Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Community
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Avatar universal

Living with Genital Warts

I apologise for raising a topic which I'm sure has many times been discussed in the past. I've searched the forums quite extensively and read up pretty much everything I can, but I'm still interested in some more views.

As of September last year, I believe I have genital warts. I basically have 1 wart which is recurring. I've been to the GUM clinic a number of times. The first time they gave me the blue Warticon solution which I dabbed on 3 nights a week. After a number of weeks, the wart disappeared. I was a happy man.

A month or two later it was back with a vengenance. It was not particularly big, but it was visible to me, especially when my penis was of different sizes. I went to GUM, they couldn't see it and gave me the all clear - telling me I was free to have unprotective sex if I wanted (but safe sex was still advised). On return home, I could still find the wart. I used Warticon on it again. It vanished. Then it came back.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I went back to GUM and told them the story. I also told them I thought that blue Warticon ink was pretty terrible to use. No problem they say - we'll freeze it off. They do, I leave and am content finally the damn thing has gone. The area that was froze swelled, went pink then gradually skin began to reform over it. However, maybe a month and a bit from that day - that area of my penis is still very pink and noticeable. I have since identified what a consider to be another wart - however it's hardly noticeable and I'm pondering whether to get it looked at or just ignore it. The chances are they wouldn't be able to see it anyway or treatment would irritate it and make it worse than it is.

There's my backstory which I guess people might find useful to know of, my questions are as follows:

Is my penis likely to be permanently scarred from the freezing treatment? If not, how long should it be before I can no longer notice where the affected area?

Does anyone feel it is worth Warticoning / going to get the smaller one frozen also?

Finally - I don't know how to go about my sex life anymore. I think KNOWING you have the virus is actually worse than any warts. I've been single for a while now - most of the women I meet are on night's out. Pulling the old "oh by the way I have genital warts" card out as things get serious scares the hell out of me. I don't feel I can do it. How do you others get by? I find it bizarre that my doctors go by the consensus that if the warts are gone you're safe whereas I've read people on here have been told their partners have had warts up to 4 years on from the break out. I really could do with some advice on how to not be afraid of sex anymore...
191 Responses
Avatar universal
will hpv cause warts to form all over your body? like little pimples that wont go away. i have them on my penis my wristas ans in the insides of my ankles and 3 on my side. what is this?
Avatar universal

I am a 21 year old female who has just been diagnosed with genital warts. I have had 8 sexual partners and ONLY ever had sex using condoms and none have ever broken, but I seem to have contracted the disease. I started with about 6 tiny little warts, but only one week later, today, they have multiplied, spread and the existing ones grown. My GP diagnosed me last week and I have an appointment tomorrow with a sexual health clinic physician to seek treatment. Its a cruel disease, I dont know who gave it to me and probably never will.

I am also in the same position as you in regard to my sex life. I'm so unsure what this means for me!
-Do you meet someone you really connect with then pull out the "oh by the way I have genital warts" card and watch them run a million miles?
-Or do you get to know the person but refrain from sex for ages, untill they finally crack and want to know why you won't sleep with them, so you tell them, then they either also run a million miles, or get angry for leading them on without telling them?
-Or do you sleep with them and take the risk of passing it on, creating another new case, putting them through what you've been through and living with the responsibility of it on your conscience?

I want to be a mum one day, with the right man, but how is that ever going to be possible?

I've always been scared of contracting any STD's hense the reason I've only ever used condoms, but I too am now scared of sex. I'm 21 with my whole life ahead of me. This shouldnt be happening!

Any advice from anyone would be most appreciated!
Avatar universal
You think in exactly the same ways that I do.

Unfortunately, I cannot claim to have never had unprotected sex. I have. I perhaps shouldn't have but it is done and there is nothing I can do about it. However - even if I had used protection at times where I didn't, it is still probable that I would have caught the disease.

I am also 21 years old. This is meant to be our sexual prime. However, increasingly I am steering clear of opportunities to have sex with women because of the condition. I'm sure you're the same. As you said, it's very cruel. The annoying thing is the conflict of advice I've been given about it. I mean as I stated in my previous post I've been to the GUM clinic a number of times and they just seem to go by the ethos that if you can't see anything then you're fine to have sex. Get on to the internet and it's a completely different story.

