[Question #6907] Sex Life after a year since HPV diagnosis

11 months ago
Hello. 

So, on February 2019 I found a wart in my pubic hair area, I had no idea what it was so I just assumed it would go away on its own. At some point that wart became two warts (can't remember exactly when), and finally on May I decided to see a doctor. He told me they were GW caused by HPV. He surgically removed them and that was that. He told me to go back in 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year to look for possible new warts. 6 weeks: No new warts. 6 months: Missed my appointment (pretty sure I didn't have any warts, unless they were extremely small and couldn't detect with my eyes). Yesterday I went for my one year appointment and he told me I'm wart free and basically told me to get on with my life and that there is a big chance that I cleared the virus by now. Does this mean I can have a normal sex life now?

Notes:

-24 y/o male
-Pretty active / athletic
-Never really get sick
-Smoker (occasional drinker)
-Abstained from sex during this whole year
-All other STD's Negative.



Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
11 months ago
Welcome to our forum and thanks for your question. More than a year after successful treatment of your genital warts, it is unlikely that they will recur.  With HPV there are no absolutes however, the longer a person goes without a recurrence the less likely it is that the lesions will be back. At this point, my advice to you Is to move forward without concern.

Only partially related to your questions I have several additional comments:
1.  HPV infections are just not that big a deal. Almost all sexually active person’s will have the infection and, when they get it, it rarely leads to complications or problems. In most persons with HPV the infection will resolve without therapy over a period of 1 to 2 years.
2. Secondly, at age 24 you are at an age in which the HPV vaccine is recommended. This vaccine is safe, and highly effective for preventing HPV due to the types of virus contained in this vaccine over 97% of the time.

, To further inform yourself regarding our perspective on HPV, it’s importance, and it’s management I would strongly suggest that you review some of the many other posts on our forum addressing the topic of HPV, HPV resolution, and risk for recurrence. There are hundreds of such posts and I trust that if you read them you will find them informative.

I hope that the information I have provided is helpful. Please don’t worry. EWH
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11 months ago
Thank you for your answer and information. I will definitely get the vaccine before I start dating again.

Speaking of dating... In my particular case, what is your advice on disclosure to partners? I'm really anxious about it.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
11 months ago

Since often one's next sexual encounter cannot be anticipated, the sooner you get the vaccine the better.  It involves three shots over six months, most people are largely protected after the 2nd injection. 

As you'll see in your review of past posts, while disclosure is a often a good idea with a trusting, understanding partner, because things are so often misinterpreted we do not feel strongly that disclosure is required with this infection.  Particularly after successful treatment.  EWH

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11 months ago
To end it:

1.  Is there a possibility i'm still infectious to others? That is what really freaks me out, infecting someone else.

2. I found a place that offers testing for men (swab and urine) but everything I've read says there aren't tests for men, so I doubt their accuracy (they're also pretty expensive). Should I take them before I start dating again or are they good for nothing?

3. It's been a year since the procedure was done and my scars haven't fully healed, but they HAVE gotten better over time and I think they keep getting better. They're not so bad but you can still notice them if you look closely. Do scars ever fully heal, to the point they are almost not detectable? Should I let my body do the work or should I try and do something to speed he process?

Thank you so much before hand. I appreciate your answers. They've been really helpful.

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
11 months ago

1.  Although one can never say never, it is VERY unlikely that you are currently infectious.  Further, unless your partner has had the HPV vaccine, if she is sexually active, she likely already has HPV.  If she has had the vaccine, she should be protected from most HPV infections.

2.  No, we strongly recommend against testing for men. The data are not reliable and are not helpful.

3.  Yes, scars do typically resolve over time.  the process however is prolonged. 

Thanks, I'm glad I could help.  As you note, with this 3rd response the thread is complete and, as per forum guidelines, will be closed shortly without further responses.   Take care.  Please don't worry.  EWH

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