can the body cure genital warts on its own?

by Rachel on May 6, 2011

i understand genital warts are caused by certain strands of the human papilloma virus. in all my health classes and schooling, i remember that viruses are incurable. but, like the common cold virus, your body can become immune to a given strand of HPV. yes, i understand there are treatment methods, burn/freeze/meds/etc, but if one were to choose to wait to let the body fight the warts off and become immune to the given strand of virus, does that mean that you’re cured? with the exception of contracting the virus again, you’re healed? can no longer pass them on by skin to skin, and they won’t come back later, like a herpes outbreak? waiting to hear back on tests, i just want peace of mind that there’s hope for something like this. i’m young.. i can’t stand the thought of the rest of my life, my entire sexual future, being spent worrying over passing it on to partners..
okay, so i must go get treatment. and will. but once that is done, am i cured? or just temporarily free of warts, until they flare up again? yeah, i could always contract another strand of the virus, but let’s pretend i never get infected ever again, and have gotten treatment for my current batch of warts. then, am i healed? safe? uncontageous? cured?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen May 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

You need to let a doctor make that decision, since untreated HPV can lead to cancer.

Lovebug May 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

No anyone who gets genital warts should go for treatment, they will not disappear of their own accord and are very contagious during sex. The best way to protect yourself is to use a condom. Genital warts are part of the herpes virus which is classed as an sti. Like all other stds/sti’s, it cannot cure itself without treatment.

tarnishedsilverheart May 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm

.It doesn’t matter if you choose to treat external warts or not the outcome of your body building its defense is the same. Your body most often will ‘cure’ the external lesions of a wart…but the virus most probably will still be in the skin tissue cells. The virus enters your own DNA cells and can stay there and do nothing or the cells containing the cells can replicate years later. Most people with the virus will build a defense against the HPV type or types you acquire. Building this immunity doesn’t mean that you will never share your infection or that you will ever have a re-occurrence of an HPV type acquire years earlier. Once you acquire an HPV type you can’t get that HPV type again…but you can acquire new HPV types. They are about 40 genital HPV types.

Over time we are probably less contagious…but we can never guarantee that we will never share our HPV type or types with a new sex partner. A new sex partner may have already build an immunity to the HPV type or types you have acquired….most of never know what specific HPV type or types we carry.

A open honest discussion of your past history of HPV should be discuss before you engage in sex with a new sex partner. You may or you may not share an infection you acquired years before. It is known that the virus can stay in a latent state for years and then re-active years later.

A person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sexual contact with an infected person. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus on to a sex partner. It is also possible to get more than one type of HPV.
There is no treatment for HPV (a virus), but there are treatments for the conditions it can cause, including genital warts.

It is common for genital warts to recur (come back after treatment), especially in the first three months after treatment.
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Treating genital warts will not necessarily lower your risk of passing HPV to a sex partner. You can still pass the virus on to sex partners, even after the warts are treated. It is not known how long a person remains contagious after warts are treated.
http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/common-clinicians/InsertGW.pdf
Most sexually active people get genital HPV. You’re more likely to get genital HPV if you have: sex at an early age, multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has had multiple partners.
Anyone who has ever had genital contact with another person can have genital HPV. Both men and women can get it – and pass it on – without even realizing it. Since the virus can be “silent” for a long time, a person can have genital HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sex.

Many treatment options are available for genital warts. But even after the warts are treated, the virus (genital HPV) may remain and be transmitted. For this reason, it is not clear if treating genital warts lowers a person’s chance of giving genital HPV to a sex partner or not. If left untreated, genital warts may go away, remain unchanged, or increase in size or number
http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/common-downloads.htm
The inability to be 100% sure that an individual with a history of an HPV infection is no longer contagious should encourage honesty whenever a new relationship begins. This should be balanced with the fact that most people are exposed to this virus during their life, and that, for most, this virus does not usually cause great harm.
http://www.asccp.org/hpv_history.shtml

The primary goal of treating visible genital warts is the removal of the warts. In the majority of patients, treatment can induce wart-free periods. If left untreated, visible genital warts might resolve on their own, remain unchanged, or increase in size or number. Treatment possibly reduces, but does not eliminate, HPV infection. Existing data indicate that currently available therapies for genital warts might reduce, but probably do not eradicate, HPV infectivity. Whether the reduction in HPV viral DNA, resulting from treatment, impacts future transmission remains unclear
http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2006/genital-warts.htm

swirll May 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm

No. You can not be cured from warts. You can get them freeze off or cut off but that does not cure you. Also you will still carry the ability to give them to your partner.

zhoulin May 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I just want to tell the people that you are not alone even when you have an STD! There are so many people who have the same situation as you.

Also, there are many online communities for you to find support and dating! I recommend you to read the STD inspirational stories on the largest STD support and dating site STDslove. com. Hope that you find the stories helpful and informative

Margaret Brown May 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm

That is a good question. We are told that hpv is self limiting, which means that eventually the virus will leave your system.
The warts are a symptom of the infection, and if left untreated should disappear eventually. This may take years though!
If you can’t bear to seek help, treating yourself at home is an option. It is a really good idea to be examined by a healthcare professional, to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other problems.
I hope this is useful, Peg

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