ZocdocAnswersCan condoms spread genital warts to your partner?

Question

Can condoms spread genital warts to your partner?

The condom touched the infected skin lesion and later my partner touched himself after touching the condom can genital warts be spread in that way?

Answer

I recommend that you speak with your doctor about your concern. Genital warts are caused by specific strains of the human papilloma virus, more commonly known as HPV. There is a common misconception that HPV is not transmitted through contact. However, condoms do not guarantee that HPV will not be transmitted during sexual contact. Like any sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, HPV can be transmitted despite strict adherence to condom use during sexual intercourse. The most common way that HPV is transmitted is through genital intercourse. For this reason, contact between genitalia can result in spread from the penis to vagina, and also the anal region, as well as from vagina to penis, with contact to the shaft and base. Although the virus is less commonly transmitted through other forms, it is possible to transmit the virus through digital contact with genitalia, including either the vagina or penis. Transmission does not require an active outbreak, though active warts have a higher amount of virus being shed. Up to age 26, insurance will cover vaccination with the HPV vaccine. If a person already has the virus, the vaccine does not cure this. Also, the vaccine only prevents infection with 4 types of HPV, though there are hundreds of types. This vaccine is also available for males. Therefore it is possible that the HPV can be spread the way described. Again, you should see your doctor for treatment of active warts if you have not done so already.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.