Ugh, I Have HPV. What Now?

Updated on December 29, 2011
K.L. asks from Woodland, CA
22 answers

Yesterday, I saw the Dr for a bladder infection. Upon pelvic exam, he noticed a few bumps, which turned out to be HPV genital warts. Gross. I will be having the three bumps lasered off in the next month.

My problem is, I feel so gross for having this virus. I have had a total of four sexual partners, and i keep running through who I could have gotten this from. I have been in a 100% faithful relationship with my husband for 6 years. I could not have gotten it from him, since he has only ever had sex with me. This is the first time in a gyno screening that these HPV symptoms have been announced. How did it take over six years to present itself??

I know it is not an uncommon virus, so some of you ladies MUST have it. My best friend has it, and treats it like its no biggie. So is she being too non-challant about it, or am I over reacting? How did you feel when you got diagnosed? How do you feel about it after letting it sink in?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all your supportive words. I know it is very common, and I was just kind of shocked to have been told I have it. Thanks to everyone who said it is easily cleared.

Cheryl, wow. Very nice of you to assume that either my husband or I have been unfaithful. And also to assume that one day, we will no doubt be divorced and i will have more sexual partners. Rude.

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

There are hundreds of strains of HPV and some are not contracted thru sex. Did you know that a form of it is found in cold sores?
HPV popped up on a pap smear I had while pregnant with my son. I had to go every 6 months for a pap and after he was born it disappeared within the 1st year. I have gone in yearly since and 5 years later gave birth to my daughter and still no signs of it and that was 5 years ago. My son is now 10.
My mom flipped when she found out I had this (i was 19 at the time) and blamed my boyfriend, my sons father and now husband. He got tested and came back negative. This is when I found out it could be passed from mother to child with no forms showing any sign.
Not all forms are cancerous so as long as you do what the doctor says and they keep an eye out for the cancer cells you will be fine.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Do you know which strain you have? There is a sexually transmitted one or the one that approx. 80% of the population has? Find out!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

Well, first of all don't feel gross. You can be virgin and get HPV. Please do some research on HPV. You can get HPV WITHOUT having INTERCOURSE. If there is ANY "fluid" from either of you that gets one of your hands it can be transferred that way.

HPV also has a dormancy period of..... well, forever. So, you could have gotten it when you had oral sex or touching in 10th grade and now that you're 30 (or whatever) it's just rearing it's ugly "head" so to speak.

You COULD have gotten it from your husband if he has ever had access to, ahem, fluids.

Also - there is NO way to test males for HPV. So, they can have an entire battery of tests for STDs and they can have HPV and you will never know until you have a positive screening.

However, you can "clear" the virus. So you could have had all 36 strains of HPV at different times, but happened to have cleared them before you were screened at your annual exam.

THIS is EXACTLY why the vaccine is important (I know, I know... not the focus of this post). But you can be oh so careful and HPV can still get you.

Are you over-reacting? Is your friend non-challant? Who knows. You feel how you feel.

It IS a biggie because certain strains can cause cancer. You know you got AT LEAST one. You don't know if you have contracted others until you would test positive for them.

It's "no biggie" because they estimate 80% of all people who have become experimental have had it. So, it's like trying to run from the wind.

But, please don't feel gross.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I have read that many women have the virus but it can lay dormant for YEARS.... so for some, they may have gotten it when they were for example in their 20s and it doesn't rear its ugly head until later on in life. I have also read that STRESS can bring it on.. That said.. they can treat it and then you may never have a problem with it again. In my case, I had a leep and that eventually did the trick... It took my reading up on it to know that good nutrition and less stress would help keep it at bay.. this was something my doctor NEVER told me.. instead, they want to give young girls the HPV shot which I think is bogus... anyway.. you are overreacting, but then again, you aren't.... it is your body afterall... but do try and read up on it.. as the doctors don't really give patients enough info...

my best to you and yours

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Both of my sisters had this and my mom had cervical caner. All OB health scares me. I have been fine though...thank God.

HPV is VERY common and can be dormant for YEARS. So this is not something you got in the last few weeks. Also traumatic events can bring it a birth.

Both of my sisters had a minor surgery and they are fine now. After the surgery, they went in every 3 months for paps, and then 6 months, and then back to annual.

Please don't feel gross or dirty or that you did anything wrong. It is very easy to get and very easy to take care of.

ETA - I realize where I said Thank God that may come across wrong. I say that because it seems to run in my family - issues in the pelvic region. I feel blessed to have escaped it to this point and just pray it stays history is not on my side here.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Sure. I had an HPV scare myself in my younger years. A HUGE number of people have it - as other posters have said, 80% of all adults! A lot of the time, your body will fight it off on its own, just like a cold or flu virus. Some strains are more problematic, obviously. Luckily for me, after that one abnormal pap, I have never had an abnormal pap again, and it's been more than 15 years now. As others have said, there is nothing to be ashamed of - you wouldn't feel embarrassed to have come down with the flu. It's a virus, almost everyone has it, and it is not always sexually transmitted. Just make sure to go to all your follow-up visits. Everything will be fine!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hmmm, well, I just learned something new. I always thought HPV was only an STD, but my husband (an MD with a Master's degree in microbiology) just told me that ALL of us have HPV on our skin. In fact, any of us could get it at any time if it just migrates down to our genital region.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think the stats are something like 85% of people of a certain age have it. When my test came back positive, I went, oh yeah, I knew it, since I had been pretty sexually active when I was young. It didn't faze me at all.

