Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
HPV / Genital Warts & Marriage
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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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HPV / Genital Warts & Marriage

Hi - I'm new here and have some specific questions about HPV. My husband and I have been together (monogamously) since Feb 2009, married since Oct 2010.

In Dec 2009, I was diagnosed with CIN3 and underwent laser surgery for cervical lesions. Luckily, although the area of the lesion was quite large, it was not deep and the follow-up colposcopy showed that I was free from any precancerous cells.

Since about Apr 2011, my husband has complained of what we thought were "skin tags" around and on his penis. Regardless, he did not visit a doctor and we continued to have unprotected sex throughout that time. Over the past six months, we have been trying to get pregnant.

Two weeks ago, I miscarried my first pregnancy just short of 12 weeks.

Today, my husband finally went to a doctor about the skin tags and was informed that they were genital warts. Of course, we were both shocked since these developed so long after my experience with HPV. The doctor used freezing to get rid of the warts and he will return for further treatments if that doesn't work.

Of course, I am highly concerned about this and what it means for my health and the health of my husband. Is there anything I can do to protect myself now, or am I now already exposed to the HPV strain that is causing his warts? Do I have to avoid having sex with him until the warts are gone? Considering we have had sex many times while these bumps have been present, it seems silly to abstain now.

My biggest concern, really, is preventing myself from developing warts and potentially passing the infection to my baby when I manage to get and stay pregnant, which is my intention.

Please advise. We are concerned and very worried about what this could mean for our future pregnancies.
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My answers which may or may not be agreed to by everyone here.

Yes, you are already exposed. This is obvious.

To protect yourself now from developing warts, boost your immune system: exercise often, eat healthy, stop or cut down drinking, stop smoking, take vitamins that are immune system builders, etc. Getting pregnant weakens your immune system and staying healthy then is going to be key. We know that the warts appear when the immune system is weak. Now is a good time to start to boost it to high levels so that the warts stay away when you are pregnant.

You have two different objectives (not getting warts and getting pregnant). Both of these objectives cannot be achieved simultaneously, IMO. My advice may not make sense given the un-safe sex you've had with his active warts but here it is.  If he has active warts, he should be avoiding sex until they are gone. Condoms provide some protection but not much if the warts aren't covered by the condom. Get him cleared first for at least 3-6 months and then try getting pregnant. Doctors have confirmed that consistent use of condoms during the recovery period can result in less re-occurence of warts. After you become pregnant, he should return to condom use and not stop using them until after you deliver.

Or you can just try to get pregant now and then have him use condoms after you conceive. This is more fun, but the risks of getting warts are higher.
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