Your health care provider usually diagnoses genital warts by seeing them.
If you are a woman with genital warts, you also should be examined for possible HPV infection of the cervix. Your health care provider can diagnose HPV infection based on results from an abnormal Pap smear, a primary cancer-screening tool for cervical cancer or pre-cancerous changes of the cervix. In some cases, a health care provider will take a small piece of tissue from the cervix and examine it under the microscope.
Another test to diagnose HPV infection detects HPV DNA, which may indicate possible infection.
Your provider may be able to identify some otherwise invisible warts in your genital tissue by applying vinegar (acetic acid) to areas of your body that might be infected. This solution causes infected areas to whiten, which makes them more visible.