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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: GW - Questions
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:50 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:06 pm
Posts: 1
Hi,

I know these questions have been answered in many of the other posts, but I think I might feel reassured if I asked them directly. I am a 39-year-old woman, I'm in good health, but I just found a genital wart two and a half months ago. I went to my local planned parenthood clinic and got a prescription for Aldera and used it for two months, but the wart remained, and the Aldera began to irritate the surrounding tissue. I went back to the doctor where she found two additional warts. She treated all of them with acid -- however, at least one of them is still present (three weeks later), and I think I have developed at least three new (but very small) warts. I've started using Aldera again and have scheduled another appointment.

My questions are as follows:

1. Is it typical to develop seven or eight warts in the first three months of diagnosis. I'm terrified this is a sign that I have a more virulent strain.

2. Does my age mean it will take longer to clear the virus. I feel like most people on the site are in their 20s -- and I'm almost 40!

3. I'm committed to using Aldera, but some of the warts are so tiny, and in such difficult to reach places that I'm having trouble applying it. Does anyone have any advice? Is there any research that suggests it's effective to use Aldera on some warts and have acid applied to the others?

4. I'm a little frustrated with the medical field because when I saw (a week after my acid treatment) that the warts remained I called for another appointment and they told me to wait another week. How often should I see a doctor while I'm getting treatments? (I have some sense that I would feel better and less anxious if I could find an understanding health care provider who would let me check in every couple weeks--and I do have good health insurance.)

I've told my partner about my genital warts, and he doesn't think they're a big deal. (He had a genital wart 20 years ago--no one called it HPV then and he didn't think about possibly passing it to someone else.) We had sex several times (after I was diagnosed) without a condom, and now I'm terrified (and feeling guilty) that I've infected him, even though I gave him all the information I had. We aren't living in the same place, and the next time I see him, I think I should insist that we don't have sex until I have no visible signs of warts.

I'd also like to try to have a child -- and of course I'm imagining that I will have gw until my quickly waning fertile years are completely over.

Thanks in advance for any advice/information.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi Olivia,

1. Is it typical to develop seven or eight warts in the first three months of diagnosis. I'm terrified this is a sign that I have a more virulent strain.

Not uncommon at all. Recurrences most often do recur within the first few months following treatment.

2. Does my age mean it will take longer to clear the virus. I feel like most people on the site are in their 20s -- and I'm almost 40!

The virus will still likely clear, although 20-somethings do tend to clear quickest of all.

3. I'm committed to using Aldera, but some of the warts are so tiny, and in such difficult to reach places that I'm having trouble applying it. Does anyone have any advice? Is there any research that suggests it's effective to use Aldera on some warts and have acid applied to the others?

One advantage of Aldara is it can work even if you don't apply it directly to each lesion. The cream marshalls an immune response within nearby cells, too.

4. I'm a little frustrated with the medical field because when I saw (a week after my acid treatment) that the warts remained I called for another appointment and they told me to wait another week. How often should I see a doctor while I'm getting treatments? (I have some sense that I would feel better and less anxious if I could find an understanding health care provider who would let me check in every couple weeks--and I do have good health insurance.)

Aldara can take up to 16 weeks to work, so not sure if they'll want to check you every couple of weeks. I think most often, with any treatment, you would tend not to go back quite that often. But tell them how anxious you are to see if they'll accommodate.

I've told my partner about my genital warts, and he doesn't think they're a big deal. (He had a genital wart 20 years ago--no one called it HPV then and he didn't think about possibly passing it to someone else.) We had sex several times (after I was diagnosed) without a condom, and now I'm terrified (and feeling guilty) that I've infected him, even though I gave him all the information I had. We aren't living in the same place, and the next time I see him, I think I should insist that we don't have sex until I have no visible signs of warts.

It's likely you both share the virus now. There are several reasonable approaches here, the best of which if likely the one most in tune with your comfort level. You can do as you mention and not have sex while warts are present, or you can use condoms (use of which has been associated in some research with quicker clearance of both virus and lesions).

I'd also like to try to have a child -- and of course I'm imagining that I will have gw until my quickly waning fertile years are completely over.

We can't predict the course this will take for you, but can tell you that warts usually don't persist and become problematic for years and years. Anything is possible, but those scenarios are uncommon.

I wish I could tell you more, and I do hope this helps some. Take care and post again if you have more questions.

Best,
Fredo

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