Do Condoms prevent against HPV?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 15, 2011

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Do Condoms prevent against HPVThe human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses that can infect human beings and cause infections. Out of the 200 known types, most do not cause any signs and symptoms, although some can lead to cancers of the vagina, penis, anus and vulva. HPV is known to be transmitted through sexual intercourse and persistent infection with HPV can lead to cancer. Genital warts and HPV infections are the most infections caused by this virus.

Condoms and HPV

  • Though condoms offer some protection against HPV, it is not 100%.
  • The virus causing genital warts is not just found on the penis and inside the vagina. It is also found around the genital area. This area is not covered by the condom and therefore, protection is not full.
  • Condoms can only protect one against HPV if it worn throughout the sexual act and not just during intercourse. This is so because HPV can enter the human through touch and oral sex. Therefore, if indulging in oral sex, one should wear a condom in order to reduce the chances of infection.
  • Condoms which are torn during the course of the sexual act will not prevent against HPV. Therefore, it is mandatory to wear it properly and before the act commences.
  • Genital warts sometimes can’t be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, a person may not be even aware that he has them. In such a case, a condom will not protect one against HPV because the hidden warts may still come in contact with the genital area of the other person and cause infection.
  • Anal sex is another way of contracting HPV. Many couples do not wear condoms while indulging in it, thinking that just because there is no chance of an unwanted pregnancy, it is completely. What they forget is the fact that the HPV can reside in the anal area too and can be transmitted during sex.


Although earlier it was believed that condoms do not offer any protection against HPVs, it is now an established that they are in fact effective. According to various researches, women whose partners wear condoms regularly are at 70% reduced risk of HPV. Similarly women, whose partners wear condoms sporadically, are at 50% less risk of contracting HPV. Therefore, what one can safely infer from here is the fact that although condoms do not offer 100% prevention, one should always use them in order to at least reduce the risk of HPV.


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