Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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1655600 tn?1302165828

Is the HPV virus that causes Genital Warts the same as the one that causes warts in other body parts?

About 6 months ago, i noticed two white bumps in the opening of my vagina, that would itch and bleed occassionally. This was found after i was done with my last relationship(for that matter). The "pimples" stopped bothering me and as I had no health insurance at that time I couldnt afford going to a gyno. Two months later, i found a different type of pimple, flesh color, looking like a wart on my labia minora, very small and it would itch and bleed. I finally had the chance to get a Pap Smear test. When the gyno examined me i asked him if these pimples are genital warts and he could barely see them. He said they should be bigger in order to be warts and that NO, they are not warts. He said they are "nothing" and when i asked him "why didnt i have them before then?", he suggested that i shouldnt touch them and they might go away. Nevertheless, I requested to be tested for every STD. The bloowork came out "nonreactive", HSV1/2 was <0.91, but the screening showed that im Positive for one or more viral types from the group HPV 16/18...etc.
Im in the process of switching doctor and arranging a colposcopy. The nurse told me not to panic, but I am freaked out. I had another sexual partner after this "outbreak", what if i have infected them?
I have weak immune system, i know this, because when i was 15 years old, I had an infection on my hands and had severe warts outbreak and had to freeze them. Some are still there,visible, but they dont itch or bother me.
My question is: a) Is this the same virus that caused the genital warts? Was it already in my body and it was just re-activated with sexual activity or a partner infected me with this virus? (Like HSV-1 causes cold sores and genital herpes, does HPV cause all types of warts?- these in my genitals look like the ones on my hand)
b) Does this mean I will never again be able to have condom-free intercourse or have kids in the future?
c) Will these pimples-warts go away?
Note: I am 21 yrs old. A friend of mine is 40 and she told me she has the HPV virus although shes been married with her husband since she was 25 and she was diagnosed with it way later while being married.  

Also, excuse my english, I am a foreigner.
24 Responses
1306047 tn?1333247191
a) Yes and no.  Warts on the hands are HPV but of a different strain than HPV that causes genital warts.  According to the research, HPV wart strains have niche areas and warts on the hands don't like the genitals and vice versa.  Therefore the short answer to part "a" is no, it is not the same virus.  Also, it is doubtful it is reactivated as is most likely the result of infection by your partner.  That's a best guess though.

b)No, it doesn't mean so.  Studies show that most wart infections clear within 9-24 months with treatment, slightly longer without up to three years or so.  It's rare for treated infections to last two years or more usually resolving in a year to year and a half.  During that time it is wise to use condoms as even without warts you may be contagious but the degree to which you are is considered low and is not well defined.  It shouldn't affect your ability to have children, or better put, there shouldn't be any adverse affect when having children but I'm not too up on that knowledge.  THere is some risk but you'll have to research that.

c) Your experience is confusing because pimples is not a word that people use to describe genital warts.  Those are terms for herpes.  I've been on this forum for over a year and pimples simply isn't used nor is it a part of my experience.  When I first read your post I thought herpes not warts.  Of course I'm not saying it's herpes and I also don't understand the meaning of the number for HSV on your STD test.  

I also take issue with you saying you have a weak immune system.  The better truth is that you believe you have a weak immune system.  Your reasoning for why you believe your immune system is weak is what I found to be weak.  Be very careful you don't pronounce this judgement lightly.  You don't have any proof that your immune system is weak.  Revisit this and you'll see I am correct.  

Anyway. Hope this helps some.
1655600 tn?1302165828
Excuse my wording. They def are not pimples and they dont look like blisters either. (It's the 'language barrier' that made me put it this way)
Also, <0.91 for the HSV1/2 bloodwork test means Negative. The Note on the sheet of paper i have here says Negative 1.09
So im sure for the time being Im infected with Herpes.
Seeing the new doc next week though.

Thank you for your answer.  
1655600 tn?1302165828
*correction: Negative 1.09.
1609501 tn?1299205202
Look at my pics of my warts :)
1306047 tn?1333247191
Yes, check out Mags photos, they are realistic as opposed to what you find on google.  

Okay, so you don't have herpes or they'd have found the antibodies in your blood test.  So, you might have warts.  I take issue with the one doctor dismissing the size of the lesions you showed.  Mine have always been quite small and some have been really small visible only in bright light at certain angles almost.  

