A healthy woman can contract the human papillomavirus (HPV) from an HPV-infected man during sex because of consistent skin-to-skin contact and rubbing between them. She can also get the virus if her skin touches the man’s genital warts or his semen goes inside of her.
Women have a lot more to worry about than men regarding HPV infections because they can cause women to develop cervical cancer. Even though there are more than 100 different HPV strains, women are still at risk of contracting the few strains which cause cervical cancer.
Statistically, most women infected with HPV will not experience any HPV symptoms or develop cancer because the strains of their HPV infections don’t cause cancer. But if they have HPV strains that cause abnormal cell growth in areas like the cervix, anus, head, or neck, the ribonucleic acid (RNA) or deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) will be altered. As a result, the cervix, anus, head, or neck won’t be able to function normally.
Cervical cancer is the number one cancer risk facing women with HPV infections. Since roughly 14 million Americans get infected with HPV annually, the potential for cervical cancer continues to rise for women.
How Does Sexual Activity Transmit HPV?
HPV transmissions occur during sex as the virus passes through the skin from prolonged skin-to-skin contact or when the virus makes contact with the sexual organs directly. So engaging in oral sex, vaginal sex, or anal sex all have the same risk of HPV transmission.
You don’t need to be a sexually active person because one sexual encounter is all it takes for HPV to transmit to a healthy person. Therefore, practicing abstinence is a highly effective way to prevent yourself from getting infected with HPV. And if you ever do decide to have sex, make sure it is with someone you know well and who has a clean bill of health. But, of course, practice safe sex for extra protection too.
Less sexual activity is always better for reducing the risk of an HPV infection or allowing time for a current HPV infection to be eliminated from your body by your immune system. Don’t expect your sexual partner to inform you of their health status because they may not even know they have an HPV infection.
Remember that most HPV-infected people have no noticeable physical signs or symptoms. So, unless you take precautions before sex, they may pass the virus to you without realizing it.
If you or your partner have received an HPV diagnosis from a doctor, wait at least eight months for the infection to go away before engaging in sex. Then, as long as you two stay in a monogamous relationship, you don’t have to worry about reinfection.
Does Kissing or Genital Warts Transmit HPV?
It is possible to transmit HPV by engaging in open-mouth kissing, which means sexual intercourse doesn’t even need to occur. So be careful who you are intimate with as you can possibly become infected with HPV from kissing.
An infected person with genital warts can transmit HPV if their warts touch the skin or sexual organs of another person during sex.
The best thing is for the infected person to have their genital warts surgically removed and given time to heal before engaging in sex again. And when they do have sex again, a condom should continue to be used for the next couple of months to ensure no traces of HPV are transmitted.
Please note that HPV infections on any part of the body, including the toes and feet, can be transmitted if someone touches that part. That is why you should always cover your feet in public places to prevent an HPV infection, especially in gyms and pool areas. Then wash your hands before