I personally don't feel like I can tell someone I've just met / am dating about all this. I believe it will scare people off. However I guess when people don't tell others, that's when it gets passed on. I suppose the interesting thing about it all is the supposed percentage of people who have HPV. I mean - we're not 2 out of 100. If statistics to be believed it could be as much as 2 out of 5 or certainly 2 out of 10. Only a few of us actually develop the physical symptoms though. I don't know if this means that whoever we sleep with are likely to receive the same symptoms?

If you need someone to talk to online then feel free to say so and I'll try and figure out a way to get you my MSN addy.
Avatar universal
I found out I had genital warts a year ago and I finally can say I free of them, but you never know they might always comeback.  Now, every time I get a red spot on my genital area, I thinks its a wart.  You become paranoid.  

Dating is an issue as well.  I have been wanting to ask this girl out for months now, I just don't have the guts to do it.  When do you tell them about the possible HPV infection, before or after few dates.  I have know this person for a year now, but what do you do.  

I honestly believe this will make it harder to date, you will get rejected more then before.  Eventually, some one won't run.  

Please post comments!
Avatar universal
I am a 24 year old female who just found out that she had genital warts.  I went to the doctor who didn't give me much information about this.  Does this mean that I will have it for life? What treatments are there or this? I have been crying and so depressed for days.  Im starting to feel like dating or relationships with never happen again.  I mean how do you tell someone this and not expect them to go running far far away.  I have only had sex with 4 people in my life and 1 in the last 2 years.  Its so hard and difficult to handle this.  Any information on this would be helpful
Avatar universal
Hi.  I am a female who was recently diagnosed with genital warts.  I just had to go to a 2nd treatment due to their return.  I feel the same horrible feelings and fear the rejection.  In fact, it has already happened.  I have a man friend that unfortunately due to a long distance have not been totally committed for several years, but we always knew one day we'd end up in the same city even if one of us had to quit our jobs.  Well, after telling him this situation he says he'll be "there for me" but now it looks as though there is no future.  On top of this I've been extremely depressed/crying for weeks now over this whole situation.  It was made especially worse since I know who I got it from due to lack of partners and the fact that it appeared in a place where this jerk who I had once called my friend for about 10 years, had forced himself without my permission and without the condom.  Granted I pushed him off after his first attempt, but that's all it took.  I received an unwarranted advance and a terrible disease that has destroyed my self-esteem and eroded my happiness.  This whole situation is awful and if anyone knows where to seek some advice/counseling it would be greatly appreciated.  I just don't see myself ever being married one day or ever having children for fear of them appearing and passing it on.  I've read really scaries stories on the danger to newborns.  
im so scared and i don't think ill ever have children or get married & i think my life has a purpose anymore its eating me alive as a young person school or anything to do with life doesn't matter any more & ill proberly loose my boyfriend cause i haven't told him about it as yet so yeah i have no future no life nothing but genital warts which has taken over me yup i have been crying & been depressed for the entire year i dont even know how to smile again
Avatar universal
Hello all! I was doing some research and came across this forum. I too had the unfortunate experience of contracting HPV. I found out about 8 years ago while in a committed relationship during college. I will never truly know if he gave it to me, but common sense says "yes".  When I first found out I was devastated! After the relationship ended, I was single for about 6 mo's. When I became involved with a new guy, I was faced with the dreadful challenge of telling him before we took things to the next physical level. I won't lie - IT WAS HARD! We sat there and I told him as I became somewhat emotional. He listened and responded by telling me that he respected me even more. We had been together a month at that point and we continued a relationship for 6 1/2 years! We even produced a beautiful daughter :)  We were careful at first, but of course we are human and that got tossed out the window. This past January we decided to go our own ways and now I am at square one all over again. Although I had a positive experience w/my past relationship, I am not looking forward to 'disclosing' again - or dealing with the "what are they going to think" dilemma. I have been talking to a new guy for the past month. We met over the computer and are meeting in person this week. Naturally, our conversations tend to lead to sex and are filled with flirtation and anticipation. So - here comes the big moment! I could just ignore it and if the mood is right, go forth and indulge. However, the harsh reality is that I have HPV and I don't want to be "that one" who kept it a secret. A long time ago, shortly after I found out, I realized that this virus - although a huge hinderance - could also be a blessing in disguise. It woke me up and made me pay more attention to my sexual health, but it also put something else into perspective - it would be a true test as to who would be with me FOR ME (as a person)...who truly cared and liked/loved me, flaws and all.

