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
This year for Christmas I got genital warts. They're located around the base and along the sides of my shaft. Since then, a little cluster have also developed on my perineum.
I didn't think they were warts at the time. I initially believed it to be razor burn, and later sebaceous prominence or Pearly Penile Papules. I shouldn't have self-diagnosed. My girlfriend and I are both monogamous and haven't had many other sexual partners, so we considered the chance that they were warts to be pretty improbable. She had a PAP about 8 months ago and it was negative. We've been dating for a year.
When the bumps didn't go away, I went to the local sexual health clinic and got diagnosed. That was yesterday. Since their appearance, I've had unprotected sex with my girlfriend countless times. She doesn't have any warts, although we believe it's likely that she's infected given how often we've had unprotected sex since my outbreak. Maybe I got it from her and she already has sufficient antibodies to suppress this strain. We don't know.
I'm now getting treatment for the warts (Trichloroacetic acid).
My girlfriend and I have a few questions regarding our sex life while I get treatment:
1) If we're both infected do we need to use condoms during sex while I get treatment? We prefer sex without condoms, but if it will help speed up the treatment process we would use them.
2) Would it be better to abstain from sex altogether until the warts clear up? If abstinence is the better choice, what are the reasons behind it?
3) Also, is there any way to confirm that she's also infected with the same strain that I have? It's only an assumption at this point, based on probability.
4) What about oral sex? I understand it's not common to get infected with warts in the mouth, however should oral sex be avoided until ~8 months after the warts clear up to avoid transmission that way, even if we're both already infected?
If you've been having lots of unprotected sex while you had the warts, the chances are extremely high that you both have the virus. From your description of their location, the condom wouldn't cover them anyway, and condoms are very innefective at preventing the spread of hpv.
Because it is a virus, not bacteria, it can't be passed back and forth between the two of you. Once you develope the antibodies, you're all set for that particular strain. For this reason abstinence would not spead up the recovery time.
Your girlfriend could get another PAP if you are worried. It certainly can't hurt. However the strains that cause warts are considered low risk and do not cause cervical cancer.
Although hpv very rarely causes infection in the mouth, it is not impossible. I would not worry about it. Once again, she would have already been exposed by this point (assuming she's performed oral while you had the warts).
Just continue with whatever treatments your doctor gives, and stop worrying about it. Sress can lengthen the time it takes to clear the virus.
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