[Question #2969] HPV Recurrence After Long Time Symptom-Free

39 months ago

Hello doctors,

 

I am a 34 year-old male, and I first had genital warts from HPV biopsied in March 2015.  After that, I've had monthly check-ups with my doctor, during which he applied a preventative acid.  I also had recurrences biopsied or frozen off in June '15, August '15, November '15, June '16, and October '16.   I also started taking a pill I found online called Clearnatural to help with the issue at the end of 2016.

 

After nearly a year of no signs of warts, my doctor and I were very confident the problem was behind me.  However, two very small, flush warts, around the size of a pencil tip, appeared in September, '17.  My Dr. said they were so small that it was tough to tell for sure, but given my history, it's likely these were HPV, so he removed them.  Unfortunately, two similarly tiny warts emerged again in October. 

 

Further on my situation, I'm engaged to be married this May.  My fiancée had the vaccine when she was in high school (she's now 28).   She was a virgin prior to dating me.  We actually only began having intercourse in the last few months and have always used protection.  However, we've had oral sex since we began dating in March, 2016.  She's had no effects of HPV, or pap issues.  She is aware of my history with this issue, and has been incredibly understanding and supportive.  Even though I've had recurrences, I've been 100% monogamous during our relationship.

 

Given that the frequency of the outbreaks has significantly stalled, should I be hopeful the end of this ordeal is near?  Or does this seem to be a more long-term problem?  During the nearly year I was symptom-free, my Dr. assured me I had nothing to worry about.  Now with the recurrence, I'm concerned for my fiancée.  Once we're married, I don't want to have any restrictions.  But I would be shattered if I brought this upon her.  Please let me know your thoughts.

 

Best regards,

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
39 months ago
 Welcome to our forum. I'll be glad to comment.   Before I elaborate let me say that in general I agree with your doctor but this is not something that you should worry about.   Much of the reason that I say this is the because HPV infections are a nuisance for most people with no long-term major consequence. In a tiny proportion of infected patients (and conservatively, over 80% of sexually active adults do have HPV) HPV infections can go on to cause serious complications however those complications are easily avoided through regular healthcare and vaccination. 

 If you did not have additional exposures, it would be unusual to have as many HPV recurrences as you report.   Nonetheless that should not impact your wife's vulnerability to infection as she has received the HPV vaccine  This will provide excellent protection from infection should you have further recurrences.

 While it is not possible to predict the future, I would urge you to move forward in your relationship without concerns or restrictions.   I hope these comments are helpful to you and your fiancé.   EWH
---
39 months ago
Hi Dr. Hook. 

I sincerely appreciate your thoughtful advice on my situation.  At this point, do you believe I should pursue the preventative methods such as Clearnatural or acid treatment?  

Many thanks,
Chris
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
39 months ago
At this time I would recommend against use of either the acid or Clearnatural treatment.  There is no proven benefit to this sort of preventative treatment.  My suggestion would be to stop.  Hopefully these difficulties will be behind you.  Should you experience a possible recurrence, I would want you to prove that it was HPV before embarking in retreatment.  EWH---
39 months ago
Thanks very much, Dr. Hook.  Your advice has been very reassuring.

All the best,
Chris