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Genital Warts & Faithfully Married a LONG time
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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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Genital Warts & Faithfully Married a LONG time

Ok, my wife and I have been married 14 years and were together for several years before that.  I had several sex partners before I met her, but since we've been together, I have never had sex (oral or otherwise) with another person.  I am 99% certain that she has not been with anyone during that time either.  Recently, I discovered 2 small bumps on my penis that turned out to be genital warts.  My question is this...how might I have contracted the virus?  Is it possible to get it from a way other than through sexual contact?  I have done extensive searches online and it appears that "regular" warts (i.e. those that appear on the hands, face, etc.) can be passed via towels or a handshake or some other kind of contact like that.  I also understand that HPV generally needs an "opening" through which to enter the body - a cut, for instance.  Isn't it possible that I was exposed to the strain of HPV that caused my genital warts in a way other than sexual contact?

After 14 years of marriage, our sex life is not the greatest.  I have never been unfaithful, but really don't know how she will react to the news that I have genital warts.  Any advice is much appreciated.
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27 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I know there is lots of information out there about HPV that is confusing, you might want to review the below about some of the myths if you haven't already.  There are many more educated people on the boards then I but if you have had sex with more then one partner in your life as you have mentioned, its possible you had already been exposed to it in the past. Apparently most men don't get symptoms and it can go unnoticed or be dormant for years.

http://www.ashastd.org/learn/learn_hpv_myths.cfm
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Avatar_n_tn
Most of the information out there is careful to make it clear than contracting HPV doesn't indicate an unfaithful relationship. It can lie dormant for a long time and surface later. Tons of people have it and don't know it. Also, if you have it your wife has it, even if she isn't showing signs, she has it too.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the support and the link.  I was aware of all that before - been obsessively Googling and reading everyting I can find on HPV and genital warts.  I've seen lots of articles stating that the virus can lie dormant for "months or even years" I guess what I want to know is...how many years?  14 years (longer actually since we dated exclusively for several yrs before we got married) just seems like a REALLY long time.  I do understand that stress can make the warts show up in a person who has previously been able to keep the virus in check and the truth is, I have had kind of a rough year with some family stuff and it has been super stressful for me so maybe that's my answer.  Maybe I caught it from the first girl I ever had sex with and my immune system kept it in check for all these years.  Who knows?

I still would like an answer from one of the docs here about whether it's possible for the virus to enter one's body at a point other than one's genitals.  Seems to me if I had a cut on my hand and then touched something or someone who had the virus on them, it could get into me that way.  From what I understand, that's entirely possible with other strains of HPV that cause "regular" warts on the hands or feet.
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Avatar_f_tn
The strains of HPV (warts) that affect the hands and feet are different strains than those that can affect the genitals. Genital HPV can only be transmitted through skin to skin (genital) contact. That being said, HPV has the ability to lie dormant for years - over 20 even before becoming active, if it ever does.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok, thanks for trying to help, but I KNOW the strains that cause warts on the hand is different from the one that causes genital warts.  I have read just about everything I can find about HPV.  And, from what I have read, it is NOT true that genital HPV can "only" be transmitted through genital contact.  From what I can gather, genital contact is the most LIKELY way to pass it, but I have never seen a reputable source (doctor or the CDC, etc.) say that it is the "only" way 100% of the time.  It also seems - from what I have read - that it's possible to pass "hand warts" via a towel so...it stands to reason (to me anyway) that it's possible to pass other strains of HPV the same way.  I've even seen it postulated that it could be passed via a bar of soap that's shared.  I guess that's what I'm hoping to find out - SOME kind of confirmation that genital warts HPV can be passed in a way OTHER than direct genital-to-genital contact.
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Avatar_f_tn
There is no point in arguing something that is proven. Genital HPV is a sexually transmitted disease - while, yes,  it can be transmitted without intercourse it does however REQUIRE genital contact in order to be transmitted.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am not trying to argue with you (or anyone) - I'm sorry if it has come across that way.  I am frustrated though, because I feel like people have been answering questions that I have not asked while NOT answering the question that I most want answered.  Perhaps it is my fault - maybe I haven't been clear.  So...here goes again...

I understand that in order for one to contract genital HPV, there MUST be contact with one's genitals.  My question is whether or not the SOURCE of that contact must necessarily be another person's genitals.  As I stated before, it seems logical to me that if other strains of HPV can be passed via a towel, handshake, etc. that the genital HPV strains could be passed the same way.  Again, I'm really not looking for speculation here; ideally, I'd like a qualified medical opinion or for someone to point me towards a reliable resource that will help me answer my question.  Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
The answer is no, The only way is sexual contact. Believe me,  I just found out I have warts and done all the reading just like you.

