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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: Anxiety
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:05 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 10
Location: TX
A few weeks ago, I learned that I was HPV positive. I had a normal pap smear and an abnormal HPV test. I have had a complete hysterectomy, and my doctor told me my risk for getting cancer from HPV is almost zero since I don't have a cervix.

She said she didn't see any warts. However, I insisted on a biopsy for a bump, and it turned out to be HPV. So, now I know I have genital warts. I asked for a referral to a specialist as I would prefer to work with a GYN instead of a family practice doctor on this.

I also see some bumps under my tongue and that is really scaring me. I have an appointment with a dentist in a few days.

I am so overwhelmed with anxiety, I can hardly function. I have to, though, as I have children to support and challenging employment. Unfortunately, most days I work at home so it can be hard to distract myself. I am spending hours researching HPV and feel like it has taken over my life.

I have had the same partner for two years, but had a few other sexual relationships in the past ten, so don't know where I caught this. Perhaps even my ex-husband gave it to me prior to our divorce.

Should I tell the previous partners that I have this? One has a serious anxiety disorder, and I'm afraid this will really cause him a lot of distress. We were together for 2 1/2 years and never had any problems, but then I think that I might have had one of the bumps years ago. My GYNs always said, though, that they didn't see any signs of GW. I'm wracked with guilt that maybe partner #1 or ex gave this to me, and I passed it on to partner #2 and the man I'm currently with.

I know that maybe my current partner gave this to me, or that my other partners might have cleared it. I just don't know what to do.

How I wish I had just stayed celibate after my divorce! Then, I wouldn't be dealing with all of this.

Gail


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 Post subject: Re: Anxiety
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:15 am 
Site Admin

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

Thanks for posting.



A few weeks ago, I learned that I was HPV positive. I had a normal pap smear and an abnormal HPV test. I have had a complete hysterectomy, and my doctor told me my risk for getting cancer from HPV is almost zero since I don't have a cervix.
Cancer is a rare outcome of any HPV infection. With no cervix, the issue could potentially be vaginal cancer, which is even less common than cervical disease. HPV very, very seldom leads to cancer, so take your doctor's assessment at face value.

She said she didn't see any warts. However, I insisted on a biopsy for a bump, and it turned out to be HPV. So, now I know I have genital warts. I asked for a referral to a specialist as I would prefer to work with a GYN instead of a family practice doctor on this.

I also see some bumps under my tongue and that is really scaring me. I have an appointment with a dentist in a few days. Good to get it checked out; oral warts aren't common.

I am so overwhelmed with anxiety, I can hardly function. I have to, though, as I have children to support and challenging employment. Unfortunately, most days I work at home so it can be hard to distract myself. I am spending hours researching HPV and feel like it has taken over my life.

I have had the same partner for two years, but had a few other sexual relationships in the past ten, so don't know where I caught this. Perhaps even my ex-husband gave it to me prior to our divorce.

Should I tell the previous partners that I have this? One has a serious anxiety disorder, and I'm afraid this will really cause him a lot of distress.

It's typically not strongly urged that you try and track down former partners to discuss HPV. This is for several reasons: 1) virtually everyone who's sexually active has one or more HPV infections throughout their life; 2) the vast majority of these infections are harmless and will clear naturally; 3) there is no test or treatment recommended for males who have no symptoms (and such tests are even limited when used with women). You have good instincts, you could create an enormous amount of anxiety with no real benefit.

We were together for 2 1/2 years and never had any problems, but then I think that I might have had one of the bumps years ago. My GYNs always said, though, that they didn't see any signs of GW. I'm wracked with guilt that maybe partner #1 or ex gave this to me, and I passed it on to partner #2 and the man I'm currently with.

Not uncommon for couples to share HPV, but hard to determine where it came from, who had it first, etc. Having HPV is just something that happens when people are sexually active; it's increasingly becoming a normal part of the human experience. Ditch the guilt, you haven't done anything wrong.

I know that maybe my current partner gave this to me, or that my other partners might have cleared it. I just don't know what to do. Keep asking questions and getting info. You're moving in the right direction!

Hope this helps. Please check in anytime and keep us posted.

Best,
Fredo

_________________
ASHA Moderator


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 Post subject: Re: Anxiety
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 10
Location: TX
Thank you, Fredo, for your reply. I have calmed down some and am not feeling so horribly anxious. I appreciate your response as to whether or not to contact past partners. I'm almost certain it would cause more harm than good. Also, if the virus usually clears on its own, and I've never had an abnormal pap smear, it seems possible that this is a recent infection. That's what I hope because I know that if it's recent, it's more likely to clear.

I saw the dentist today. I was so embarrassed to tell him I had HPV and wanted him to check my mouth. He was new to me, so it was hard to share this information with a stranger. However, he was very kind and matter of fact about it and went out of his way to help me feel comfortable. He said everything looked normal, and the bumps were just the normal kind of bumps you'd expect to see in someone's mouth.

The next step is to get after my regular doctor about a referral to a specialist. I really don't want to use Aldera off label unless a gynecologist tells me that's OK to do.

Thanks for all that you do. It makes a difference to those of us dealing with a diagnosis that seems initially quite shocking.

Gail


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