Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

How easily do the warts spread?

Back in December I found a "bump" near my clitoris and went to the doctor. At the time she told me that it looked like normal variation of the skin and that sometimes the glands can swell etc. and it is nothing to worry about. The bump is flesh colored, soft and there is no pain or itching associated with it. Needless to say I was relieved. A couple of weeks ago I felt 2 much smaller bumps in the perinium(sp?)area. I can't really see them, but again I got worried and started feeling/looking around more. I felt 2 or 3 more small bumps in my anal region, then on Sunday noticed 2 very small stalk type bumps on my outer labia, also very small. I am about 98% sure these warts and have an appointment in a few days. In the meantime I have a couple of questions/concerns.

1) Will simply touching a wart and touching another area that was not affected cause the warts to spread to the previously unaffected area? Is it possible for the virus to spread via the use of a towel or washcloth used by someone who has warts(I hang my towels to dry after I shower and my teenage daughter has been known to use the towels, because she failed to get one of her own before getting in the shower)
2) I have been with my current partner for 18 months, he has never had any visible signs of warts, but the reality is one of the other of us has had this virus with no outward symptoms until now. If he was the original carrier and gave me the virus, is it likely that he will not have an outbreak since he hasn't to this point? If I was the original carrier, then I had the virus before we got together so is it more likely than not that I passed the virus on to him?
I know that any answers may not be sure things, but I am hoping to put my mind at ease at least a little bit. I feel like my world is crumbling, (which I know is probably an overreaction) so any help would be appreciated!!! Thanks!  
6 Responses
1609501 tn?1299205202
Look at my pics for what my warts look like.

Don't worry about who gave HPV to who, there is no way to ever know and at this point you do share it if you do have a low risk HPV causing warts. Even though you have warts he may never. Many people never have any symptoms. Usually the immune system passes the strain (s) within 24 months.

When you go to the doc be sure to get a pap smear as well. Always be good about getting your yearly paps and dental exams. This is true for men as well, to have yearly exams. Men can't be tested for HPV but should tell a doc about a history of it. You should request to be tested for HPV both high and low risk strains.

Now assuming you do have HPV and both of you share it you now both have it for life. After any symptoms become dormant most people never have future issues. Some have flare up, again prevention with paps is the key to good health. Also working to have a good immune system will help. Yes don't over think all this, I have both high and low risk with both cell changes and warts and I live with children as well. It's ok, you are going to be fine and they will be fine.

There is only the smallest risk from towels, don't worry about past sharing just make sure to keep yours only between you and your bf til your warts are gone. This is being overly careful really but it helps me not to worry. Simple washing hands and towel use is fine, so is sharing a kitchen towel you have touched. I just don't share towels I have dried myself with after a shower. Again don't worry...this risk is minute.

I have had my own warts spread from vaginal skin with a wart that was touching vaginal skin without. They are very contagious but spead via genital skin to skin contact. So only you are at risk of having spreading and your bf is at risk via sex. You could consider using condoms while you have warts present. You already have the past exposure.

Treating warts early means less treatment. I did four acid treatments that really worked well but now I am on Aldara and it's slow.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the response. I am not really worried about who gave it to who(doesn't really matter at this point). My boyfriend has been pretty great about it...the main thing I am worried about in my relationship is the loss of intimacy this has caused(there has been not even a hint of sex or even any serious kissing since I found the warts a couple weeks ago). This is new to us so hopefully we will get better at this part over time.
My main concern was whether or not this was likely to pass to my daughter via the towels, my mind is a little more at ease on that subject(thank you) but I will continue to be cautious.
I have started to take a few vitamin supplements to help with my immune system, and am trying not to stress too much but I am a worrier/what if girl by nature, so I am struggling a bit. I am starting to think that for me, the phsychological effects are more detrimental to my overall health, than the
virus! Thanks so much for your response.
Oh almost forgot, as I mentioned in my initial post I seem to have a couple small warts in the anal region, I am wondering why I would have them in this area since I have not had anal sex. I suppose there could have been some skin to skin contact, but it would have been minimal. Is it at all possible for the warts to spread via fluids?
1609501 tn?1299205202
No the warts don't spread via fluids...it is somewhat normal to have them spread to the anal area because during normal sexual contact there can be skin contact in that area. Also the skin of the anal area is soft and easy to infect.

You and I have a lot of the same feelings, fears and issues from this. At first there is a lot of feelings to deal with and really that is harder than most of the physical stuff. The thing is the that the norm is to pass the symptoms within 24 months and then you don't have to worry about being able to pass the strain (s) to others. So by the time you get the actual symptoms you have had it for a while and so just start treatment and once symptoms have passed you wait 3 to 5 months and if no new symptoms are there you can assume you are safe.

I would urge you to get the pap and ask to be tested for both high and low risk. This is how I found my HPV. I didn't even know I had any issues and I wouldn't have known I had warts if the test didn't say I had low risk too. The doc told me I would never have warts but I found them and it took me three doc visits to get them to confirm them. You have to be proactive and started vits is a great way to help your body. Not stressing over this is big.

I am a bit offish about deep kissing because I have read deep french kissing might spread it. Even though I know we have to share it I also make him use condoms because I don't want to risk him getting warts and needing treatment. He is good to deal with my issues til this is over. We use lube because I wont allow oral, flavored condoms because I have fears of giving oral. Only touch one of us at a time with a hand. My little rules makes me feel safer and it's still fun! Better than no sex! haha Plus there are a lot of ways to be intimate without acutal gential touching.
Avatar universal
Thought I would post an update...I had my initial appointment with the gyno about 2 weeks ago now, and she confirmed that I do have genital warts. I had a PAP on that visit also, and she also tested for Chlymidia and Gonnorhea, talk about a week of high anxiety waiting for all the results! Ugh. They did find that I also have a High Risk strain of HPV, but the PAP showed no abnormal cell changes and the chlymidia and gonnorhea tests were negative, so that is all good news. Last week I had my first treatment for the warts, they used the acid that starts with a "t"...LOL. She did not treat all areas of concern as she wasn't sure how my body would handle it, but there has only been minor discomfort so far. In one of the areas treated the wart came off 2 days after treatment(it was the size of a pin head maybe slightly larger) but there seems to have been no effect in the other area, but it is the area that I noticed first(in December) and is the largest(maybe a third the size of a
pencil eraser). I have my next treatment on Tuesday.
I am still fighting the psychological effects, but that seems to have gotten a little better as well. This site has been very helpful to that end, it's really good to have a place to go to get accurate information first of all, ans insight from others that have been through or are going through the same thing. It does a lot to put a mind at ease! Thank you!
1609501 tn?1299205202
Congrats on your negatives!! I had the same results with acid treatments. The small ones die off quick but the first one I ever had was not realy effected and is just now starting to reduce with Aldara. It's a slow process but it will go away over time.

Thanks for the update!
Avatar universal
I'm concerned because I've noticed a single small oval shaped growth looks like it's attached to a piece of flat skin on my mons pubis.... I5s about the size of an eraser I'm almost sure it's a wart because no growth would be on your vagina like that for no reason at all. The thing is I'm very very very SCARED to go to the doctor because of the embarrassment and having to show them this without feeling nasty or ashamed I've also never been tested for hpv.. Idk what to do how to feel and how to be discreet about going... This definitely has to be a wart right??
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