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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11221
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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My female partner tested positive strain of HPV that

Customer Question

My female partner tested positive for a strain of HPV that increases chances of ovarian cancer.
-is there any way to determine if I have it as well (I don't know if I was vaccinated)
I do not want to pass on a harmful strain to any new partners, and from reading that there is no test I cannot tell when/if it has cleared up, so potentially I cannot morally have any unprotected intercourse with anyone new ever. Is this accurate?
If my female partner tests negative Can I assume mine has cleared up too?
Will repeated intercourse with the same partner hinder or prevent it from clearing up? (Aka refresh the virus)
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 1 year ago.

To answer your first question, there is no way to determine whether you have the HPV virus. However, HPV is very common, most sexually active adults get it as some time, and our bodies almost always get rid of the virus over 1-2 years.

HPV causes cervical cancer, but there is no good evidence that it causes ovarian cancer.

If your female partner tested positive for high risk HPV (which is the type that causes cervical cancer as well as anal cancer, and mouth and throat cancer), it was most likely found in her cervix, since that's the only place where HPV is routinely tested.

By the time she has cleared HPV from her cervix, you will most likely have cleared the HPV from your body as well.

Repeated intercourse will not have any effect on when or if the HPV is cleared from either one of you, as far as we know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Yes cervical is what I meant. So if she has a regular Pap smear I can reasonably assume that I'm clear of it too? I'm only concerned because it is one of the more high risk strains and although it may be common I don't wish to spread a more hazardous version.Also, is there any way to test whether I at one point received the hpv vaccine? I cannot check myself, is there a test to see if I have the antibodies or whatever? It's troubling not to know whether I may or may not have it, and the only way to test would effectively be to have intercourse with another person and only find out when they get tested.
Do you have any advice on the matter? While my research says that practically everyone gets it at some point and to basically treat it as a non-issue, since it is a high risk version, I still feel compelled to treat this as a more serious std that I do not wish to spread (if it was not a high risk strain I would just go about my life accepting that everyone probably already has some type of it). Also, if/when it clears up, would it be wise to get the vaccine so as not to be at risk in the future and would that protect me against all strains? Dumb question but is there any sense in getting vaccinated now after the fact?
Thanks for any helpful advice.
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 1 year ago.
Are you a male?
How old are you?
You don't know whether you received HPV vaccine? Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Male, 28. No I don't know as it probably (if at all) happened when I was a kid and I can't ask anyone.
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 1 year ago.
The HPV vaccine was only approved for use in boys age 11-21 in 2011, so you can safely assume that you have not received it.
Your girlfriend will probably have both a Pap smear and HPV test. The Pap smear won't tell whether she still has HPV, but the HPV test will. Once she no longer has HPV, I think you can assume that you no longer have it either.
A test for HPV antibodies (not done, as far as I know) would only tell whether you ever had HPV, but wouldn't tell you if it were still present.
The HPV vaccine is not approved in males older than 21, since they've mostly been exposed, and there is no good evidence that it would be beneficial.
I would recommend that you treat it as a non-issue. When we think of other STD's, that's difficult, but this is different. Remember that the large majority of women who are exposed to high risk HPV will have no problem from it. Their bodies will handle it.