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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: I need some help!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:25 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:31 am
Posts: 12
Location: New England
About 18 years ago, I noticed I had a small gential wart near the base of my penis. I went to a health clinic and it was frozen and removed. The doctor/nurse that I met with never explained to me what would cause this wart to appear. It never really concerned me and it was gone. A couple of years later, it reappeared in the same spot and again I had it removed. Again, no questions were asked. I met my current wife soon after. Not knowing about HPV, I never brought it up seeing it was removed and did not come back again.

Two years later, we were married, 5 years after that, we had our first child. Still no outbreaks. A couple of things happened in our lives over the next few years that created a lot of stress on myself and our relationship. The wart reappeared and I had it removed. This time, it seemed like it left a scar. I breifly brought it up to my wife, but with everything else going on, it was never discussed. We had our second child 3 years ago.

Now we are in the present. I noticed another wart, this time in a diffrent location, but in the same area. I went to my current primary care doctor and she removed it. This time it did not go away. Previously, it was documented on my bill as a dematology appointment. This time it was documented as "removal of a gential wart." My wife flipped out when she read this and is now worried she will have or get cervical cancer. We have not had sex for a year now and my marriage is rough. If not for the kids, I am afraid it would be over. Our sex life over the past 5 years had been infrequent (10-20 times/year). What I thought was a scar was actually a wart. It never got bigger, it never multiplied, it never disappeared.

We spoke with my doctor and who discussed with us her knowledge of HPV. My wife' recent PAPS smear, a few months ago, was normal. She has never had any signs of warts. My wife is conviced she was never exposed to the virus. I have tried to tell her that we did have sex when a wart was present, but she is so afraid of cancer we just ended in a fight. I have not been sleeping or eating the way I should. I have been drinking more than usual just to try to digest everything that is going in my life right now. It is so frustrating and depressing. Before the acknowledgement of the warts, our relationship was on the mend. I never tried to hide it from her, I was just never informed about what it was and the risks behind it.

My wife and I have done extensive research online and it makes her even more scared the more she reads. I just recently went to meet with a dermatologist and I am now on my fifth application of Aldara. The doctor and the nurse both said I need to reduce the stress in my life, forget about the wart and that you and your wife have nothing to worry about. The nurse told me to be very caucious of what we read on the web unless it is a .gov or .org site.

I just recently checked out the CDC site. I personally feel better about what I read, my wife on the other had does not want to hear it. She still thinks she will get cancer if we are together. What can I do? This is where I need help.

Is there any way to prove that I have a low-risk HPV? Do high-risk HPV's cause genital warts? I have had the virus the entire time my wife and I have been together (15 years). She was also exposed durning an outbreak, but has never shown any signs. Her PAPs has always come back normal. What is our risk? Seeing her yearly PAP has come back normal, does that confirm that we are only dealing with a low-risk HPV and not a high-risk HPV? We need to move on with our lives and not let this control our relationship, but how? I want them gone, but most of all I need to reassure my wife that things will be okay.


Last edited by Depressed-NH on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:57 pm 
Site Admin

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

Your comments echo those of others who've posted this week, lots of emotional/relationship stuff going on. First, let me say thanks for sharing your story with us, then let me say I'm sorry this has become such a tough issue for you, your wife, and your marriage.

Genital warts are almost always associated with a "low risk" type of HPV. In fact, an estimated 90% of genital warts stem from just two low risk types of the virus (HPV 6 and HPV 11, respectively, for anyone who might wonder). These types of HPV are not linked with cervical cancer. It might be tough to really get a definitive clinical answer, i.e., a test that proves you're dealing with a low risk type. This is because no HPV test is approved for clinical (that is, "real world") use to sort out things like that, and the HPV test that is approved is only for women as part of a Pap and cervical cancer screening (more on that later). Even biopsies aren't typically done, unless the wart looks funky or there is legitimate confusion about whether or not it is in fact a wart. Biopsies CAN be done, just normally are not. But here's the thing....even if there is a high risk type present and your wife has it, you both should keep in mind that cervical cancer would still be a very rare outcome! The vast majority of women with any type of HPV never have even one abnormal Pap test as a result, and are unlikely to have even a simple precancer detected.

