I went in for a Pap Smear last September and my doctor told me I had low grade dysplasia. I went back March of this year and had a colposcopy and a biopsy which confirmed that I had HPV and low grade dysplasia. I went back recently and she said that it will probably come back positive again but I shouldn't worry about it. I tried to ask her about transmission but she just said she would email me some information, but it didn't help. So my questions are ..
1. My bf and I have had sex a few times last June, and that is the only time he has had sex. Is it likely that he has already been exposed to my strain of HPV?
2. I'm a little confused about HPV transmission, since I have developed low grade dysplasia can my strain of HPV also cause genital warts?
3. I know it's nothing to worry about and almost everyone will be exposed to it, but is it likely that since nothing has come up in the past 8 months (genital warts or anything) that we should be fine?
HPV is SOOOOOO confusing that almost no one understands it, so don't feel silly!
I thought your questions were very good, so hope the answers will help:
1) It IS likely that he has been exposed and carries HPV. It is VERY easy to transmit which is why its so "popular".
2) In my experience, although HPV can do both, it seems to cause EITHER warts OR dysplasia. Men are MOST commonly asymptomatic--no signs or symptoms that they are carriers.
3)Depending upon your age, and I'll assume you are under 30, there is about a 75% chance that your immune system will suppress the virus and keep it suppressed. This means that while you are still a carrier, you will have no signs or symptoms and your paps may revert to normal. There is about a 15% chance that your paps will continue to show low grade dysplasia and you may need more colposcopy/biopsies. There is only about a 10% chance that the dysplasia will get worse and go to high grade or beyond.
You can help your immune system fight the virus by maintaining general good health, not smoking, and taking beta carotene (seems to help with HPV in particular in some studies).
Final question--genital warts can show up any time--I once had a patient who had been a widow and abstinent for 20 years suddenly show up positive for HPV. Once it is in your system, any time your immune system takes a hit the virus can show back up again.
We now have a vaccine--Gardasil---against HPV, which I would still recommend to you to get. So who knows in another few years--a cure maybe?
Sorry I reread my question and it didn't really make sense. Anyway what I meant to say was that my doctor said that my bf could get genital warts from me. That is what confused me because I don't have genital warts, my HPV caused low grade dysplasia. So my question was since it is likely he has already been exposed to my strain of HPV, is it possible that he could get genital warts if we continue to have sex? How long does it take genital warts to show up?
Thank you so much your answer was very helpful but it has raised one more question ..
Since it is likely that my bf has already been exposed to my strain of HPV, and hasn't had any symptoms (genital warts .. etc.) in the past 8 months, what are the chances that he'll get testicular cancer or genital warts if we continue to have sex?
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