Dear Dr. Kate,
My boyfriend has 2 warts on his fingers. We have been trying to treat them to go away but in the meantime, is it possible to transmit these warts to my vagina? I have looked this up on various websites but can’t find a definite answer. One them has been there for almost 10 years (keeps regrowing) if that helps to clarify what type of HPV.
– Mrs. Toad
Dear Mrs. T.,
There are nearly 200 HPV virus types, and about 40 of them can infect the genitals. HPV viral strains tend to have a favorite vacation spot on your body, and donâ€™t tend to travel outside of that area. Of course, there are exceptions; some high-risk genital wart strains can infect the mouth and throat during oral sex. But HPV 6 and 11, the two strains that together cause 90% of genital warts, donâ€™t cause warts on other areas of the body. The reverse is also true; HPV on the fingers â€” most often from HPV 1 or 2 â€” is not likely to cause warts on his or your genitals. But to be even safer, cover up his warts with a Band-aid, finger cot or glove before he touches you.
– Dr. Kate
Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on womenâ€™s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. She generously shares her medical wisdom withÂ EM & LO readers every few weeks. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.