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HPV infection and transmission, pap smear normal, had iud, vaginal ammonia odor, head and neck cancers

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Practicing since : 2002
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I just had a pap come back abnormal. I have pre-cancerous cells, and just learned that I have HPV. Can I still have protected sex with a new partner? If we use condoms, will he catch HPV? Can we have oral sex? I have read that the probability of him contracting my strain of HPV through oral sex is low. How low/high is the risk? I have also just read that if he contracted HPV from me, he is at risk for head and neck cancers. If we have protected sex, and unprotected oral sex, what is the risk I will give him cancer causing HPV? I also have an unrelated question. I have an IUD. It causes chronic BV, but especially daily vaginal ammonia odor. I have tried everything I can find online to balance my good/bad bacteria or to neutralize ammonia odor. Short of taking out my IUD, there must be an easy, affordable way to neutralize vaginal ammonia odor?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 12 minutes later
Hello and thank you for submitting your questions.

You have submitted excellent questions and I will try to give you some good information and recommendations regarding your concerns.

Regarding HPV we know now that this is a virus which certainly has potential to clause changes in the cervix. There are certain strains of the virus which are more high risk and can actually contribute to the development of cervical cancer. Your doctor can actually test for these more XXXXXXX strains of the virus.

Your question regarding transmission of HPV is somewhat more difficult to answer. We know now that males and females should all be vaccinated against HPV if they are in a certain age group. I recommend that your partner check his vaccination status and obtain appropriate vaccination if he meets qualifications.

Despite wearing protection you still can pass the virus to any partner. This is something you must not forget and must keep in mind in the future.

As far as the changes in your cervix are concerned this is something that is very easily followed if you continue to see your doctor at regular intervals. Quite often the HPV virus does not contribute to cancer and your doctor can assess for this with regular Pap smears and sometimes a colposcopy.

You are correct that oral sex does place your partner at a higher risk for developing cancer of the head and neck. This is only recently found information that has now been published in the literature.

Regarding your other question related to bacterial vaginosis this is something which can sometimes be difficult to treat. Sometimes physicians will place patients on a daily antibiotic which will keep the bacterial vaginosis from causing any symptoms including order. Another thing which some women have tried with good success is to eat more yogurt with active cultures. There is also an oral supplement of active cultures with some women to take to help minimize the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. I recommend you discuss this with your gynecologist.

Thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: HPV infection and transmission, pap smear normal, had iud, vaginal ammonia odor, head and neck cancers 2 hours later
Please tell me specifically, if you know, how high or low the risk is with oral sex. I know he could contract it, but isn't that a very rare way to contrat HPV?
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 5 hours later
Hello and thanks for the followup.

There is no way to quantify the risk.

They have never done randomized controlled clinical trials to study this where they would randomize men to oral exposure to HPV and observe for development of symptom.

The risk must be assumed to always be there and appropriate precautions should be taken.

The risk is related to how frequently oral sex occurs for one thing but beyond that the level of exposure and risk of a male developing an oral problem from HPV exposure is very hard to predict.

It would be guesswork at best. Oral HPV is much more common than we previously thought.

Thanks again for your query and followup. Let me know if you have any additional concerns and I would be happy to discuss it with you.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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