Why do you think, that they are making teenage girls aware of gardasill shots so when they become sexually active, they are then protected against the HPV that causes cancer.
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Avatar_m_tn
The answer is "no", huh?  Really?  Are you a medical professional?  Can you state that with absolute certainty?  I guess you people either don't or can't read what I wrote here.  I don't know why I thought this forum would be populated with intelligent, thoughtful people.  Turns out it's no different from any other public forum on the Internet - full of uninformed, unqualified people making blanket statements.  

I wonder why, on the ASHA's (American Social Health Association) own website, it says the following:

The types of HPV that cause genital warts are usually spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, or possibly oral sex with someone who has this infection.

Notice the word "usually"?  It does not say "always", it does not say "only" so...ONCE AGAIN, it seems only logical to me that there must be SOME other way(s) the virus can be transmitted to a person.  If you have proof of what you're saying, I'd love to see it, but otherwise, please don't bother to reply here.  Seriously!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not sure why you feel the need to attack or be disrespectful to anyone on this site. This is a site of intelligent and informed people if you want a medical expert then pay the money and post your question on the expert's forum. Many of us have here have done our research. It seems to me you don't want to hear what any of us have to say unless it is the answer you WANT not necessarily what is commonly believe in the medical field. HPV is still not fully understood in the medical field and research is ongoing daily.
As for the statement provided....
"The types of HPV that cause genital warts are usually spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, or possibly oral sex with someone who has this infection:
"USUALLY' is referring to the fact that the most common method of transmission is INTERCOURSE (whether it is vaginal, anal or oral). HPV does not always require intercourse in order to be transmitted but can be contracted with simple SKIN to SKIN (genital) contact.
You obviously have made your own decisions as to how HPV can be contracted and if you want to believe you can contract HPV through a towel, then none of us will be able to change your mind.
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Avatar_m_tn
And I don't see why you feel the need to keep replying and adding to this thread when you don't have anything constructive to say.  I still have yet to see an answer from someone who truly knows what they are talking about.  All I see is opinions of lay people.  I have put forth a hypothesis about how I might have caught the virus and all I REALLY want is a qualified opinion as to whether or not that hypothesis has any merit.  I don't know how much more clear I can be.  Obviously, I think it does or I wouldn't keep bringing it up, but I swear, if people would stop replying just to reply, this would have been a much more pleasant experience for ALL of us.  

I can just about guarantee you that I have read all the same things you and others have read that are available on the Internet.  One reason I asked the question in the first place is that I have seen story after story from people claiming to be virgins who have contracted genital HPV and/or genital warts.  They could ALL be lying or mistaken...but I kinda doubt it.  But you know, I'm not even going to bother to check this anymore.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, the free advice here is worth exactly what I paid for it.
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Avatar_f_tn
There isn't much point for anyone to clarify why your examples do not support what you your claims are. So I will just happily say - Goodbye then! :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Me thinks you are feeling guilty about something.
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Avatar_m_tn
the doctors won't answer here, but a simple google search brough up this, which you might find useful.

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/STD/messages/417.html

Key lines

"often there is a giant difference between "Can X occur?" and "Does X occur?"  Could HPV be transmitted to the genitals in the way you describe?  Possibly.  Does it occur with measurable frequency?  No."
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Avatar_f_tn
remember u said u are almost 99% sure yr wife was not unfaithful.......... you are not 100%
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Avatar_f_tn
okay, it's true that HPV is transmitted usually through skin to skin contact. it can be transmitted otherwise through unusual circumstances... laboratory conditions, say... so it's possible. You might be getting opinons of Lay People, but many of us (me for example) have similar experiences and are just telling you our experiences from what doctors told us. I have had hpv twice and it was never a question that i got the disease other than through sexual contact or skin-to-skin. yeah, i was in monogamous relationships. maybe one of you, you or your wife, had something lying dormant (very possible). it doesn't mean you were cheating. I was not, neither of the times i tested positive, and i was in a relationship with someone who tested clean (since i'm a woman, and men can't be positively tested til they have an outbreak). anyway, the best you can do is listen to the experiences of others and use it constructively rather than becoming so defensive and lashing out. i've asked doctors the same question, and the chance of me getting hpv through, say, a towel or a bar of soap seem so far off the map that it sounds ridiculous. this virus generally travels skin-to-skin and the chances of otherwise would be unusual and hard to do without some active effort. and, as a person whose had this twice, tons of checkups, lots of procedures, lots of questions and answers, and done lots of research, i'm confident advising other people. it could have been dormant. there you go.
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Avatar_f_tn
but, at the same time, what you should consider is your wife. the sooner you tell her, the better. genital warts means HPV, and she can have major health risks, so however you got it you should consider her health first. it was probably dormant, in her or you, so just assume that and do what you can and think about all the scenarios afterward. she needs to go to a doctor too-- it can cause cervical cancer, whether she got it from you and you got it from a bar of soap or not. really. but if she checks out fast, she has better chances of being totally unaffected.
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Avatar_n_tn
Can HPV be transmitted by handjob, where the person giving it touches the inside of the foreskin?
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Avatar_n_tn
I was also diagnosed with genital warts && have been in a faithful relationship for 4 yrs. my dr said it is possible that i came in contact with it before i even met him or that he could have come in contact with it before he met me. it is a very common std && some people can go their whole life without knowing they have it.
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Avatar_n_tn
i was happy with my life .i was pregnant married and then my husband was like what is that i had a wart inside of my private part .i didnt know what the hell it was ,i went to the doctor he was like u have hpv i was like what is that.and he told me ect.. i had 2 have a c-section i was really upset .and now i just cant take it anymore i really wanna die becuz this std my warts  r keep coming back my life is in hell i cry all the time my whole family is ruined becuz of this i just cant take it anymore .... they need 2 fined a cure and make us enjoy our life its not fair ..
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Avatar_m_tn
HPV can be passed by other means than sex.  Its most likely caused by skin to skin genital contact but anyone who says that it is not possible to be contracted by other means is lying.  Wart viruses are very resilient and can be transmitted by urine to urine contact from public toilets.  Has pee ever bounced on to you from a toilet?  Imagine that someone else with HPV peed 30 seconds before you.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not a doctor but I do know that HPV is extremely contagious. Millions of people are infected around the world. So yes, I believe that warts may be transmitted by other means than sex.

