The human papillomavirus is a set of viruses that infect the mucous membranes and the dermis through the contact of the skin of a healthy person with the skin of another infected. There are more than 100 types of HPV, and at least 30 are associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer. In contrast, the others are considered more harmless and are those that usually manifest through small cauliflower-shaped warts.
Once a person is infected with HPV, there is no treatment to eradicate the virus from the body. On the contrary, the virus lodges in the lymph nodes and can appear at any time. On the other hand, whether found on the anus or the genitals, Warts are treatable and sometimes disappear independently. The lesions are highly contagious and can appear in both men and women.
Before a diagnosis of HPV, many doubts arise about future sexual relations and the care that should be taken during them. For this reason, in this FastlyHealarticle, we answer a persistent question in people who have been diagnosed with this virus: Can I have sex if I have HPV?
Can I have sex if I have HPV?
Anyone diagnosed with HPV can continue to have sexual intercourse. The virus does not prevent sexual intercourse or cause symptoms that affect libido or the function of the penis and vagina. However, now that you know that you are infected with any of these viruses, it is vital that you take into account some considerations when having sex, for example, that this virus is highly contagious between couples, so if you are infected, it is very likely that your partner is too.
Also, when two people share the same type of HPV, it is implausible that they will both be repeatedly reinfected with the same strain. However, if, after diagnosis, the person finds a new partner, the risk of infection is high for them, especially during an outbreak of genital warts. In these cases, it is best to talk to the person and tell them that you have an HPV infection to be aware of the risk this poses to their health since the condom can help prevent contagion. Still, for the simple fact Since the virus can be passed from skin to skin, condoms are not considered 100% effective in preventing transmission.
Recent HPV infection with a stable partner is not always a sign that they have been unfaithful. It is essential to communicate that these viruses have silent periods that cannot be detected. Therefore, the contagion may have occurred years ago, and only now has it awakened. For this reason, it is challenging to determine when the infection occurred and who was the person who passed the virus.
When two people infected with different strains of HPV decide to become a couple, it is imperative to use condoms and avoid sexual contact during the presence of genital warts. Only when neither of the two people has HPV lesions is it possible to have regular sexual intercourse again and even practice oral sex. It has not been proven that HPV infection causes oral warts.
There are cases in which a person is infected, and their body silently eliminates the virus without experiencing symptoms or warts. Therefore the person never found out that they were infected with HPV. Although the virus is no longer in the body, it does not mean that the person is immune to contagion with another strain. The risk remains the same each time it comes into contact with an infected person’s skin and mucous membranes.
Other common questions about sexual intercourse and HPV
How common is genital HPV?
Many people who have just been diagnosed feel ashamed and fear being rejected by their partners or new partners for being carriers of the virus. However, it is essential to mention that, due to its easy contagion, HPV is present in 80% of the world’s women and 50% of men. Therefore, if you belong to the group without HPV, it is vital that you become aware of the infectious power of these viruses and that you use condoms as a moderately effective method to avoid contagion.
Can you have HPV and genital herpes?
This is a general question. It turns out that HPV is sometimes confused with genital herpes because both diseases present ulcerations on the genitals. Still, unlike HPV, herpes causes burning, malaise, pain, suppuration of the sores, and even fever, while HPV is practically asymptomatic. The truth is that both sexually transmitted diseases can coexist together in the body; even HPV can live with any STD, as it is an incurable virus.
Do condoms protect against HPV?
Yes and no. Condoms help reduce the risk of infection, primarily through penetration, but they do not eliminate the trouble since they do not cover the entire genital area completely. HPV is a virus that is easily spread by skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, all areas not covered by the condom are exposed to the virus and represent a significant risk since the anus, scrotum, vulva, and entire genital region can transmit the virus. A person without vaccines and symptoms can quickly transfer the virus. The only way to prevent contagion is to avoid physical contact with an infected person. HPV vaccines are recommended for young men and women under the age of 30, but they only prevent the transmission of 40 serotypes.
Can you get HPV from oral sex?
The transmission of this virus by oral sex is still being investigated because, although the presence of oral warts has not been proven, some studies have found that 35% of mouth and throat cancer cases are associated with high-risk HPV serotypes. However, considering the frequency with which couples practice oral sex if HPV were transmitted through these routes, the incidence of throat cancer should be as significant as that of the cervix.
Do men get HPV like women?
It is known that the female sex represents a higher percentage of people infected with HPV in the world than the male sex. However, this does not mean that men are less likely to be infected or that transmission is different. The infection process and the risk of HPV infection are precisely the same for men and women. The only difference that should be noted is that many men do not have warts outside the penis but inside the urethra. Also, there is currently no FDA-approved test to diagnose HPV in men. Every woman and man, heterosexual or homosexual, runs the same risk of infection when having sex with an infected person.
Tips for living with HPV
Assuming this diagnosis is not easy, at first, it is normal for the person to feel fear, uncertainty, sadness, shame, and even a deep love disappointment. However, like all infected people, he will understand more about the disease, become familiar with the treatment, and learn how to live with HPV. As we know that it is not easy to receive this type of news, here we offer you some handy tips to cope with the contagion:
- Treat genital warts: These lesions are usually highly contagious, and just as they sometimes disappear on their own, they can increase and become very large. Ideally, it would help if you treated them to avoid outbreaks as they can quickly spread to a healthy person. In this article on genital warts: contagion, symptoms, and treatment, you will find some best ways to treat them.
- Strengthen your immune system: lead a healthy life and diet to keep your defenses high and help your body fight the virus. Although there is no cure for HPV, there are many cases of infected and asymptomatic people who, after two years, did not have the virus in their bodies.
- Be aware: during sex, always use condoms to reduce the risk of infecting your partners.
- Talk to your partner: discuss the diagnosis of HPV with your partner so that together they are aware of the situation they are going through. If they do not know if they are infected, it is essential to visit the doctor before a new sexual encounter since if they do not have HPV, they will have to take measures to avoid contagion.
- Go to a doctor: do not skip the medical check-ups. It is essential to keep track of this virus and its effects on the body to avoid significant complications.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.