Is HPV permanent? And can you only catch by sex?

by Rachel on April 9, 2011

My doctor just told me that I have HPV (human papilloma virus) I was just wondering if you can ONLY contact it by having sex? And is it one of those that I have to live with forever? If anyone has any input or experience anything will help. My doctor didnt say much and said it was no big deal but i just want to know what Im actually dealing with. Also I do know that it can cervical cancer and my family has a long history of cancer. :(

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

powershaker April 9, 2011 at 5:04 am

Here are a few important things everyone should know about HPV. First, HPV is not necessarily permanent. Usually, if you’re a non-smoker and generally healthy, your body’s immune system can fight the virus off within a period of 1-3 years, making you no longer contagious.

But, that’s if your immune system is strong enough. It can be a very bad thing to have.

***~*** April 9, 2011 at 5:21 am

It is not necessarily permanent, although there is no cure. Sometimes your immune system will rid itself of the virus but there is nothing you can do to get rid of it on your own. It is only transmitted through sex. Make sure you get pap smears every 6 months until you have normal paps to make sure you’re not developing cancer. It is VERY common.

Az R April 9, 2011 at 6:00 am

You can essentially only catch it during sex. It’s possible for warts to be present in other places, and to transmit it to other areas of the skin contacted, but by and large lesions and warts are only around the genitals, and the overwhelming, crushing majority is sexually contracted.

As for wether it’s permanent… well. It can be. There’s dozens and dozens of different strains of HPV, and not a common practice to test for which strain. Many forms of the virus will never cause a full wart, will never cause cervical cancer and can be wiped out by the immune system over the course of several years. Of course there are forms that are definitely permanent – and these are the ones we worry about as they cause the majority of visible warts and cervical cancer and gynecological complications.

It may still be worth it to get the HPV vaccination, but that will depend on your gynecologists opinion, the risk of the strain you have and so on. The important thing is that cervical cancer is very treatable if you catch it early. Your gynecologist may want pap smears done at 12 month intervals, or may prefer six months if you’re carrying a high risk strain.

Yah!! 360 pics work! April 9, 2011 at 6:19 am

It isn’t just from sex. If a woman has one of the strains that causes warts, she can pass it onto her baby when she is pregnant. The HPV strain that causes warts usually manifests itself when there is a high concentration of progesterone in a women. Higher levels of progesterone occurs during pregnancy.
Yes, you will have to live with this forever.
If your doctor has not scheduled you for a colposcopy, then don’t worry. The majority of the population has some strain of HPV which is why they came out with the vaccine to help prevent some of the strains.

matador89 April 9, 2011 at 6:42 am

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are common viruses that can cause warts. There are more than 100 types of HPV. Most are harmless, but about 30 types put you at risk for cancer. These types affect the genitals and you get them through sexual contact with an infected partner. They are classified as either low-risk or high-risk. Low-risk HPV can cause genital warts. High-risk HPV can lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus in women. In men, it can lead to cancers of the anus and penis. Although some people develop genital warts from HPV infection, others have no symptoms. Your health care provider can treat or remove the warts. In women, Pap smears can detect changes in the cervix that might lead to cancer. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading HPV. It is not known how much protection condoms provide against HPV infection, because areas not covered by a condom can be infected by the virus. Although the effect of condoms in preventing HPV infection is unknown, condom use has been associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer, and HPV-associated disease.
A vaccine can protect against several types of HPV, including some that can cause cancer. Of the more than 100 types of HPV, over 30 types can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Although HPVs are usually transmitted sexually, doctors cannot say for certain when infection occurred. Most HPV infections occur without any symptoms and go away without any treatment over the course of a few years. However, HPV infection sometimes persists for many years, with or without causing detectable cell abnormalities.


The information provided here should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

I add a link with details of this subject

Hope this helps
matador 89 April 9, 2011 at 7:23 am

Everything you need to know about HPV in this video:

High Maintence April 9, 2011 at 8:05 am

How is HPV transmitted?

HPV is spread during vaginal or anal sex when the infected skin of one person rubs against the skin of the other person. The risk from oral sex is very low. Casual contact like hugging or kissing does not spread HPV. There is a small chance of transmitting HPV to a baby during pregnancy or childbirth.

What are the symptoms?

Most people who get HPV never know they have it. Most HPV infections cause no symptoms at all. HPV can stay inactive for weeks, months or even years before it might show up on tests or cause symptoms. This makes it hard to know when or from whom a person got the virus. Even when there are no symptoms, it is still possible to spread HPV.

Genital warts usually appear a few weeks up to 3 months after infection. It can sometimes take up to a year for warts to show up. Therefore, the appearance of warts doesn’t always mean recent sex with an infected partner.

What happens if I have HPV?

Over time, a healthy immune system can often clear the virus or at least suppress it. However, some infections cause genital warts or changes in cell growth that can lead to cancer.

Genital Warts

Genital warts may be smooth, flat bumps or small, cauliflower-like growths. Warts usually stay small (less than a quarter inch in size) but can grow larger if not treated. They may be on the vulva, vaginal opening, penis and anus – usually where there’s a lot of rubbing during sex. They are painless but may bleed or itch. Anal warts are most common in men who have sex with men but can also occur in other men and women.

Cervical Cancer

Most infections with high-risk HPV types do not lead to cancer. The immune system can often remove the virus before it causes problems. When it does occur, it usually takes 5 years to 10 years (or even more) for cancer to develop. This is why Pap smears are so important for women. A Pap smear can find these abnormal cell changes so that they can be treated before they lead to cancer.

Warning signs of cervical cancer may include:

abnormal vaginal bleeding
bleeding or pain during sex
increased discharge
lower abdominal pain
Other medical problems can cause these same symptoms, so talk to your health care provider. Getting regular pap smear tests is the best way to find cancer as early as possible.

cafe 1 minh April 9, 2011 at 8:59 am

have you test for cmv, people who have an std 90% of them have CMV, this is a common virus, it transmitte for kissing someone, sharing drink and have sex with someone who had cmv. It didn’t effect a healthy persson, but if you have a multi virus cmv will cause death.

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