Post # 1
i just found out 4 days ago that i am precancerous hpv positive. i have no clue what to think or do and im kinda freaking out. i have always been overly precautions and have only been with a few people, all of which condoms were used except for Fiance. my Fiance has been with a couple people, one of which he knew was rather promiscuous. Fiance was the first guy who was not a virgin that i have been with, so we believe he was the transporter of the virus. but HPV isnt one of those things that is widely talked about or that there is alot of detailed information. i dont know what to think right now. at first i was mad at Fiance but after reading a little information, well the little amount of information i could find, there was no way he could have known. i dont know what to do at this point. my dr is still debating doing a colposcopy in 6 months or repeating the pap/hpv in a year and going from there. i am only 20 and the guidelines for colposcopies have changed to waiting until you are 21. i will be 21 in may so she is having trouble deciding. im just at a loss of what to do and i dont know alot about hpv at all. but the thought of cancer scares the **** out of me because i work on a cancer ward in a hospital and see those patients every day. any advice?
Post # 3
@Mrs.Kennedy: A couple years ago, I also found out I had HPV. My papsmear came back abnormal and they did a colposcopy. During that procedure, they said that nothing was cancerous. My doctor then had me come in for a pap every 6 months. For 2 years everything looked normal and then at my last exam, they said it was abnormal again. I called them and they said they just wanted to check me again in 6 months. However, I am out of the country for a year. They told me that it would be okay to wait a year because cervical cancer is very slow growing (not sure if that is the right term), so there wouldn’t be many changes in that amount of time even if the cells were cancerous. I haven’t been back yet, but will go at the 1 year mark when I am back in the country.
Anyway, I was also really stressed out at first, but after reading a little about HPV, it seems like almost everyone has at least some strain of it. Also, from what I’ve heard, cervical cancer is easy to treat if it is caught early. As long as you keep up with your appointments at least once a year and get a colposcopy if you get a second abnormal reading, you should be fine.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the colposcopy procedure from a patient’s point of view.
Post # 4
Whoa… breathe. Calm down.
You’re not dying and you don’t have cancer.
The infection rate of HPV is literally 4 out of every 5 sexually active people. So the odds are… if you’ve had unprotected sex, it’s pretty likely you have it. It’s nothing to be ashamed or upset about, just something you’re going to have to deal with.
Now, I’ve been through what you’re describing… and honestly, after talking with several doctors… it’s all mainly precautionary. As in, if you don’t do this right now… you’re not going to die or get cancer. Just something you’re going to have to monitor.
Most likely, you went in for your annual check up, you had a PAP, and it came back abnormal. In a colposcopy, they just apply a stain to your cervix and look at it more closely with a microscope type thing. If your doctor determines that some of the cells do in fact look abnormal, they’ll take a little biopsy of some of the cells and have that sent off. If any of the tissue comes back abnormal at all.. they’ll want to freeze some of the tissue to kill it off and regenerate new cells. At which point, they just send you home and wait for another 6 months to do another PAP.
IMO, calm down and just see what happens in 6 months. I’d avoid the colposcopy for the time being… a lot of new research is saying that Doctor’s are being too aggressive in how they handle slightly abnormal PAP’s.
Anyhow, if you have any more questions I’d be happy to help.
Post # 5
Have they actually found abnormalities in your pap smear? Those can happen from other things other than HPV.
Please try not to worry until there is actual proof that you have precancerous cells. Most people who are infected with HPV do not have any problems with it and the body clears the infection itself.
Post # 6
I had the colposcopy at 19. I was HPV neg but still had precancerous cells. You are young. I would not take any chances. Get it. It is kinda gross but was not nearly as painful as I imagined.
You cannot put a price on piece of mind.
Post # 7
First of all, being promiscuous doesn’t really have anything to do with it, since you can get it from the very first time you are with someone – it’s not like it takes multiple one night stands with multiple partners to develop it ; ) That being said, I know how scary that pre-cancer diagnosis is. I was 19 or 20 when I heard it the first time. HPV is actually A LOT more common than people think – I’ve heard many figures, but basically the majority of people on Earth will have been exposed to at least one strain during their lives. Most of the time their immune systems take care of it and they never even know. Sometimes that doesn’t happen and abnormal cells develop. At this point, I would try to calm down (easier said than done, I know). There are many levels of pre-cancer before it becomes full-blown, and unless you have a particularly vicious strain, it can take a long time to develop. The important part is that you know to watch it. Even with the diagnosis, there is still a big chance your immune system will beat it all on its own.