It's not an easy thing to deal with, but it's life. Most of my friends have all dealt with an STD at some point in their lives, but some of us are lucky enough to catch the one that won't go away! Life happens - and sometimes it hands you lemons. Control it and don't let it control you! You can still live a happy life...have children...love and be loved! And remember...it could always be worse.

Keep on keepin' on!

Hello I am a young male of 24 years old. You have giving me life.
I was diagnostic today with HPV. I know is going to be a true challenge for me, but I WONT stop living, I care about people and I care about myself. So I`ll continue being happy and doing my very best to acomplish my goals in life.
I just want you to know that your words ment so much to me right now. You gave me the most impportant thing in life, you gave me HOPE.
Avatar universal
I guess we just got to go out there and not be worry warts.  I mean what is it 2 or 3 out of 5 people have this ****.  I'v had sex with many many women and none have ever formed any warts and all the girls I have ever dated for a long time have had negative paps.  After noticeing several tiny bumps I went ot the doc and found out i had em.  I must have had them for some time, seems like they've always been there but noone ever noticed!  I guess once the doc gives me the thumbs up, ill be back to well you know...
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Wow its refreshing to be able to chat with other people in the same boat as me.  Sometimes this condition makes me feel so alone, especially with the social stigma attached to it.  Nobody wants to admit that they have the dreaded things.
I've been living with them for about a year now and I feel like i've reached rock bottom.  Sometimes they don't bother me and other times I turn into a depressed wreck.  I only got a couple at first but slowly they begun to get out of control.  I know who gave me them and I have often felt resentful, but I know now that not everyone who carries the virus develops the warts, and he may have had no idea atall (he is a friend and I would have hoped he'd have told me if he knew!) so now I don't get angry about it.
I have tried various treatments such as Warticon and the Cryo (freezing) but each without much success.  I've got to admit I didn't use the treatments thoroughly enough at first, which is maybe why im still suffering?  I'm now in the middle of a treatment called Aldara, which is meant to stimulate the bodies immune system into fighting the virus.  Warticon is the least powerful, which is why I think they give it to new cases.  This may be why people have not experienced much success with it.  Keep badgering your doctor like I did and they might give you something stronger.  I'd love to try the laser treatment or surgery, but I know those methods are only for extreme cases (or the rich kids!)
I actually work in an STI clinic on reception (ironically!), and I can tell you now warts are the least problematic queries I have to deal with.  It is a very tame STI with little to no health complications, compared to a lot of the other infections.  Therefore, consider yourselves lucky indeed.  You wouldn't believe how many people I talk to with them aswell, which is comforting.  3 of my friends I confided in also had dealt with the same burden, so they're unbelievably common.
As for sexual relations, I have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half, and he adores me, warts and all.  He was with me with me when I developed them, and Im lucky that he sees me for the person I am inside.  As for future sexual partners, I am scared of what they may think.  I could just dive in there and hope they don't develop the signs, but I am far too caring and don't think I could do that to someone.  I know from my current boyfriend that if somebody loves you deeply enough, they really will not care.  And if they do, they're not worth bothering with anyway.  A tip though, maybe wait till they've got to know you thoroughly before you let it slip (then they'll be so head over heels they wont care!)
I have read extensively about the condition.  The most important advice I can give you is to keep your immune system healthy.  Aswell as the topical medications and the freezing, make some changes in your lifestyle to help your body stay on top of the virus.  You will never eradicate it, but the warts will disappear if your body has enough control over it.  Good nutrition is essential, if you can't bear to cut out the **** in your diet like me, take vitamins.  Vit C is the best for strengthening your immune system, aswell as A, E and zinc. (go to http://www.moondragon.org/health/disorders/warts.html for the best details on this)  Make sure you're exercising regularly and proportionately chilling out.  Stress is one of the worst compromises to your immunity, so if youre gettin angry all the time consider what its doin for your warts! Me and my boyfriend row a lot, and he has a lot of issues that get on top of me.  That is why I'm considering leaving this relationship, for the state of my health.  I have only just begun making my lifestyle changes, so I will report back with any news soon.
If you're worried they won't go away (like me) just keep in mind some interesting statistics that a fifth of people that develop warts clear them in six months, and two thirds in two years.  They are quite likely to recur, but if you keep your life happy and healthy, your body is more likely to keep them at bay.
