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Does HPV go away eventually?
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This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding HPV issues such as: genital warts, causes, diagnosis, cervical cancer, HPV in men, PAP tests, treatment, telling your spouse or partner

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Does HPV go away eventually?

Hello,
I am a 23yr old fairly healthy female adult who was recently diagnosed with a strain of HPV, however, there are a few topics that have me very, very confused.  

1. When my gyno told me that my condition looks like HPV, he said verbatim: This is not for life, the virus usually diminishes with a healthy immune system within a number of years. He said it is not like herpes which recedes into the spine and then resurfaces forever. BUT I later called his assistant a day later with questions, and she told me the virus is 'for life' but the breakouts will diminish over time. This makes for a very confusing situation, considering I also find an equal amount of both pieces of info online etc.

2. I believe the strain of HPV that I have contracted is considered 'low-risk.' It surfaces below my vaginal opening as little, painless white headed bumps that literally fall off and disappear within 1-5 days. This has only surfaced twice in my lifetime in a 1yr time period, and I am in a monogamous, healthy relationship of 4 1/2 years. What types of warts show up one day and disappear the next? Why do I not need to have any treatments for them?

3. My third question is this: If for some miraculous reason my immune system DOES rid my body of the virus, my significant other has it also. Are we going to ping-pong it back and fourth to eachother, or will we somehow have some kind of 'immunity' to the specific strain we have?

Thank you so much for hearing me out. Getting these questions answered are a high priority for my state of well-being at the moment.
36 Comments Post a Comment
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563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,
In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally within two years.  But, sometimes, HPV infections are not cleared and can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sexual contact with an infected person. Hence risk of transmission of HPV to your boyfriend is there.
The human papilloma viruses (HPV) are predominantly sexually transmitted and even oral sex can transmit HPV. Warts are tumours or growths of the skin caused by infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV).They are contagious when in contact with the skin of an infected person. It is also possible to get warts from using towels or other objects used by an infected person

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

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Avatar_m_tn
I would doubt any answers Bhupinder Kaur, MD offers here on this forum regarding HPV risk and contagion paths, answers that greatly differ from the answers that the doctors give in the real medical community, and the HPV info on real medical sites all you who are worried must place your questions there I think.
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Avatar_f_tn
Please only reply to this forum if you have helpful information that pertains to the original questions above.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am convinced that you can read you to answer all your questions on the medical community, similar questions are asked lots of times and answered by the doctor, my intention was not to disrupt your thread, sorry, but I do not believe in either the doctor here above will answer your questions, and that it is transmitted through towels are probably most other doctors do not agree
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Avatar_m_tn
that you get different answers about the virus is for life and held down by the immune system is quite as it should be! there are different opinions and no one knows 100%

HPV warts does not appear and disappear as you describe!

majority of doctors believe not that there is a ping-pong effect
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you, I now understand what you are trying to say.  How do I get to the 'medical community' forums you are speaking of?

The fact that there is so much contradicting information out there makes this situation very difficult for me to understand and cope with. Like I said, I had two medical professionals that work together in gynecology give me two separate stories. This is frustrating because, for how much misinformation there is out there, it's not surprising to me that so many people are uneducated about sexually transmitted issues.

I was also under the impression that HPV can manifest as a breakout in various different ways due to the fact that there are many, many different strains of it. In my case, they show up as what look like 1-3 raised, semi-firm canker sores. They are completely painless and literally fall or wipe off in a matter of 1-4 days. When this happens, I'm left with distinct crater-like marks, similar to an enlarged pore that disappears in another day or two.  They don't ooze any fluid or even seem very red or irritated and, once again, are completely painless. I was also blood tested for HSV1 and 2.

The doctor said it was basically unnecessary to test for anything because he was so sure it was HPV. My boyfriend has no symptoms, nor has he ever had any previously.

I absolutely do not believe in the towel transmission hokey-pokey. Even if it is possible, the chances seem ridiculously slim.  


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Avatar_m_tn
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/STDs/show/116


copy the link, or click on the forum, select the doctor's forum since STD's, where you can ask questions of doctors who worked on this for over 40 years, since it costs a little money or search for HPV or else you're interested in and see what answers others have received

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Avatar_m_tn

Welcome to the STD forum.