If you do have to have a colposcopy, know that it isn’t a big deal. They just use a microscope to take a close look at the cells on your cervix to see what stage they are all in, and if your body is healing it at all. They may even watch it this way for years. If they biopsy, that can be painful, so be sure to take some pain meds before. If it became cancer, they would probably do a conization and D&C, which, while it is an outpatient procedure, you will be knocked out (most likely). This doesn’t usually affect a woman’s fertility with the type of conizations that are performed now. Probably for you they will just continue to watch it, as it does usually go away on its own.
Post # 8
First, I know the shock of this is awful (“Oh my god, I have an STD! Eeeeek!”), but please realize that HPV is very common. The prevalence in the US is estimated to be at least 25% of women (source). It’s just a really, really common virus.
Second, did your doc test if you had the high-risk or low-risk type of HPV? It sounds like from your OP that you have the high-risk form, but I wasn’t quite sure.
Either way, my best advice – try not to worry too much (easier said than done, right?). Follow your doc’s advice for screenings and tests. Your body will most likely fight it off and get it under control on its own, and as long as you keep having regular Pap tests for screening, if it comes back again, you will catch it in plenty of time and be able to act to treat it if needed.
Post # 9
I know this is scary but my advice would be to try and relax. If you doctor is not urgent on doing more follow up tests and wants to wait a year then it must be in the very beginning stage and in most cases your body will work itself out. I know a lot of females who have been positive for the precancer cells and then their bodies have cured it on their own.
Now worst case would be that the cells continue to develop and your doctor will need to perform a LEEP procedure and remove part of your cervic. My grandmother died of cervical cancer so when I tested positive for precancerous cells my doctor had me do a follow up in a month. Since the cells seemed to be rapidly developing I had a colposcopy done followed by the LEEP procedure which removed the majority of my cervic. I then had to have a follow up pap every three months for the first two years and now it’s at six months. The results of having the LEEP done was that I couldn’t have sex for two months, and I will probably have to delivery my babies via c-section due to not having the majority of my cervic intact.
Please note that sometime HPV can stay dormant in your system for up to 10 yrs and also some people’s body just creates the virus.
Two of my sister in laws also tested positive, but when they went back for their next pap it had worked itself out. I believe in the majority of cases your body heals itself, but I also gave you the worst case scenerio which in the sceme of things isn’t really that bad.
Please PM me if you have any questions.
Post # 10
Like a PP said, 4 out of 5 women have it–that’s 80%! It’s extremely common and while it can be scary to hear words like “precancerous”, my doctor told me in the majority of cases they can take care of it before it turns into anything dangerous.
Precancerous is not the same as cancerous–it sounds scary, but it is actually very common and it may offer you comfort to know many of your friends have probably gone through the same procedure. As long as you continue to have regular paps, they should be able to keep an eye on it and your doctor can do other procedures as he or she deems necessary. Try your best to stay calm and relaxed. As another PP said, even the worst case scenario isn’t usually life-threatening with proper treatment.
Post # 11
Oh I feel like I should add. I had my scare 9 years ago. I have only had one abnormal pap since then.
Post # 12
@MrsSaltWaterTaffy: yes they have found intermediate changes from my last pap to this one.
@Bubu82: i was diagnosed as high risk yes
also, my immune system is very low. i am constantly catching colds and respiratory infections and have trouble getting rid of them without a rigorous set of antibiotics each time. i eat healthy and take vitamins and exercise but i still struggle with a low tolerance immune system. will this affect my chances of the hpv “healing” itself?
Post # 13
Even if you are high risk, don’t worry too much. If they aren’t even sure whether to do a colposcopy or not yet then it must not be too bad bc that is the first thing they would do if they are too worried no matter the age… Just wait till your next appointment and until they say you have cancer then go about your normal life. hang in there girl. it happens to the best of us.
Post # 14
hi…im going through this too right now… Just had another colposcopy and biopsy done waiting on the results any day now. I hate the gyno it has always been the Dr I dread to go to ..it figures now I have to go more and more. I hope he comes back with results that are ok..
Post # 15
also, i just feel like really gross after finding out i have hpv. (tmi warning) i dont want to have sex anymore nor do i want to be touched in any sexual way. Fiance wants me to feel the way i used to and i cant i just feel gross. how do i get out of this “funk”?
Post # 16
btw, thank you to everyone for being supportive, i really do appreciate all your advice and help.
can anyone explain like what happens durring a colposcopy, biopsy, and LEEP procedure. and any advice if i have to go through any of them