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New partner and genital warts

(103 Posts)
overthinker30 Thu 04-Feb-21 20:47:11

I caught genital warts a few years ago and keep getting flare ups every now and then. It's not usually a problem as I get them frozen off; however I'm having a flare up at the moment but the GU clinic won't offer the freeze treatment because of covid. They've given me a cream to use instead, which I've been applying for a month and it is doing absolutely nothing! The clinic say it can take up to 4 months! I've recently started dating someone new and it's getting to the point where we are ready to have sex but I have to keep putting him off. I don't know what to do - there's only so many times I can be on my period! Should I tell him and hope he doesn't think any less of me? Has anyone else used the cream before (Aldara) and if so how long did it take to work for you?

OP’s posts: |
ComtesseDeSpair Thu 04-Feb-21 21:01:00

You have to tell him. The HPV virus which causes the warts can still be passed on even if you have no visible warts. He has the right to make a decision about whether he wants to take the risk. Bite the bullet and let him know. He may, like many people, be perfectly fine with it, it’s a very common STI.

Happycat1212 Thu 04-Feb-21 21:08:04

Isn’t this something that you should be telling new partners whether or not you are having a flare up?

Bluntness100 Thu 04-Feb-21 21:09:31

I think uou need to tell him anyway you can’t hide it.

Blushingm Thu 04-Feb-21 21:18:41

Have you tried aciclovir? Might help

SnarkyBag Thu 04-Feb-21 21:18:46

Erm yeah you kind of need to tell him anyway.

Strongerthanilook Thu 04-Feb-21 21:18:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Cuddling57 Thu 04-Feb-21 21:20:29

Have you looked into getting the HPV vaccines? I know you already have the virus but is there potential for the vaccine to help reduce future flare ups?

Notawanker Thu 04-Feb-21 22:31:30

Crap situation.
Use a condom.
Apple cider vinegar can help get rid.

It's ridiculously common and many people are carrying it with no obvious warts. If it's a potentially serious relationship and looks promising, may be worth telling him. If it's not and quite relaxed, honestly? I wouldn't.

overthinker30 Thu 04-Feb-21 22:38:22


Have you looked into getting the HPV vaccines? I know you already have the virus but is there potential for the vaccine to help reduce future flare ups?

I did think about this but it's very expensive!

OP’s posts: |
EarthSight Thu 04-Feb-21 22:41:05

Given the fact that around 80% of women will get HPV, should most women be informing any partner that they have it or have had it?

EarthSight Thu 04-Feb-21 22:42:45

I feel really bad for you if you get flare-ups. Have you thought of asking them which strain you have? Maybe the vaccine might help with that particular strain.

smoothchange Thu 04-Feb-21 22:46:03

Unbelievable. Literally.

mouldygrapes Thu 04-Feb-21 22:52:53


Have you tried aciclovir? Might help

Aciclovir is for genital herpes (HSV) not genital warts (HPV). It will have no effect.

OP, it’s frustrating but Aldara may take longer to have an initial effect, but has a better long term success rate than freezing overall.

As to whether you should tell him, as others have said it is a very common virus, most sexually actively adults have been exposed to it and some may have immunity already from past infection. There’s no real way to know who’s carrying it and who isn’t. Plenty of people out there have the virus but aren’t aware, or have such tiny warts they’ve not noticed them. Using condoms may help mitigate the risk of transmission but ultimately there is still skin to skin contact that isn’t covered by the condom

bibbidybobbidyboo Thu 04-Feb-21 22:54:54

I agree with EarthSight - nearly all sexually active adults get HPV at some point in their lives and many don't even realise because they're asymptomatic (although I appreciate that's not the case with OP). Women are more likely to be aware they have HPV because they test for it in the smear test, so the burden of disclosure always seems to fall on women, while men can zip around blissfully passing it on and never knowing unless they're unlucky and develop warts.

OP, in your case if you see a future with this guy then I do think you should tell him, because if they keep coming back then it seems you won't be able to "wait it out" - even if they go now you'll have to cross this bridge in future when they flare up again.

If you don't see a future with him then I'd be inclined to wait until your warts have gone before having sex (with a condom) to minimise transmission risk. Re: what to tell him, you could blame covid, or you could just say you're having gynae problems at the moment and that sex is off the cards for a few months while it gets sorted. (That could mean a whole host of things and if it's casual-ish he probably won't pry).

mouldygrapes Thu 04-Feb-21 22:55:20


I feel really bad for you if you get flare-ups. Have you thought of asking them which strain you have? Maybe the vaccine might help with that particular strain.

Clinics can’t tell you what strain of HPV is causing warts. It’s usually type 6 or 11 but there isn’t a routine swab to diagnose. It could be done from a biopsy, but that’s painful and invasive and not routine clinical practice.
The only HPV testing in routine clinical use on the NHS is testing for high risk HPV (usually types 16 and 18) from smear tests samples.

There is limited evidence for the vaccine as a treatment for existing warts, and as it’s so expensive it’s difficult to recommend it when the evidence is still limited. Studies are ongoing and that advice may change in the future

gypsywater Thu 04-Feb-21 22:57:03

I thought the majority of sexually active adults have some form of HPV?

Bluntness100 Thu 04-Feb-21 22:59:14

These numbers are incorrect. About five percent of women have genital warts. The stats are available on line.

mouldygrapes Thu 04-Feb-21 23:08:10

There are about 100 types of HPV.
Most sexually active adults will be exposed, if not infected at some point in their adult life. Hence the HPV vaccination programmes in young people and in men who have sex with men

Unicornconfettiicecream Thu 04-Feb-21 23:10:07

The stats show actual cases of warts- as coded when diagnosed in sexual health clinics. Carriage of HPV virus among asymptomatic sexually active people is much higher, most people will clear the virus though if they have a functioning immune system, with or without treatment. Aldara can take up to 4 months to work, OP, I agree with what you’ve been advised- evidence is that freezing treatment is similar in effectiveness to home treatments, and most clinics won’t be offering it.

rheafern Thu 04-Feb-21 23:14:45

Of course you should tell him. I think spreadIng STIs knowingly should be a crime. Not saying it’s your case but I find it shocking that some people try to minimise the risks and impact on people by saying “80% will get it anyway”.

youvegottenminuteslynn Thu 04-Feb-21 23:18:13

Surely if you suffer with genital warts then you need to tell a new sexual partner regardless of whether you're having a flare up or not?

gypsywater Thu 04-Feb-21 23:19:04

You need to try to boost your immune system to clear the HPV

EarthSight Thu 04-Feb-21 23:20:42

@mouldygrapes They can. The NHS in Wales is more rigourous and proactive about testing for HPV in Wales in general so this could explain differences in care.

FinallyHere Thu 04-Feb-21 23:22:19

* Should I tell him and hope he doesn't think any less of me?*

I understand that it's not so easy at the beginning of a relationship but honestly, if he is going to think the less of you, wouldn't you want to know ?

Tell him, give him a chance to show you that he doesn't , that he is a decent person.

And if not, the earlier you know, the better.

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