[Question #6842] Concerned about HPV Transmission

12 months ago
Hi,
Im pregnant and during this pregnancy I had genital warts pop up.  Not concerned about that because I knew it could happen since Ive had warts before.  My concern is that I have a young toddler and Im constantly worried I can expose my child to the warts not knowingly.  I had a few instances that worry me and Im hoping you can clarify if I possibly exposed my toddler to genital warts.
1) We took a bath together and she sat on my lap and I believe her butt touched my groin area.  I moved her off and I noticed I had two small bumps on my groin area which I found out were warts and I had them frozen off by my dr after.  
2) Once the dr froze the warts off a few days later I went to the restroom and noticed the skin was peeling off and I touched it.  Afterwards I went to change my childs diaper and as I changed her I touched her.  I believe I washed my hands before I changed her but my minds was starting to play tricks with me. 
3) Last one since my warts have been frozen off and I have no signs of visable warts.  My child and I were getting ready to take a bath since it's easier that way for me since Im pregnant.  We both stood naked and I was getting everything ready. She took her finger and pointed and touched my private area and then with the same finger touched her private area to kinda tell me I have the same thing as mommy. 
Is it at any way possible she was exposed to hpv in any of these instances?

When I read the internet I get so much information that Ive lost my mind.  They say you can spread genital warts from skin to skin comtact or hand to genital.  
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
12 months ago
Welcome to our forum. Thanks for your question. Certainly warts do you have a tendency to recur or grow during pregnancy. I’m pleased to hear that your current recurrence is not upsetting. Likewise I’m delighted to hear your caution about what can be found on the Internet. While the Internet remains  a great means of communication, it is a poor source of medical information because so much of what is said there is misleading or completely wrong. 

With regard to transmission of HPV and genital warts, there remain a number of questions. This is in part because HPV is so very common ( making it hard to know where an infection came from) and because it may take several months for a newly acquired infection to appear.  In general, genital HPV infections are transmitted primarily through direct sexual contact in which the combination of the presence of an infection and friction occurring during the sexual encounter promote transmission.  Transmission through hand to genital transfer of the virus, or through contact in a bathtub while perhaps theoretically possible is very very uncommon.   Having said that out of an abundance of caution, hand washing after touching your warts is to be encouraged.  Thus, in response to your specific questions:

1.  This solitary encounter is very low risk.  Certainly now, following successful removal there should be nothing to worry about going forward.

2.  Again, the freezing process should have destroyed the warts and this, combined with the fact that transmission of the virus from one person to another on someone’s hands is exceedingly rare suggest that this is not something to worry about.

3.  Also very unlikely to result in transmission 

I hope this information is helpful to you. Unfortunately with this exceedingly common virus there are no absolutes. That said the instances that you describe are not something that I would be particularly worried about. EWH
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12 months ago
Thank you Dr.  So that Im clear for this virus to spread there would need to be visible warts along with friction for a prolonged amount of time for it to spread correct?  that is why it's mostly spread during sexual activity. 

When the warts have been frozen off Im no longer contagious?  
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
12 months ago

Correct.

I do not know of specific research regarding when a frozen wart is non-infectious however my assumption if that the freeze-thaw cycle, particularly when repeated seral times, breaks apart the virus and renders it non-infectious.  EWH

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12 months ago
Once the warts are gone I can't spread the virus?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
12 months ago
Correct.  EWH
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