
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 that 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?
- Habif TP. Genital warts. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00020-1&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&sid=1095050809&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00020-1--s0020&uniqId=229999267-4#4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00020-1--s0020. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.
- Genital HPV infection: Fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.
- Breen E, et al. Condylomata acuminata (anogenital warts). http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.
- Douglas JM. Papillomavirus. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Dec. 13, 2010.
- Making sense of your Pap and HPV test results. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/pap/default.htm. Accessed Dec. 14, 2010.
- Special procedures: The Pap test. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp085.cfm. Accessed Dec. 15, 2010.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Recommendations on the use of quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine in males — Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recommendations and Reports. 2011:60;1705.