I am in the middle of working on some mental exercises to help clear them.  Positive thinking has been known to shrink tumours and cure cancers, so surely a little old wart shouldnt pose too much of a threat? I think this needs regular practise though, something I haven't had the time to put into.  If you want to make a go at this I recommend using your imagination to 'battle' the warts. (I imagine loads of little replicas of myself that represent my immune system, each with different weapons attacking the wart virus which I have personified as a monster! and killing them obviously!) I have no idea if this doing any good but if studies on placebos are correct than this could be definitely worth investigating.
Hope this has been useful for you guys out there.  Stay strong!
Avatar universal
I was supposed to go out tonight, one of my mates sisters was hooking me up with one of her freinds.
I've met her once and  find her attractive and was really looking foward to tonight, getting to know her some more. Yet, at the same time, i was worried like hell, because I've had genital warts for some time and have kept it secret from all my family and freinds.
The warts, one day, i noticed a very small lump, it wasworrying, but i didnt think to much of it, because i handt been that sexually active. Eventually, it turned to three lumps and one was large. It didnt seem to change for ages, now, there are many, the ones that are there are mostly small and dont seem to be increasing in size, but they do seem to be spreading slowly.
I've pretty much been living in denial and been too affraid to face the reality of it all, i guess i've been somewhat living a lie an pretending that the problem is there.
I've avoided going out alot, and avoiding making any attempts at meeting girls and trying to get sex, even purposely blowing chances that occured or making something up.
I know that i really dont want to pass on the infetion to anybody, so i've avoided making attempts at a sex life.
I did try one form of treatment, i forget the product, i got it over the internet, there were lots of posative testimonials, which seemed very promising and had me hopefull. However, i used the product, as instructed(some days i was a little slack) , and got no results what so ever.
I kind of gave up after that.
Its just so dam hard, i ended up decideing to not go out tonight, which is very depressing and now i feel like the time has come to tell my family and freinds but that terrifies me. I fear loosing my freinds and just dont think i'd feel confortable around anymore anymore once they knew, and imagine that they wouldnt want to be around me, out of fear of catching somehow, even though its sexually transmitted..
It is so depressing because, i was shy around girls in highschool and never made the most out of being popular with them, and i only really had a small percentage of life where i was really confudant with the oppisote sex and felt that i was doing well.
I've never experianced a long term/serious relation ship, and never been one to have a regular sex life, i've really just had the odd hook up or one night stand here an there or short relationship. some of which, it was only oral sex or less.
I dont know how i got it, or how long i've had it.
I went through a bad drinking stage and wonder if a night out whilst sh*t faced an waking up not knowing where i was the nexy day(lol sounds like iam a female saying that), if it coulda happned on a night like that?
I was always one to enjoy the mixture of being quite social, yet always liked my video games and stuff, now, because of the warts, and for a few years now, i spend so much time on the internet or talking to girls on-line more than real life, or playing video games an drinking(not as much as i did for a while there), i feel happy at times, becasue i have lots of hobbies and things that i enjoy, yet, feeling that i cant have a sex, like, its not a matter of not getting out or failure, it just dosent seem like a option, an having good freinds and family has helped keep me happy, but the fear of loosing all that.
Life just seems good yet really bad at the same time, and whilst i like time to myself and enjoy hobbies, i feel my social life is suffering and that will only be the case more so as time go's on.
I was never a nerd in school, i like anime an rpgs/video games an stuff, but now, i act like a nerd alot an with the amount of time i spend being anti social, but its like like i dont want to be around girls or cant get them, its that i have been to affaid to face this harsh relaity.
Seems cruel that someone how never had a huge sex life or real relation ship could catch something like this.
I hear some of you talk of a partner how loves you enough to still be with you, i just cant see myslef ever being so lucky.
I've pretty much ressorted to just drinking, playing video games and looking at hentai.
I have a good job, good money, good car, good freinds, but this just out weights all of that and turns me more towards solitude, i feel happy, in my own little world, yet wake up depressed an fear being lonely.
i do get some confort reading words from people that are going through the same thing as me. I wouldnt wish it upon anyone.
But yeah, things could indeed be worse.
207091 tn?1337709493
Hi there -

First,. you need to see a doc to see if what you have is even genital warts.  It might not be.  If it is, they can treat them for you, and make them go away.  You might still be infectious for awhile after, but once you've gone about 2 years with no outbreaks, you aren't infectious anymore.