Additionally, most women who develop cervical cancer have either never had a Pap test, or have gone at least five years without one. The important thing for her is that she continue to have regular cervical cancer screening, either with a Pap alone or with a Pap/HPV test combo. Women age 30 and older can have "high risk" HPV tests done along with their Paps, since HPV infections in women beyond their 20s are less likely to clear naturally and bear watching (even though cancer can still be avoided in almost all cases).

On a practical level, know that virtually everyone who is sexually active has one or more HPV infections in their lifetimes. It's almost impossible to avoid short of life-long abstinence, which would be a high price to pay to avoid an infection that is rarely dangerous!

I hope that helps. Post again if you like, and hang in there.

Best,
Fredo

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:31 am
Posts: 12
Location: New England
Fredo-

Thank you for your support. I have a couple of other questions.

1. Is it uncommon for a guy not to clear the virus after so many years?

2. My dermatologist told me that freezing a wart kills the cell but usually not the virus and the virus then can attach to a neighboring cell. It this common for a wart to just sort of float around the area of the original wart?

I am hopeful that the Aldara will help. I just need to be able to discuss this with my wife. Thank you for such a good discussion board. I is quite reassuring to find out that you are not alone in the dark and that support is out there.

Thank you again.


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:39 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Quote:
1. Is it uncommon for a guy not to clear the virus after so many years?

2. My dermatologist told me that freezing a wart kills the cell but usually not the virus and the virus then can attach to a neighboring cell. It this common for a wart to just sort of float around the area of the original wart?


Those two questions are related. Warts usually don't recur over nearly two decades, but it's not implausible. It's correct that treatment is designed (and only truly capable) of removing the wart lesions, not the underlying virus that causes the warts. There is no medical cure for viral infections like HPV. So, the virus can hang out at deeper cell layers, probably in low numbers and not doing much of anything. If the immune system is taxed down the road, then you might have the trigger for it to emerge again.

This commentary isn't made with your specific situation in mind, but some experts say that the recurrence of warts (or any other HPV-related condition) way down the road muddies the waters as to whether it's an old infection flaring up, or perhaps a similar but different HPV type from another partner. Also, partners that share an HPV type might expose each other to it again, thus delaying clearance.

Aldara is an interesting choice with a unique method of removing warts. It actually is thought to stimulate (some would say provoke) a response from the immune system right in the cells where HPV camps out. Beyond treating the warts directly, this seems to deliver the additional benefit of reducing the rate of recurrences. Doesn't work the same in every case, but that's a good quick overview.

Best again,
Fredo

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ASHA Moderator


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:31 am
Posts: 12
Location: New England
I just want to say thank you again, I don't know how I would continue to cope without this information. I just wish 18 years ago that the first doctor would have explained HPV to me, instead they just treated it like a wart on your hand and removed it. This same thing happened a few times, that is, until the doctor documented it as "removal of a genital wart" and my wife found out.

My wife and I have been faithful thoughout our 10 years of marriage. She told me that if she would have known before, she would have never had a relationship with me. I feel so stupid not being informed, but as I read in a previous post, most clinics are not well informed about HPV and do not explain it very well.

The Aldara seems like it is working, only time will tell. Now I have to give my wife some space and hope that she will forgive me for being naive about this situation. I never meant to hurt her, I love her too much. God please help her to understand.


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:19 am
Posts: 6
Location: Ie
Hi NH,
I was diagnosed with HPV too, something my partner told me was that I'am still the same person that he met is just know I have hpv, and that doesnt take away how he feels about me. I hope your wife sees you as for who you are and not for the hpv you carry. I have been depressed too because i felt guilty that i might have passed it to him, but as Fredo told me "You didn't do anything wrong!" this has helped me a lot, and I hope it helps you too.
Take care and best of luck to you and your marriage


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:04 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:31 am
Posts: 12
Location: New England
hotnoise-

Thank you for sharing your story and your support. My wife and I had a long discussion last night at dinner, it went fairly well. She has agreed to read up on it. I am going to forward her this web site and my memeber ID. In the past couple of days since I started reading the different posts on this site, I have begun to feel better. I still feel guilty and ashamed about possibly giving HPV to my wife which has made me very depressed. She has always had normal PAP's and when we realized that what I had was a GW, she another PAP with a HPV test which also came back normal. I guess the question I have is after being sexually active for the past 11 years; having two wonderful kids; and she has never shown any signs and all tests have been negative, does that mean she will never get the strain that I have or she has it and she is one of the lucky ones that will never show any signs?