Hopefully your new doctor will be a better fit.  Write down as many questions as you can between now and then so that you don't forget any and leave with questions.  Unanswered questions tend to lead to "what if" thinking and thus to anxiety and fear.  Good luck.
1655600 tn?1302165828
Mags370, yes this is almost what they look like,a bit smaller though. So did you get rid of them? I have two or three of them :(
Its funny i used to have one in my mouth years ago when i was still a virgin, i guess it doesnt matter lol

Vandykd3 thats my case too, its hard to see them, but I can feel them if i touch them and under bright lights. My previous doctor was useless. Thanks alot guys!!!
1655600 tn?1302165828
Also, a last question that I will be embarrassed to ask the doctor. My current bf comes back to the US in 6 months. Should i tell him about it? Will the warts be cleared up by then once i start my treatment in 2 weeks? What if he wants to have unprotected sex? We never had unprotected sex before, but what if? Excuse me for asking too many questions.
1609501 tn?1299205202
The bigger one is the first and I still have it but I think maybe it is just kinda scar tissue because I have basically been nuking it. LOL

I have it and the little bubble blister looking one. When I found the first couple til when I finally had a doc agree I had them there was only a bit of change. Then I started the acid treatments, one per week for four weeks. The first treatment made them show up much better and even have that cauliflower look. Each week I would get a few new ones but then the acid treatment would kill them off. After I stopped acid treatment I have only gotten that bubble one and I am doing the Aldara treatments three times a week. I take it as progress that I only have the two right now.

As for you bf. If it were me I would tell him. If you do have warts it will take full treatment to get them to even go away and then you have to wait 3 to 6 most after you are finally clear of warts to feel free to have sex without disclosure. HPV is very common and almost all sexually active adults will have it in their lifetime. So, he has the same risks as the rest of us. There is no way to know how long it will take to clear your warts. If he wants to have unprotected sex then that is his own risk but warts are very contagious. I would say to you that you shouldn't have unprotected sex until you are in a very trusting relationship. Remember we all have secrets and you can't trust that all guys are going to be upfront about everything. HPV is spread via skin to skin contact so I can suggest some ways to enjoy sex with him without high risk. :)

Touching is fine, just don't touch your own genitals and the other persons. Same with them touching yours and their gentials. Toys are fine, just wash them with soap after. Use condoms for penetration and if you feel you are not fine with oral there are flavored condoms. Him giving you oral would have to be done with a dam or wrap. Deep french kissing might carry a risk factor but otherwise kissing is fine. I am a bit of a freak about the oral risks but I have had many doctors assure me this isn't something to worry about. My ENT doc told me it was fine.
1655600 tn?1302165828
That was really informative, thank you so much! Some people say that HPV can be transmitted when active even with the use of condom.. I'm not sure how true is this.
The results indicated that i have "one or more" of the "high risk" type of HPV, but as far as i know this type does not cause warts, but the "low risk" does, so Im guessing i have both? :S

I do hope I can explain all this to him well so he doesnt think of me as a nasty girl or think that i cheated on him, cuz i hadnt been sexually active since he left. I know HPV has nothing to do with cheating cuz its not like HSV and the other STD's. But the fact that its still an STD makes me worried about his reaction. I dont wanna lose him over that. As for the use of condoms, the guys i had a relationship with in the past had no idea about HPV and so did i. Them and me were clear of other STD's so we would engage in unprotected sex, immature of us all. If only i knew about the HPV before.

Your answer sort of made me relax alittle though, this whole thing sounds so scary.
Thank you :)
1609501 tn?1299205202
Well you are not a nasty girl, none of us with HPV are nasty! I think the first step is for us to feel ok with ourselves. Each day I think less about my HPV and know that it is just a matter of time til my warts go away, forever! HPV is simply a normal part of being sexually active as well all will prob have it. You could have gotten it from the bf. There is no reason for blame with having HPV.

I don't know what strains but my tests did say I have both high and low risk. Of course the fact that I have symptoms of both confirms that.

Condoms are not 100% because they can't cover every inch of skin. So men often get warts at the back of the shaft. Plus when there is skin to skin play without penetration, grinding, then there can be transmission. One way to prevent this is to keep undies on.

You are welcome. :)
1306047 tn?1333247191
Mags is right (of course :P ),  How your boyfriend reacts remains to be seen and there could very well be a difference between initial reaction and long term reaction.  I know when my ex found out I had it, she hung up the phone after saying some pretty ****** and hurtful things to me.  Then a few hours later she called me up and apologized and we hashed it out emotionally and maturely.  

As Mags said, condoms are effective for the parts of skin they do cover.  And as she pointed out, what good is wearing a condom if you're going to rub your shaft all over her down there prior?  That's where people mess up a lot I think.  

You're gonna be fine.  Keep that in mind.  
1655600 tn?1302165828
Im pretty sure i got it from my ex, cuz after 5 days when we intially started having sex i was hurting at the opening of the vagina and i couldnt have normal intercourse after it. Even using KY hurt so much. I thought it was a yeast infection, but then after 4 months i saw those little bumps at the opening of the vagina and thats when i dumped him. Anyway, maybe it was harsh of me, but I was angry and im still mad at me.

Vandykd3 do you know how you got it first place? do you ever have unprotected intercourse after that?

As far as i know the virus never leaves your body :( and might come back at some point especially when you get pregnant.

I hope my warts disappear before he comes back around October and i lost precious time with the previous gyno.
Thank you guys so much!!! At least thank God we dont have something more serious... honestly.
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