[Question #2563] Hpv and thyroid

44 months ago
Hello doctors.,
I posted a question last month and since then my world has been rocked.  I thought I had been clear of warts and the hpv was eradicated by my immune system after 4 years but I was wrong. I went to my Dermatoligist recently and after examining me he found numerous tiny flat skin color / white warts that I was unable to see myself for the most part. He froze the area.  I go back in a month for follow up praying he got them all and they are all gone. But of course every time I look down there I think I see more and more. 
My question is do you know if the thyroid or thyroid medications affects Hpv in a way where it could cause the warts to appear after many years? Or maybe the warts have been there all along and I didn't notice. I did not go every year to the dermatologist. This was the first time in 4 years. 
My thyroid was removed in 2012 due to cancer. I've been on synthroid since. My levels always change depending on my body and weight fluctuation. I recently lost 30 pounds, eating better and exercise. Im Pretty sure my dose is off causing me to be super hyperthyroidism at the moment. Knowing the thyroid controls the immune system do you think this is the reason my warts appeared in full force after 4 years? 
To add to my major anxiety I had unprotected sex with a woman last month. I'm very worried I infected her not knowing I had warts at the time.  Thinking it was gone and taking the medical advice not to tell, I did not. But now I'm guessing I HAVE to. I'm very nervous and scared to tell her. 
Thanks. 
44 months ago
Typo. My thyroid was removed in 2002. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
Welcome back to the forum.  I think that I have reviewed your earlier interaction with dr. Handsfield although while the post that I found used the same screen name was different.  In it Dr. Handsfield informed the poster that they had been mislead by their doctor and suggested that they were over reacting to their diagnosis of HPV- was this you?.

Irrespective, your post today suggests that you are over reacting to your recent diagnosis of HPV.  Virtually all sexually active Americans acquire HPV at some time in their lives (even those who are monogamous!)  and from a medical perspective for all but a fraction (a small fraction of 1%) of those who infected the disease is nothing more than a nuisance- sometimes cosmetically, sometimes otherwise.  Further, if the idea that HPV is an STI upsets you, you need to get over that idea.  As noted above, virtually all sexually active persons get this chronic viral infection so, unless you are feeling guilty because you have had sex with more than a single partner in your life, for practical purposes, this is just part of being a sexually active person.  It is for these reasons that we continue to urge our clients not to get overwrought by the possibility of an HPV infection and to not feel a need to disclose of their infections to sexual partners who, like so many, are likely to over react and be mis-informed about their infection.  You do not need to tell her about your recent diagnosis.  Odds are she already has HPV and even if she has not, exposure does not always lead to infection.

Having perhaps said more to you than you asked, let's now address your main question.  You are correct that the immune system does affect the course of HPV infections and that some thyroid disease (but not thyroid cancer) can be due to increased immunological reactivity  Conversely, persons with diminished immune capacity may find their HPV infections to be more aggressive or difficult to treat than persons whose immune function is normal.  There is NO data however to suggest that there is a link between hyperthyroidism, whether due to medications or other causes, and HPV.  I would not worry that thyroid unbalance is related to your recent diagnosis of warts. 

I hope these comments are helpful to you.  If any part of this message is unclear or off target, please feel free to let me know.  EWH
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44 months ago
Thank you for the quick reply. Dr. Hook you answered my first question #2435 last month.  So if I'm reading your reply correctly your saying I do not need to tell her of my recent warts? If I did infect her and she does get warts they should show on her in the next two months since we had sex a month ago. If I don't tell her then I have to wait months or more until they clear to have sex again correct? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
44 months ago
Thanks for pointing me to the correct thread.  Sorry if I was mis-directed and I am not sure why my search function failed to find our earlier exchange. 

You are correct.  Absolutely no need to tell your partner about this diagnosis and yes, while there are a few exceptions, if you acquired warts from you, nearly all would how up within three months of the exposure.  Further, no need to delay continued unprotected intercourse related to this recent diagnosis. 

Again, sorry for the confusion.  EWH
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43 months ago
Thank you Dr. But I think I'm going to have to tell her she was exposed so she can monitor herself and get treatment right away if necessary. Having said that my warts were frozen two days ago. How long should I wait to have sex again? And besides me not having a thyroid and taking synthroid meds my immune system is pretty good in my opinion. I just about never get sick. At 49 years old now Do you think the hpv will ever go away? Or am I going be dealing with this the rest of my life? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
You need to make the decision about notification.  It is always the best course, particularly if your partner is able to not over react.  I should point out however that if she follows the routine recommendations for sexual health (Gyn) check-ups she will periodically be evaluated for HPV.  Further, if you had sex with her just a month ago, IF she was infected (most single exposures do not lead to transmission) the infections may not yet be apparent (HPV infections take, on average, about  3 months to be apparent) and if an infection is detected at this time, it is more likely than not that you did not give it to her.

Most HPV infections do go away over time.

Since we do not feel that disclosure (or treatment) is needed for most HPV infections, we also do not feel the need to suggest abstinence.  Future sexual partners, if they have EVER had sex, are more likely than not to already have HPV.   You can reduce your risk for transmission by using a condom.  If your warts are treated, go away, and do not return for three months after resolution, you can consider yourself no longer infectious. 

I hope my comments have been helpful.  As you probably know, now that I have provided three responses to your questions, as per Forum guidelines, this thread will be closed in a few hours and there will be no further replies to comments.  Take care. EWH
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