Because the human papillomavirus (HPV) spreads via skin-to-skin contact, genital warts are frequently spread via foreplay. Penetration isn’t required, and a condom won’t protect you from genital warts even during foreplay because it won’t cover all of the affected areas.
The virus that causes genital warts is transmitted through direct contact during foreplay or intercourse with a wart or virus-infected pores and skin. During foreplay or oral intercourse, warts on the arms and inside the mouth are possible. Although approximately half of those infected with HPV do not develop genital warts, they are still capable of transmitting the virus to others through foreplay or intercourse. Intimate pores and skin contact during foreplay, such as dry humping and genital to genital contact, can easily transmit the virus that causes warts.
It is difficult to stop genital warts spread
A condom may not protect you during intercourse or foreplay because it does not cover the base of a person’s penis, pubic hair, or scrotum (locations where HPV might lurk). Because skin-to-skin contact is all that is required, rubbing during foreplay (when a condom is typically not used) can deposit the virus. Washing your hands with soap and water after foreplay or sexual activity can reduce your chances of developing genital warts during foreplay.
Many people with HPV infection have no visible symptoms of the infection, such as genital warts. However, if warts are present, a doctor can diagnose HPV infection based on their characteristic appearance and a history of how they may have been acquired through sexual activity or foreplay. Doctors typically use a colposcope (a telescope with a very powerful magnifying lens) to diagnose genital warts in women. PAP smears can also be used to detect HPV infection.
If you are aware that you are infected with genital warts, it is critical that you notify your partner before engaging in foreplay or intercourse. Then your colleague can make an informed decision about whether the risk is truly worth it.
If you have genital warts, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your chances of infecting a partner during foreplay or intercourse. When you are infected with HPV, your doctor can advise you on the best way to handle your sexual life, including foreplay.