Genital warts, caused by some types of HPV (human papilloma virus), can appear on the skin anywhere in the genital area as white or flesh-coloured, smooth, small bumps, or larger, fleshy, cauliflower-like lumps. There are more than 100 different subtypes of HPV, and around 30 of them specifically affect the genitals.
Other HPV subtypes cause warts to grow on different parts of the body, such as the hands. Not everyone infected with HPV will develop genital warts.
Genital HPV is transmitted by genital skin-to-skin contact, or through the transfer of infected genital fluids. This is usually during vaginal or anal sex, but it is also possible to pass it on through non-penetrative sexual activity.