You might have some normal skin things going on.  You need to find out what these are.  You have shut your life down and you don't even know if you have it.

If you don't want to see your regular doc for this, then try a Planned Parenthood, if you are in the US, or an std clinic.

There's no reason to live like this.

Avatar universal
Yeah, i must admit, i was unsure at first, and stupidly didnt get it checked out and kind of just pretended nothing was wrong.
I dont know why i havent been to a doctor. I guess i have heaverly researched the topic on the internet, and self diagnosed myself..
From what i read at the many many websites, there was treatment, but no cure, and always the possibility of symptoms returning and the virus never go's away. Its confusing, to read that if the symptoms clear up your not contagious, but then you read that your just less likely to pass it on, as with wearing a condom.
Anyway, it sure dosent look like the pics you see on the internet, but i think its clear.
Thanks for the advice, i actaully spoke to my mother about it last night, wich was hard to do, and she said the same things as you.
I will go get checked out. I guess i've become an example of a person that dosent go get checked out straight away, letting the condition get worse an effect my life when by the sounds of it isnt quite as bad as it all seemed.
Avatar universal
i have a question....I don't know if i have genital warts,  I don't have any thing on my penis, but i have what looks to be skin tags on the base, and then red bumps that look like ingrown hairs that you get after done shaving down there.  does anyone know what this could be? any help would be awesome....thanks alot
207091 tn?1337709493
It could be follicultitis, warts - any number of things.  You should just get it checked.

Avatar universal
how can i get it treated?  and will it go away
207091 tn?1337709493
It depends on what it is.  Just go to the doc.  Getting diagnosed won't change that you have something, but you can take steps to get rid of whatever it is.

Avatar universal
well i'm deployed right now, so it's kinda hard to get to the doctor because of my work schedule, is there anything else i could do.
207091 tn?1337709493
I can't tell you what to do because you don't know what it is.  Isn't there a base doctor or something you can see?

Avatar universal
my exgrilfriend had been checked to have the genital warts about a month ago and then she suicided herself in the next morning.
we have just broken up for 3 month and I still love her very much, but I did not expect that she did such thing.
I check to the doc and I was clean then. maybe it is the thought that she got the cruel virus and will never be with me again while she love me too that made her terminate.
She fall down form the top of a fifteen floor building and the only whole part of her body was her face.
I have cried for a couple of weeks and I was desperate. now i'm partially back from the feeling.

what i want to say is to be brave, and it's hard and sad to go on, even feel like in hell, but just hang on, just be alive.
207091 tn?1337709493
Oh I am so sorry she did that, especially after getting diagnosed with something so common.

I wish you the best.

Avatar universal
about two months ago, i felt a few rough bumps near the vaginal opening on my left side. I FREAKED. A few after that, i got them looked at and i was told it was normal. But...a week before the visit, i noticed a line of pimple like bumps on the right side. Between the labia majora (I believe is the term) and the fleshier lip. I don't think the nurse at the STD clinic looked at them properly. She said it was normal, but, again, I don't think she looked at them. They're in a pretty straight line, some with a white head and then at the base are three slightly bigger and flatter and whiter marks. I now think I have genital warts. I tried self-diagnosing and for a long time deluded myself into thinking that it was molluscum (as I have on my forehead and back) or some sort of cysts. But, now, after obsessively looking at them, I have lost hope that they're anything else. I know they're more of a superficial virus and all but, i'm in the worst depression over it. I have good days and bad days and I'm wondering what i'm going to do with my love life. I am 20 years and I've only had sex ONCE. I was this guys second partner. Unfortunately,his first, is promiscuous who slept around....a lot. I'm so upset at the situation.
207091 tn?1337709493
Hi there -

If you think you didn't get checked properly, go back.  You have to be your own health advocate.

That said, there are things called fordyce spots (or sebaceous glands).  Google those and see what you think.

Avatar universal
Like most I noticed a few bumps on my penis.  I basically self diagnosed it as genital warts from research i've done online.  This was about a year ago.  I never went to the doctor because of the embarrasment factor.  Well today I went and he looked at me in astonishment and said I would have to be referred to a dermatologist and would probably have to have them "lasered" off.  I haven't heard of this treatment and I was wondering if anyone else has and if i can get any info on it.

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