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
Hi, I recently noticed two little warts far up on my groin. I showed them to my family Dr. and asked if I needed to worry about it with my sexual partner at that time. She said no and she sent me to a dermatologist to have them removed. The dermatologist said they were genital warts and removed them about a month ago by freezing them and so far no new warts have appeared and the ones I have are gone but the scar is still red. Every day I run my fingers over all parts of my groin and gentials and so far I have found no new bumps. At the same time the warts were developing I had two abnormal paps in a row and was sent for a colposcopy which was normal and negative for HPV. Obiously the colposcopy and paps cannot test or show any information about the warts on my groin or the test would have been positive for HPV, since I clearly have it. So, here are a couple of my concerns:
1. I have read what many of you Dr.s here say about the clearing of the virus and how you are pretty much good to go with sex again once your tests show you have cleared the virus. But, since there is no real test to show if my HPV has cleared because the warts are not in my cervix how can I tell if the virus has cleared? I recently started dating someone and we are hoping to have sex soon but I don't want to take any risks with his sexual health and neither does he.
2. My family Dr. says I will always need to tell people I have genital warts even when they are gone for years. That doesn't seem to be the advice many Dr.s on this forum suggest including Dr. Hunter Handsfield who I would regard as an absolute expert on the matter. Why is there the division? I really don't want to have to tell future partners if I don't have to (if I know I have cleared the HPV) but I don't want to put someone I care about or could care about at risk in any way. I feel that the Drs on this site have loads more information and experience with this than my family Dr, How can I decide who to listen to?
3. To further complicate matters, my family Dr did a pap last week and she said it showed mild dysplasia and has scheduled me to see an ObGyn for another colposcopy. My Dr didn't tell me this also means HPV. Is this a different strain of HPV or is it possible the same strain that is causing my warts is also causing the dysplsia? I am very hopeful that soon I will be clear of the HPV in my paps and in the colposcopies (I'm told I may have to have many to get rid of it all). Once is the least scary thing I can say to future sexual partners and still be truthful with them and make sure they are not at all at risk? When I found out about the warts I looked at many reputable sources on the internet and they scared the life out of me. I want to avoid my partners being scared like that if they don't have to be.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
1. Your warts seem to be clearing nicely so that is a good thing. If you had already been in a relationship then you could resume sex because the thought is you would have already shared the virus. However the recommendation is that you wait until you have been wart free for 3-6 months before beginning a new sexual relationship—to make sure the virus has cleared. Condoms will not protect a 100%.
2. You do not have to tell future partners after you have been clear for 6 months. I would continue to use condoms but usually once you clear, you probably won’t be affected again. You pose very little risk to others. Your family Dr. probably only has a few patients with HPV and does not keep up on current information. It is changing all the time. HPV is common. It is true with some STD’s you really need to disclose and he probably lumps them all together. This does not have to be a dark cloud over your head.
3. It seems like you are getting a lot of Paps—they should be at least 6 months or more apart. What is mild dysplasia?—Do you know exactly what the Pap result was—Do you remember a term such as ASCUS, LSIL? You cannot tell HPV by just a Pap. Did you have an HPV test? If you do have HPV on biopsy, it would be a different strain. The genital warts are low risk HPV and the cervical is High Risk HPV. When did you have the last colposcopy? If it was negative within a year, I’m not sure I would have another one yet. The Pap and the HPV test can produce false positives. Often HPV will clear in 6-24 months. If this is a higher level of abnormal you may have to have a procedure to get rid of it and that is true. I would only have a Leep for a high level of abnormal. It appears if you are having a lot of conflicting results and I would begin to worry about who is doing the procedure or the lab that is testing. Once you have a normal Pap again you can go back to resuming your sex life. I know you are scared but lots of women have these results. The good thing is you are not passing it on. It is very possible that you will clear it. Hope this helps…Good Luck
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