Questions and concerns about HPV are among the most common and confusing dilemmas in the STD field these days.  Here are some salient facts pertinent to your situation:

Everybody gets genital HPV (at least 80% of all sexually active people) and most of us probably have several infections during our sexually active years.  Having genital HPV should be viewed as a normal and expected fact of human sexuality.  The high risk (cancer causing) HPV types are the most common of all infections.  Still, the large majority of infections clear up without ever causing symptoms or disease. Your wife's infection may have been present for years before her pap became abnormal.  You were obviously exposed to her infection, maybe even the source of it (you're never going to know); but if you had been infected with the same type previously, you probably are immune and didn't get infected.  Or you did get infected and it will never cause a problem, and either has gone away or will soon.  This, too, you will never know.  Most HPV infections clear up, without ever causing symptoms, within 2 years, often faster.

Future sex partners are at no more risk for HPV because of your history than if you never had it, and at no more risk if your wife's pap smear had never been abnormal.  Those potential partners, just like any other sexually active person, might have already been infected; and if not and they catch HPV, most likely they won't know it, and if they happen to be among the unlucky minority who get an abnormal pap smear, they will never be able to know (and neither will you) whether it came from you or someone else.

In other words, there isn't much to be done.  HPV, including infection with high risk types, is unavoidable for practical purposes, except through immunization (more on which below).  It is for this reason that CDC does not recommend that partners of women with abnormal paps be referred to health care for evaluation.  In fact, CDC specifically says that should not be done, because there are no useful diagnostic tests and nothing to be done to prevent future problems, prevention, etc.

For these reasons, most experts agree you are under no ethical obligation to mention your wife's abnormal pap or HPV to your future sex partner(s).  If you do so, it should not be for reasons of disease prevention, but perhaps only in the interest of an open and honest relationship.

As for your family history and your health, there are no worries here either.  To my knowledge, ghere is no evidence of any genetic predisposition to HPV-related cancers.  Second, penile and other genital area cancers are extremely rare in men, even those who have had HPV.  And although penile cancer sounds frightening, it is a very slowly progressive problem.  Medical care if and when penile skin lesions appear is always easily curative, if cancer is the cause, without drastic measures (like penile amputation).

Finally, all sexually active people under age 26 (and perhaps older -- the jury is still out) ought to be immunized against HPV, preferably with Gardasil -- one of 2 HPV vaccines on the market, but the only one that covers not only the 2 HPV types most likely to cause cervical cancer and precancerous pap abnormalities, but also the 2 types that cause most genital warts.  If your future partner(s) have been vaccinated, most likely they will be protected against the type that you may or may not be carrying.

Here are three other threads that discuss some of these issues in still more detail.  Please take a look at them.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/concerned/show/980849
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/HPV-Transmission/show/761416
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/HPV--Informing-past-partners/show/763292
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Avatar_m_tn
Recently, I was diagnosed with HPV as well and immediately did some digging because I'd had the vaccinations & really knew very little about this virus and found a lot of information that said it 'goes away' so I had got my hopes up a little.

HPV DOES NOT GO AWAY. It is a virus & it stays in your system forever, regardless of what anyone says.

HOWEVER, HPV comes & goes. It lies dormant (which many think means it 'goes away') and it practically does, especially for women who keep themselves healthy. It can lie dormant for a long time & never come back up. So as long as you keep yourself healthy, you really don't have much to worry about. But don't think it's just completely 'gone' because it can come back, this is why your yearly paps are very important, because it can find if the HPV has shown up again and can prevent it from getting to progressed stages of cancer.

Don't let this freak you out, I just wanted you to know the information - just like I wished I had known. So just keep yourself healthy and you shouldn't have many problems with it!
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Avatar_m_tn
"Keep yourself healthy" - what does that mean? I have just found out I have HPV, and I'm not sure what to think. My doctor ordered a test and I'm glad she did, but I don't know much about it. But everything I'm reading online is confusing and contradictory.
So my questions are- how do I keep myself "healthy"? What can it do besides give me cancer or genital warts (neither of which I seem to have so far)?
Thanks you for your info.

