[Question #5874] Hpv and oral sex

22 months ago
  My wife and I are both HPV positive.  She has had one outbreak that required vaginal surgery and I have had several over 5 years requiring freezing of warts.  Can we still engage in oral sex without the use of a condom since we are both positive, providing we are not experiencing an outbreak?  Her gynecologist has convinced her that engaging in oral sex will result in a throat full of warts.  Other doctors have advised since we are both positive it isn't a concern as long as there are no active warts.  

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
22 months ago
Welcome to our Forum and thanks for your question.  I think your wife's gynecologist is misinformed.  Visible genital warts of the throat and mouth are extraordinarily rare.  While HPV can infect the oral cavity it is substantially less common than genital infection and they type of HPV found in the oral cavity is typically HPV 16 which is not the type of HPV which causes visible warts.  

It is certainly reasonable to presume that if you are in a monogamous relationship and you and your wife both have warts, that you have "shared" your viruses long ago and there is no reason to constrain your sexual activity of any sort because of the presence of warts.  If the infections that you are aware of are primarily visible genital warts, in most cases the issues related to this infection is primarily cosmetic.  While visible warts may be challenging to get rid of, they do not progress to precancerous lesions.  

It sounds like you have dealt with your warts appropriately.  I would expect that if you currently have warts, having them taken care of (freezing them with liquid nitrogen is good therapy) is a good approach.  Same for your wife.  Your dentist would notice if there were any abnormal growths at routine check-ups although I again emphasize, this is exceedingly rare.

I hope that this information is helpful.  EWH