One year out from my initial diagnosis, should I be having surgery instead of merely 'watching and waiting'?
It's not unusual for health care providers to take a variety of approaches with women who have had a colposcopy/biopsy that returns results of CIN-1: This might involve follow-up Pap tests at 6-12 months or HPV testing every 12 months. Women who have abnormal Paps or are HPV positive at this point are usually referred for another colposcopy. If the CIN-1 is present for a couple of years, they usually do treatment.
Women with CIN-1 who initially had a Pap test that found more moderate/severe abnormalities typically either have a LEEP (which can serve as both a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure) or observation with colposcopy and Paps every six months for a year. If the CIN remains, then a LEEP might be in order.
Keep in mind these are guidelines, not written in stone, and management isn't the same in every case. CIN-1 is typically not dangerous and some approach of "watch and wait" is common here with women your age. On your next visit you might ask your doctor what your options are if the Pap and/or colposcopy remains abnormal. I'm 31 and haven't yet had children, but hope to do so. How could this condition, or subsequent surgeries, affect a pregnancy?
The short answer is most women treated for CIN are able to have children, but it depends on the procedure and how many treatments you might need. In many cases, there are procedures that restore the integrity of the cervix after surgery. Infertility, then, is not the usual outcome but discuss this with your doctor given your own specific case.My insurance company will not pay for the Gardasil vaccination (since I'm over 26). Would it still be advisable to get it?
It won't help with any HPV types you already have, but if you will have a new partner then it would offer protection against any HPV types included in the vaccine that you may not have.
Any advice for how to help your body clear this? I eat well, take a multivitamin, exercise and try to think about this the least amount as possible. (I guess my coping mechanism has been to educate myself, but then not to revisit the information too frequently - certainly obsessing about it isn't healthy!) Perhaps I'm in denial.Check out this thread: http://www.ashastd.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=5083
I hope this helps!