[Question #3536] HPV Odds

36 months ago
Hi there,
I wanted to ask a question based to my specific situation.

Basically me and my wife had never been with anyone else.
In august 2015 i made a mistake on two occasions with workers. Both times completely protected intercourse from start to finish a mistake i will never make again.

In december 2015 my wife fell pregnant. And had a normal papsmear in january 2015. Fastfoward to now 2018. Were living a happy life with our 19month old daughter and My wife is due for another papsmear however in australia they have now changed cervical screening to  test for  HPV instead of abnormal cells  as you probably know.

My questions:
1. Chances i contracted HPV 2.4years ago through protected intercourse

2. Chances i gave it my wife when i got her pregnant?

3. If i did give it to my wife do you think she would have cleared it by now?
Or is it quite possible she still has it?

36 months ago
She had a normal pap in january 2016* correction
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
36 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll try to help but the questions you ask do not have good answers.  There are no sound scientific estimates of the per exposure risk for acquiring HPV from a single exposure to an infected partner.  We do know that most single exposures do not lead to infection and that condoms reduce the risk for infection substantially but not completely.  Further, as you point out, we do know that most HPV infections clear rather quickly over a period of months following acquisition.  Putting this all together, I would presume that the risk that you were infected, passed the infection on to your wife and that she is still infected is small but I cannot provide more precision than that.  Further, before you get too far down this path, let me also point out that you cannot change what is done and that there are plenty of instances when persons have been found to have HPV without a history of clear sexual exposures (they are certainly in the minority but they do occur from time to time. 

With that preamble, my responses to your specific questions are:
1. Chances i contracted HPV 2.4years ago through protected intercourse
Low.  How low is hard to say, my guess is that with just two exposures and condom use, probably substantially less than 10%

2. Chances i gave it my wife when i got her pregnant?
Lower still.

3. If i did give it to my wife do you think she would have cleared it by now?
Or is it quite possible she still has it?
Most HPV infections do clear over a period of months so, if you were unlucky and your wife got infected, she would have most likely have cleared it by now.

Sorry I can't be more precise.  The odds are in your favor that you will not find that your dalliance led to infection of your wife.  As I pointed out above however, this is neither something that is likely or something that you can change at his time.  I would not be worried.  EWH
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36 months ago
Thankyou for your informative response,
I was worried when you said your answers do not have good answers and then read on and they were good answers. 

I suppose i knew the odds were in my favor but i wanted to hear it from a professional.
Due to excessive worrying and heartache these past 2.4-2.7years, pain you could not possibly imagine and OCD. Which does not seem to go away,
I love my wife and my daughter more than anything on this earth and i am filled with regret which will haunt me for the rest of my life.
A mistake i most certainly will never make EVER again.

Most organisations mention HPV usually clears within 24months, i was wondering if 24 months is just a clinical guideline for the community.
How long do majority of HPV infections actually take to clear? 
Through research i have seen on forums and particular websites 6 to 8 months suggested and positive cervical screening test guidelines asks women to return in 12 months for rescreening(in Australia if negative you return in 5 years due to the changes in cervical screening implemented from december 1 2017"HPV test")
One would be lead to believe the clearence rates are much better than 24 months based on that alone.
I suppose an individuals immune response plays a big part in this. 

What is your professional opinion?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
36 months ago
Your OCD appears to be "winning" here.  You have learned that there is no realistic chance that you are infected and now you are asking "what if" questions.  It's like planning how to spend the winnings of a lottery after buying a single ticket. 

Estimated of clearance vary depending on the level of confidence of the source  Likewise clearance rates vary according to age and even the type of HPV present.  Clearance is a cumulative process, the longer you wait, the more clearance has occurred.  The majority of infections clear in the 6 month range.  Clearance is influenced by the immune status of the individual and persons with diminished immunity may have a longer period to clearance..

I urge you not to pursue further questions of this nature. it only feeds your OCD and using the internet to investigate will make this still worse.  EWH
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