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How long does HPV survive on a surface that contains lubricant?
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How long does HPV survive on a surface that contains lubricant?

Dear Doctor,

I had a transvaginal ultrasound examination done yesterday and I'm worried sick now. I noticed the probe has not been wiped and nurse had forgotton to put a condom over it before inserting it into my vagina. I'm very sure the probe wasn't wiped as the nurse was on my left while I was undressing and before anyone could clean it, the doctor had used it on me. After I finished the ultrasound exam, I touched the probe and it was still wet and I observed that no one clean it before the next patient entered. Note: The doctor had used lubricant on both the previous patient and myself, It was squeezed from a lubricant bottle onto the probe. I understand that HPV survive longer on moist surfaces.

1)As the probe has not been wiped and it was still moist with lubricant LEFT OVER FROM USE on the previous patient. If the previous patient was infected with HPV and the probe containing left over lubricant also contains her vagina secretions, how long can the HPV virus survive on the lubricated surface?
2) Can I contract any HPV virus from the probe if the previous patient has HPV? It was approximately 3 mins after she left the room before I entered. Most of all the probe was wet as it contains left over lubricant and it wasn't wiped.

Many thanks.
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Thank you for your post and welcome to our STD forum.  I am quite shocked about your experience, mainly because it is very unhygienic: I would not worry too much about HPV, but about the possibility of contracting a vaginal infection rather.  I did not think that these things actually happened in this day and age.  It is just about basic principles of hygiene, cleaning equipment and using disposable items.
Apparently HPV cannot survive very long outside the body on dry surfaces; however HPV can survive outside the body, and does not require bodily fluids for transmission, possibly surviving longer on wet surfaces.  Therefore, it is possible to contract HPV from surfaces that carry the virus, even though this would be extremely rare and is not well documented.  We do not know for sure how long HPV would survive under these circumstances.
The important thing for you in any case is to be checked regularly with HPV testing and cervical smears.
Best wishes,
Dr José
Dr Jose,

Thank you for your prompt reply and well wishes. I supposed that means there is a chance for me to contract HPV from the probe. And talking to the nurse/doctor wouldn't help as they would certainly deny.

Warmest Regards.
You should see this discussion, it contains a lot of scientific informations
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