- Confused and Concerned
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree a lot of the information is contradictory online, I was recently diagnosed with Hpv as well. And I think I might be making myself go crazy by trying to dig. I have a follow up appointment on thursday for a cervix examination (coloscopy) I am going to ask as many questions as I can but I am still in disbelief so it will be difficult. But ask a medical professional, a OBGYN doctor
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Avatar_f_tn
Can HPV go away on itself & never come back again
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No one knows if the immune system clears the body of hpv or if the virus goes dormant and cannot be detected. A lot of people say that the virus is cleared within 2 years in 90% of cases. I've had it for over two years now. After not seeing any visible symptoms in over 6 months I got my hopes up, but then recently a wart popped up. There is so much conflicting information about hpv out there and no one really knows the answer.  However , it's not a big deal, If you have had sex, chances are you have one of the many strains, especially if you have multiple partners. So when most of the population has it, the stigma over it should be non existent. It's people lack of knowledge and education on the subject that creates this stigma and it sucks but life goes on. I told my gf I had it before we started dating, she did some research and her response was : it sucks but it's soooo common , it's not a big deal at all" we have been together now for 2 years (  except for a recent short term break up ) lol, I'm now rambling
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Avatar_m_tn
In regards to HPV strains that cause Genital Warts, the reading seems to agree that genital warts is a change of normal skin cells that have been infected with HPV strain 6 or 11.  Why does the change of skin cells only occur at the genital region?  Again, the reading suggests that it's because the virus isn't strong enough to infect skin cells anywhere else.  A virus will multiply using the cell nucleus as a host to duplicate itself for further infection.  It will either grow locally, forming a wart; transfer itself to another host by means of physical agitation (scratching yourself, getting it under your finger nails, and touching someone elses genitals); sexual contact with another person (genital to genital or even through the mouth as a conduit), or transfer from one set of genitals to another via towels, etc.  Viruses are not delicate cellular organisms, so they can survive the harsh conditions of even a dry towel to find a new host.

The concern about being asymptomatic is that the skin cells within your genital region can be infected and contagious (through contact) without showing symptoms.  I think generally, that's still better than "positive symptoms" which mean you are definitely infected and contagious.  Positive symptoms also have a tendency of spreading, especially if you're not maintaining good hygiene, physically agitating the area a lot, weakening your immune system with smoking, stress, bad diet, not using any treatment to control the spread.  At this point, you're just hoping that there's "spontaneous resolution" of the genital wart, which can happen.

I believe that HPV is for life, but hear me out.  Everyone has a multitude of flora on their skin from bacteria to viruses to fungus.  Your immune system is constantly battling the attack of dangerous microbes on a daily basis.  So you were infected with a strain of HPV that forms genital warts.  This is something new for your immune system to attack.  Your immune system may never completely wipe out the infection, but we're all hoping that sooner rather than later, your immune system takes the virus count down to a point where 1) the infection is no longer able to show symptoms and 2) the infection is no longer able to infect another person.  Beyond that, who cares if you're carrying a few strands of HPV 6 or 11 in your body, as long as you have the T cell antibodies to keep the infection close to non-existent.  From my reading, this is what seems to be "clearing the virus" that everyone talks about.  Taking the count down so low that it doesn't show up in any test, won't pop up from remission, and it's safe from being transmitted.

Finally, there's something in your post that strikes me as unusual that nobody else has seemed to comment on.  Your hpv symptoms are white headed bumps that fall off after 1 to 5 days?  Anyone else find that odd?
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, very odd. Never heard of them falling off my themselves in a few days. Can't be GWs. And I agree with much what you wrote. The human body is one big party for germs and viruses.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok so last year I was diagnosed with hpv. I haven't noticed any sort of odd signs or symptoms.  But last month I had excruciating pains in my abdomen which were cramp like and then my period was shorter. Since then, my scent has been a little stronger and my bf said I "taste" different during oral. And I have been spotting only after sex. All this has been recent after my painful episode last month and I just got my period again.

I don't know what to think! I have been under a great deal of stress with work, moving, money,  and the loss of two good friends right before all of this. Can stress be a cause? I have no health insurance now so I am stumped on what could be happening.

