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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: high-risk HPV diagnosis
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:23 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:14 pm
Posts: 2
Hello everyone.

I have been reading this message board for about a week since my doctor told me I have tested positive for high-risk HPV, and it has really helped me calm down and figure out what's going on, so thanks to all of you out there.

My family doctor (a D.O.) does my annual pap smears and, until the last one, they have all been normal. She referred me to a gyno, which I am going to see this morning, to see if anything needs to be done. She did tell me that she did not see any lesions during my exam, and I hope that all turns out well.

My biggest worry when all this came about was talking to my boyfriend of one year about it. After a string of terrible relationships, I've finally found someone that I think I could spend the rest of my life with, and I was terrified that he wouldn't understand and might leave me. I brought it up to him the other day and discovered that he already knew about HPV (he said his ex-wife had an abnormal pap smear before and I assume she also had HPV although he did not specifically say so), and I was relieved that he was understanding.

I've done lots of research in the past week and have discovered that:

HPV is very common; the CDC estimates that about 75-80% of the sexually active population has some form of HPV at any given time (an estimate because there is no test for HPV in men)

In most cases, a healthy immune system will "clear up" HPV within about 2 years of detection

There are rarely symptoms of HPV and unless a woman gets pap smears annually, she may never know she has it

Genital warts (caused by certain strains of HPV) are only present in about 1% of the sexually active population at any given time


Most of this information came from the Center for Disease Control, which I assume is a reliable source. The information can be found at:

http://www.cdc.gov/STD/HPV/

One concern that I have is this (and it's sooooo embarrassing): my boyfriend and I have engaged in anal sex in the past, so if they discover precancerous cells on my cervix, does that also mean that it's likely that there will be precancerous cells in my anus? Anal sex is so stigmatized that discussing it with a doctor, though a must in this case, can be highly uncomfortable.

Another question: I've heard that if a LEEP procedure is performed, you're supposed to refrain from inserting anything vaginally for a while. I assume this applies to tampons as well?

Well, I've got to get ready to go to the doctor and see what's going on. Thanks again to all of you who post on this forum--it's been so helpful this past week. I'll keep you guys posted.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:58 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi sa81,

Thanks for such a great post. Follow-up exams are typically scheduled 4 months after LEEP, and it's usually recommend not to do any heavy lifting or insert anything vaginally for several weeks afterwards (consult with your clinician as to specific recommendations for your case).

Anal diseases related to HPV aren't commonly an issue, but of course they are sometimes detected. In fact, some women (and men) with no reported history of anal sex still end up with anal lesions. Good to mention this to your doctor; anal Pap tests aren't common, but in some cases are helpful.

Please do keep us posted, and visit often.

Best,
Fredo

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:14 pm
Posts: 2
Hello again. I went to the ob/gyn on Tuesday for my colposcopy. It was definitely uncomfortable, but the doctor didn't seem to think there is anything to worry about. He didn't see any lesions or warts, which is great, and I'm supposed to call back next Thursday for the official results of the biopsy. I've been having some bleeding since the procedure, which is normal they say. Just wanted to keep you all posted. I know that this forum has been so helpful for me and hopefully my experience can be helpful for someone else. Once again, I'll keep you guys posted.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:38 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Thanks for the update, and I always love to hear what's going on with our folks. Please keep posting to let us know how you are.

Best,
Fredo

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