Don't feel gross. Just get your yearly paps. You will be fine.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I got it. I was not all that excited about it, but since I have been diagnosed with it 9 years ago I have only had issues with it once...9 years ago.
You shouldn't have to keep running through who you got it from since you have only had 4 partners. :) It's bound to have been one of them!
"HPV that affects the genitals is very common. As many as 20 million people are thought to have an active HPV infection at any given time, and as many as 5.5 million new cases of genital HPV infection occur in the United States each year. Most men and women — about 80 percent of sexually active people — are infected with HPV at some point in their lives, but most people never know they have the virus."
Now you know you are not the only one.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Your husband needs to be tested. Even if he is not the one who gave it to you, he may now have it. The warts can be controlled with a daily med, some people will never have another break out with meds. Just talk to your doctor about all your options.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I just took my 11 year old son to the health department for a flu shot. The nurse there suggested the HPV vaccine. It is a series of 3 shots.
You get one, then the next one in 2 weeks and the third 4-6 months after the second shot.
I don't know why anyone would think this is "bogus." Its not like my 11 y.o. is going to turn up autistic after the shots.
Think of all of the lives lost or affected by cancer that may have come from untreated or undiagnosed HPV.
With K. being such a low risk candidate for this virus, I think it speaks even more so to prevention if at all possible.
K., best to you. I have herpes and understand the dirty feeling. KNowledge is power and now you know. You will educate yourself and get past this.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

It can take 15 years before it shows up. Any one of your other sexual partners could have had it if they had another partner. You will just need to get a yearly pap or one every 6 months until you come up without hpv.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I have had HPV. I had an abnormal pap, then a Colposcopy. It was uncomfortable, but showed that I had a very low risk type of HPV. I had paps every 6 months until one came back negative, and they've been negative since. I don't remember feeling gross. I was concerned until I got the test results. Then, over time, I felt taken by the medical communities' insistence on repeated tests that showed only that my body was taking care of this on it's own, as the majority of cases are resolved this way. I am underinsured and this cost me many hundreds of dollars.

My stepdaughter and my sister have had it, along with many colposcopies and cervical biopsies and freezing procedures.

Most women have had a version of HPV at some point.

There is NO test for men for HPV.

HPV can show up MANY years after first exposure.

My 9 year-old daughter is getting the HPV vaccine the day she turns 12 to prevent for her the possibility of cervical cancer, genital warts, infertility, and a whole range of painful treatments. A vaccine for cancer! What a miracle!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i don't know dear...i had it (although no warts) once and i found out a few months later that my (then) bf had cheated on me. i still feel sure that is how i got it. he was my first partner. unless he got it before we were together, i don't know. basically (and this was 10 years ago mind you) the dr. said it could A. get worse (develop into warts and possibly cancer later), B. stay in the same phase, harmless but there, or C. go away. mine went away. this is probably outdated info but that's my experience. good luck. whatever you do make sure you keep getting it checked out!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


I don't think it took 6 years to present itself. Typically, it can take 3 to 6 months for symptoms of HPV to appear. Sometimes it can take years. It also depends on the strain of HPV (there are 30 to 40 strains). Some strains can cause genital warts, some can cause an abnormal pap and some can cause cervical cancer.

Since most warts appear from 3 to 6 months - this tells me one thing - that your husband or you may not be faithful...I don't think you are over reacting. You should NOT feel dirty or gross. This is what sucks about life - you can't be sure...I don't think you'll really know who gave it to you or how you got it. The most important thing is to KNOW you have it. TREAT IT! Talk to your doctor about future sexual relationships - spreading it - recurrence, etc. knowledge is forearmed.

Have a frank discussion with your husband. Get him tested.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I have struggled with an HPV virus call plantars warts, not in the genital area on the feet, HPV viruses are very, very common, don't fret and treat it and move on if you can. Easy to contract easy to give off. Same as what you have. I have been clear of them for 7 years now. I know I can always get them again which is a bummer but I don't worry about it too much.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

hmmmmmmm? are you 100% sure you are your husbands only lover? what about more recently?

Optimistic overview? happy its not something that lasts forever like herpes or god forbid AIDS

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

K., it can take up to 10 years to present. And it is SO great that you are diagnosed. You need to be checked more often than regular women because of the possibility of cervical cancer. I know that blows, but it is so much better that you know this, than to not know.

Ignore people who talk ugly to you about your condition. There by the grace of God go ANYONE who has had sex with more than one person. People who have not had only one sex partner all their lives should remember that.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My sisters husband gave it to her. She had to have some precancerous cells scraped. I know that she goes for checks every 3 months or so. He cheated once when they were dating. They are pretty positive that this is where it came from.

She is the only person to have it, that i know close to me. I dont think your dr would mind you asking questions. I hope you get the answers and care that you need.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I got HPV when my ex husband who I thought would NEVER EVER cheat on me did. There is no solution and the vaccine is for girls under 25 (I think) My OBGYN told me that 80% of the population has it, but honestly I feel like if I had HIV since it's so contagious, condoms don't work and forget about oral sex.
I still feel horrible, I have not been "active" for a couple of years if you can believe it! I don't know if I should disclose it prior to a relationship or not, but I would feel horrible if I don't...sorry not much help here.


answers from San Francisco on

I was very young and naive when I was married the first time (18 1/2 years old) I contracted vaginal warts (HPV) and when I was 25 had my first child, my OBGYN was able to remove them upon my delivery of my son. This is something my Navy husband brought home to me from sleeping around with all the Whores oversees. It did go away but my point is I got it from him the man I trusted with my life. I divorced him after 10 years. I used to get yeast infections constantly as well. But once I got divorced I no longer contracted anything. You can be a carrier of this virus for a long time without anything showing up, just like the Herpies Virus, it's really no different.
I hope this helps.

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