I don't think it could be an std. Besides hpv. He isn't showing any signs of anything.  Could it be a miscarriage or pregnancy?  Or could it be hpv related?
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Avatar_n_tn
Stress is bad for HPV.  Can't you go to Planned Parenthood?  You should see a doctor. You say were diagnosed with it, what strain?  High or low risk?  Warts?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hpv is transmited skin to skin (genital area),so in most cases when u get rid of the warts ,the chances of you transmitting it to your partner is very low.
But I would like to note something ,that you definitely should ask for treatment and Pap smear ,since the hpv has many strains and the dangerous ones cause genital warts ,but also can cause cervical dysplasia which might turn to cervix cancer in months - years time .
So I advice you to seek treatment for that immediately .
P.S: hpv is very common among sexually active people, and in most cases it's only about how ur skiing look.
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Avatar_m_tn
i recently had my testicles removed due to hpv. i n most case it doesnt effect men, is what they always say. and that it goes away in two years. it is all bs. either they truely dont know or it was create as population control. I find it very hard to believe that this hpv just jumped into history in the late 19th century. after having my testicles removed they told me that they found no sperm cells alive, but they found millions of hpv cells. hpv doesnt show in men in most cases because the virus uses our testicle to mutate and reproduce itself.doc said i must have had it for ten years or more, and never once did i have any warts or signs of it. ive had 2 parteners in the last ten years. the first one had hpv and we stayed together for 6 years. after that i didnt get with anyone for 3 years. i have been with my current fiance for 8 months now. we went to a doc to find out why she wasnt prego. she has signs of cervix cancer and u already know what happened to me. in just months the hpv i shot into her almost killed her. would have never killed me. just used me as a way to reproduce itself and transmit. hpv is damgerous people. if u know u have it, stop having sex.
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Avatar_m_tn
Why are you trying to scare people? If you have gone through what you described then unfortunately your one of the rare cases. But telling people if they have hpv to not have sex is ludicrous! And also it nearly killed your fiance? What the hell is that supposed to mean?
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Avatar_f_tn
I contracted hpv in the late 1970's by my then 18 year old gf.  She went to various gynecologists, all of who had no idea what she had.  A general practioner saw warts inside and cauterized them. Het symptoms went away, then so did she
Her symptoms were pain during intercourse and searing pain when I ejaculated, which only happened once vaginally in 3and1/2 years.  I didn't know I was infected until infecting next gf/wife and found through a urologist that if you apply vinegar to penile skin, after a few minutes small volcano areas will appear. Hundreds of them. Efudex, a topical chemo drug will burn them off, but they return. As evdenced by my infecting my next gf 16 years later. No, I guess depending on variety, it never goes away. And as far as you female victims who have no  ssymptoms such as excruciating pain during sex
You are lucky and unlucky. The pain sucks but at least you know something is wrong. Remember farrah fawcet died from anal cancer due to hpv.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi I just read about ur comment. I'm Sandra and I have contracted hpv for 2 years. I know I still have the virus cause my body scratches me everytime I hate something sweet. When I exceed the limit I have some vaginal discharge. I met my new bf and we had sex many time witout usin condom. So I'm afraid to tell him the truth and I don't if he is infected. But can I have children with hpv?
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Avatar_n_tn
Sex without condoms means he may have been infected. Even sex with condoms can result in an infection being spread.  Men cannot be tested so unless he gets a wart, he will never know. Yes, you can have children but there may be possible complications. Google "pregnant with HPV" for more info.
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been diagnosed with the same. But my main question is why did I get the vaccines to "prevent" me from it if it didn't prevent me from anything?
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Avatar_n_tn
Because the vaccine does not provide protection against all of the strains out there. Only the 4 most common strains. Medical science has a long way to go with this virus. They need to come up with a test for men someday, a vaccine that protects against all of the strains and a goddam cure for those who are infected. Wishful thinking....
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Copied from the Doctor's Forum.

3,4) Probably most people experience more than one genital HPV infection during their sexually active lives.  There are a hundred or more HPV types not covered by either vaccine, and 20-50% of people your age are infected at any one time.  Naturally, some people have more than one HPV infection at a time.  However, given your sexual lifestyle up til now, I would judge your risk of having a high risk infection to be very, very low.  However, high risk HPV infections remain possible in all sexually active people.  Both vaccine and condoms reduce the risk, but not to zero.

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TwentyFourGirl, the ways you can be healthy to maximize your chances of "clearing" it (whatever that means) are:  1) No smoking/tobacco use  2) Reduce/eliminate alcohol use  3) Exercise regularly  4) Eat lots of fruits and vegetables  5) Get regular pap smears.  There are also several vitamin/antioxidant/probiotic systems on the market that claim to help beef up your immune system against HPV.

