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Q. Apart from sex, how does HPV enter into body?

Answered by
Dr. Sameer Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 15, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

I have a doubt about the cervical cancer. I know that it is caused by HPV. What are the other channels for the entry of virus into the body apart from sex? If wife and husband both are virgin at the time of marriage and are sincere after marriage, is there any chance of getting cervical cancer?

Dr. Sameer Kumar

Infertility Obstetrics And Gynaecology


Welcome to

Cervical cancer is caused principally by two strains of HPV (human papillomavirus) - 16 and 18. Though there are more than 400 serotypes present but only 144 have been identified till date and of these high risk types being 16, 18, 31, 33, 34, 45, 52, and 58 which constitute 90% of cervical cancer cases.

HPV commonly spreads through vaginal or anal sex. It can also pass when the infected person has no signs or symptoms. Though you have been sexually active with only one person, you can get HPV. Even a mere skin to skin contact with a HPV infected person can spread HPV. But the fact is, unless the above mentioned strains are not detected on HPV DNA studies during pap smear, it is unlikely that you shall get cervical cancer.

Even if both of you are virgin and do not have HPV still if you do not have the high risk strains, you may have other strains of HPV as commensals which with regular sex often can undergo mutation and beget high risk strains.

So, the best is to get a HPV vaccination done before you undertake sexual activity ideally, else as per guidelines HPV vaccination should be given to all women between 9-45 age group irrespective of their sexual activity status.

For further information consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online -->

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