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A female asked:

i have recently had an abnormal pap smear and it could be hpv. i am married, should i be having sex or unprotected sex? this is the first abnormal pap smear that i have ever had.

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joy Jackson
Family Medicine 19 years experience
If : If you are married and have had unprotected sex with your husband up until now, and you test positive for hpv, the odds of him having it are very high. Hpv is very common; it is estimated that 1/3-4 people are carriers of the virus. There are many different strains, some more harmful than others, the most worrisome for you are the strains that cause cervival cancer. Your doctor can explain the specifics (there are many). This is a very tricky situation because there is no screening test for men to check for hpv, but like i said the odds of him having the same hpv type as you are high. If you both are monogamous then i would say that condoms are not necessary. If you ever have another partner, then yes a condom is recommended to prevent further spread. There is a lot of information on this topic, and every situation is different. I suggest you make a list of questions for your doctor when you return for your results. Best of luck.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
It happens: Studies have shown as many as 70% of college age women are positive for HPV. It can bypass condoms and pass unnoticed for decades. Your spouse was likely infected in the past. The pap smear was routine for decades before we knew of a relationship with cervical cancer. Enjoy your life and follow up with your doc with more studies as needed. This is a common issue for many.

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Last updated Jan 19, 2018

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