Trixster777, it sounds like you might have BV (bacterial vaginosis) in addition to HPV.  It's a simple bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics, and is more common for someone with an STI.  Definitely get it checked out though, since worst case it could be PID and you'd definitely want to know about that... probably not, but either way you want to get it treated.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a man who received oral sex from a man. Prior to this I was monogomous with one person my whole life, as was she. 100% sure of this.  At the time of getting oral sex, I saw nothing unhealthy about his mouth or tounge to indicate anything was wrong.

questions:  I can get HPV just from a mans mouth?
Does it just "live" on the surface of the penis despite normal showers/hygene?
If  yes, --- will there always be some sort of  telltale pimple/ blister or boil or marking cold sore of some sort?
Are there strains that I could have received that make their way into the urethra and stay there..........transmitting it to a woman upon ejaculation.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, its me again, same poster as above. Follow up to my question:

I ask because my significant other ""claimed"" she got warts on her vagina and a change in the shape of her cervix; (she refuses to show me...no matter)  however I had never seen any warts on my penis, and I was checking this after the above mentioned encounter occured, and just before we had sex.

There is reason to believe that if she got HPV----she did not receive HPV from me.  I'm asking  this: if  I did have HPV  can it be a  wart/lesion free strain?. can I still give it to a woman, where it will then appear as warts and cervix shape change. Make sense?
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, men can get the high risk for cancer strains (most common strain is #16) which results in no warts. Or you can also have the low risk strain that does produce warts. Or you can have both types. Most people have both.

Oral sex from a man or woman can spread it but it is a lower risk than genital sex. Much lower. It lives on any part of your genital skin (scrotum, penis, thighs, butt, etc). This is why condoms offer little protection.

If you SO was sexually active before she met you, she has no clue who it came from. Usually it is a recent sex act (within 6 months) but doesn't have to be. She could have been infected years ago and her immune system weakened for some reason resulting in a wart.
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Avatar_m_tn
After curing the Warts, will the warts "ping pong" with one another when both partners are infected with the same HPV virus ?
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Avatar_n_tn
No, the warts usually do not come back in that scenario. The virus doesn't ping pong too. I've seen the doctors forum say that after couples who share the same strain have become wart-free for 3-6 months, they can have all of the unsafe sex they want together for the rest of their lives. The doctors would not say this if they thought the warts would return. I've also seen online articles that suggest latex condoms helps a man's body recover its immunity should you have sex during the recovery period. So I'm guessing that it depends on when the sex occurs.
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Avatar_f_tn
The doctor who found I had hpv through my regular yearly exam told me that it can lay dormant for years before it comes out and it can go back into dormancy for who knows how long or it can forever to never show again. Well mine came back out after about 6 years. It was taken care of like it was suppose to of been. I have since moved and have a different doctor now and was told today from my new doctor that you have to catch it again for it to show up and that if this pap comes back good that I don't have to come back for another pap till 2016!  Lol. I'm not going to believe what she told me and I'm going to keep going every year and keep taking in lots of antioxidants like the 1st doctor told me.  She also told me I needed to quit smoking which I did also!!  
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Avatar_n_tn
Catch it again?  What BS that is. Yes keep taking lots of antioxidants. I am.
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Avatar_m_tn
THIS IS ALL NEGATIVE COMMENTS! HPV CAN BE CURED WITH A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM...ALL OF YOU SHOULD BE ASHAME OF YOURSELVES FOR POSTING SUCH NEGATIVE COMMENTS. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE WAS SEX WITH AN INFECTED PERSON; HOWEVER, THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WITH GOOD HEALTH (I.E STOP SMOKING AND EATING FRUITS AND VEGGIES) AND A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM, THE BODY CAN CLEAR THE VIRUS...
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PICKFORD

I USED TO HAVE HIV,,,AND I WORK WITH THE U.S ARMY......I LOOKED FOR CURE ALMOST ROUND THE WORLD,NOT UNTIL I CONTACTED A GREAT ***@****,I NARRATED MY PREDICAMENT TO HIM,I WAS SHOCKED HE SAID''NO CAUSE FOR ALARM'''I SEND HIM MY PHOTO,,,,HE SAID HE WILL NEED TO BUY SOME ITEMS,AND I PAID FOR IT...AFTER THREE DAYS HE TOLD ME TO GO FOR TEST AGAIN,...... MY FRIENDS YOU WON'T BELIEVE IT WAS NEGATIVE....NOW I'M SOUND AND HEALTHY STILL WORKING WITH THE U.S ARMY . I BELIEVE HE CAN CURE ANY TYPE OF SICKNESS HIS EMAIL IS ***@****
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