I hope this site will help her as much as it has helped me.

Thank you again. It has been a long time since I have been able to smile, but it is getting easier.


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:58 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:31 am
Posts: 12
Location: New England
Fredo-

I have one other question for you. Seeing I have been dealing with GW's on/off for about 18 years, does that mean my immune system is not as strong as it should be? I know I have been under stess with personal/family issues, but I consider myself in pretty good shape physically, I exercise and I started taking a multi-vitamin again. I have been on Aleve daily for 3 years now. Before that I was on/off Aleve for a much longer time. Would this weaken my immune system to a point that I can not get the HPV under control?

Any information you can pass on to me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:31 am
Posts: 12
Location: New England
Fredo-

I just wanted to say thank you again. I justed wanted to follow up on my treatment. I have been on Aldara for 6 weeks now, the warts are getting smaller. I had a follow up appointment with me derm and had a one wart frozen 5 days ago. Things are healing nicely. I have since cut down on my soda/caffine intake, I have quit taking Aleve, I also have cut way back no any alcoholic beverages. I am taking a multi-vitamin and working out more regularly trying to increase my immune system. I unfortunatly have not been able to reduce the stress of my marriage as of yet. Things are still hit and miss with my wife and I. This site has been my savior for information, but it is hard to convince my wife to touch me. I holding my head high and keeping faith, praying each night that one day things will get back to normal.

I have another follow up with my derm in 5 weeks. I will keep you informed.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:54 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Thanks for the update and please do keep us posted on how things are going, especially with your relationship. We'll be thinking about you!

Best,
Fredo

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ASHA Moderator


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:32 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:31 am
Posts: 12
Location: New England
Fredo-

I have been on the Aldara cream for about 9 weeks now and I am almost clear. My relationship is doing better, at least mentally. Physically, not so good. My wife is scared. She thinks that if she gets HPV, she will get cancer and there is no cure. Can you recommend literature or web-sites that she can read/view that will ease her worries? I have been with her, only her, for the past 11 years. I would have to say over the past 11 years she has been exposed to the virus, she does not think she has. She has never shown any visible signs and her PAPs have all been normal. We are in a monogamous relationship. We have had other problems in the past couple of years, but things are getting better. The presence of the GW's is making things very difficult. Now that I am almost clear, again, we would like to get our physical relationship back, but she needs to put hear mind at ease.

Any help you can provide me would be very helpful. We are having our 10 year wedding anniversary next week, I hope to celebrate our 20 and 30 year as well.

Eric


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:09 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Quote:
Can you recommend literature or web-sites that she can read/view that will ease her worries?


Heck, bring her to ASHA's site! Maybe show her some of discussion in this thread and go to our HPV Resource Center pages that talk about all these topics. http://www.ashastd.org/hpv/hpv_overview.cfm

Best,
Fredo

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ASHA Moderator


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:58 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:31 am
Posts: 12
Location: New England
Hi to all-

It has been awhile, just wanted to check in and update my status. The aldara did not seem to work. I ended up having 4 cryo treatments. The first three seemed to remove the wart, but I had a fourth in the same area to make sure the virus did not jump to a neighboring cell. It has been almost 8 months and everyting seems good. No sign of the wart coming back. My marriage is getting better, still not sexually active (no hugs or kissing either) but getting better.

My advice to everyone is to hang in there. I have had a wart for almost 20 years and this is the first time I seemed to be cleared. Make sure you educate yourself. Your doctor may not be that experienced dealing with HPV. Get a second opinion and a third if needed. Do not stress (easier said than done) but stress can really hurt your immune system.

My wart never spread, it was always in one location. I would only get one cyro treatment (that is when I was not informed and thought it was just a flat wart and knew nothing about HPV). The one treatment seemed to remove most of it, but the virus, when threatened, would jump to a neighboring cell and the wart would seem to drift around in that specific area. After having multiple treatments, it seems as though the virus has been cleared. I hope....

Thank you all for your support, just hope I provide the same to for someone else.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:18 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Thanks for the update. Nothing is more frustrating than a repeated cycle of treatment, over and over. I'm glad things are better. Your advice is right, hang in there!

Best,
Fredo

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ASHA Moderator


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