Here's something you won't find on the medical websites you mentioned: in my case, a herpes cream called ZOVIRAX was very effective. My warts were permanently removed in a couple of days and no surgery was needed. I don't know if this works for everyone but it worked for me.
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Avatar_f_tn
My Dr. old me, that there is now way to say for sure that you cant catch it from other sources BECAUSE it is a virus.  You can touch your self and pass it to other parts of your body, how hard to imagine is it . You meet someone new, you shake their hand. Guess what 2 minutes earlier he was in the bathroom shaking his thing and didnt wash his hands.      Now its on your hands, you touch your face, you adjust yourself....anything is possible. Would it be the most common maybe not , but then again who is to say people say "they test" well guess what if it can lay dorment for 10 years how you gonna test that???   Well we did a study with 100 people for a year...well not everybody would show signs in a year and since they dont have blood test how would you know who has it.   Seems to me it would be a very hard thing to track . I have been with my husband for since high school 17 years, we split a few times and had other partners . But for the past 14 years we also have been faithful.   We have no reason to lie to each other, I have known this man over half my life... I can trust him ,he would tell me cause he knows we would work through it.        So  I guess 6 months now I have had gw , just out of the blue.   I was very ,very,very ill in 2007 I thought I was gonna die. It would seem to me if it was gonna surface it would have happened then.  My body was beat and battered and falling apart ...  not now when there has been nothing wrong.    So yes I think you can pass it other ways, soap,towel,toilet seat, shake hands, drink after. But that is just what I think .    SO nobody needs to come screaming show me proof, or you know for a fact it cant . There is no way it could be proven either way , until they find better testing methods.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi, I unlike many of these people am like you. I have genital warts or they appear to be so. I think what your really looking for is an escape goat for the doubts that you are having about your marriage and your wife because you don't want to be believe even the possibility of the worst, and you are thinking to yourself  you know your body pretty damn well and this has never happened before. How did this happen to me? Could she do that? What do I do now? I thought we were in love? But the scientific data says i could have had this from before, but I don't believe that dormant crap. I am lost to and I wanted to know is there in other possibility in gods green earth that this has an alternate method of contact before I set the ship of sail and the earth off it's access. Listen, no one can tell you what to say or do read the info they are telling you they dont know how it happens they dont even have a test for it. So ask your wife if she cheated tell her you have warts and judge from your mind and gut and analyze everything because if you are wrong the next time it could be HIV.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am sorry to disturb your paranoia guys, but it's just impossible to contract genital HPV from toilet or tower or whatever it is. The virus simply can't "move" without skin to skin contact, means they can't move from your penis/vagina skin to toilet or to urine then move again from that medium to someone's else genital.

There are only 2 explanations to this:

1. your wife cheated on you
2. your HPV, which has been dormant for years, has been reactivated.

As for the 2nd case, it's rare. I would say it's the 1st option. You can't say "I know my wife 99% wont cheat on me" just because you believe you know her. These days i won't believe anyone 100%
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Avatar_m_tn
i m 26,un married and having darts,i m confused about my marriage what wd happen? can i produce baby safely or not? the whole life my wife would be in risk of getting that disease while staying with me?
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Avatar_m_tn
i have just come into contact with it . But also other things going on at the same time with my husband ie woman saying to me he is cheating . letters of woman and messages on facebook sent from him to them he has also been known for cheating as he is a lorry driver ..l im extremley worried .
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