(Closed) Update Again – Abnormal PAP

posted 8 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
620 posts
Busy bee

HPV is very common.  In certain age groups (early 20s) it can be as high as 44% of women at a particular time.  Some women clear it while others don’t.  Overall if you randomly checked all women under 60 more than 1/4 would be positive at a given moment.

We’ve known about HPV for a long time but to avoid mass panic, people talked around it.  With the emergence of the vaccine (for young girls who have not had it) we have become more direct to encourage participation. 

Cervical cancer is a STD caused by HPV.  Most women who get HPV will NOT get cervical cancer.  Once there are cervical changes people are followed to make sure they do not develop cervical cancer.  Cervical changes are common so the important thing is to follow whatever recommendations you get (will depend on they level and type of change).  It’s the people that don’t follow recommendations that run into trouble.  You should feel assured that as long as you follow the recommendations you will be taken care of.  Since it is so common, you really shouldn’t feel bad about it either. 

Since you said you were freaking out, you might have been thinking about genital warts etc.  The subtypes that cause genital warts are DIFFERENT from they subtypes that cause the kind of cervical changes that pose concern for cervical cancer so don’t think having HPV means you’ve had visible (non-flat) genital warts. 

As far as risk to the guy…HPV can cause penile cancer but this is rare so not a serious concern (especially if he has been circumsized…then it would be super rare).  If you want futuristic advice I would say if you are the type of couple who are avoiding unprotected sex, it would probably be prudent to avoid oral sex (male to female) until sometime after that (but this is futuristic advice because we don’t like to cause panic)(? weeks…in theory).

Bottom line is don’t feel bad or ultra worried.  Just take the follow up recommendations seriously and you’ll be fine.  You are dealing with something very common.  I have no idea what your results were but if they were seriously concerned, it might be prudent for you to have whatever children you want whenever you are married (don’t try to put off children for many years). 

Good Luck

 

Post # 4
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

HPV is an STD that causes Cervical Cancer, Vulva Cancer, CIN, VIN,  and AIN. Just make such you change your diet ( eat more leafy greens) and if you smoke to stop smoking. They will prolly just monitor you further as HPV can lay dormant for years. However, this does not mean that you will get Cervical Cancer . Just be smart, if you are having unprotected sex with your  partner make sure that you use protection with your partner, so you do not keep passing the virus back and forth. A good note is that the HPV that normally causes abormal PAPS takes up to two years to ‘clear’ your system. Once you have HPV you always have it. Just to note HPV can cause Penial and Anal Cancer in men.

 

For more info and support please check out the National Cervical Cancer and HPV Coalition.

Good Luck!

Post # 5
Member
620 posts
Busy bee

@WifeofBath:

 “Once you have HPV you always have it.”

This is not an accurate statement.  Most will clear the virus on their own.  It is true that many will be persistent carriers however.

 

Post # 6
Member
620 posts
Busy bee

@PrncssDva:

I wanted to comment on the HPV with respect to freaking out since I would not be calmed by reading WOBs post.

First, I don’t know what the exact lesion seen on PAP or Colposcopy showed…if you choose to share that fine…if not, cool too.

Second, Most people will be exposed to HPV at some point in their lives (75-80%) so this is not a situation where you or your Fiance should freak out or assign blame.  If neither of you were virgins, nobody knows who gave it to whom.  Most likely if you have been having unprotected sex, he has been exposed.  With something like this nobody should feel contaminated or guilty.  It’s just too common for that…lol  Like I have mentioned, most people will clear it on their own…in fact 90% in 2 years.  There will be some who will have persistent detection. 

The way to think of the HPV part “Oh…I’m not one of the 20-25% who went a life without getting exposed”.  The way to think about the lesion that the HPV caused is “As long as I follow the follow up recommendations, I’ll be fine.”  This is true.  If you avoid hesitating on kids (just in case in the future it comes back and you are doing follow up…worse comes to worse and you need to have them remove part of the cervix or the uterus…then you’d be fine).  Follow ups are serious.  It is true that smoking can be a cofactor (also not having enough Vit A they think) to the development of cervical cancer but it is still an STD and these just increase the odds of manifesting the disease. 

Your future husband really should not be concerned.  Sure he could develop a rare penile cancer but it probably won’t happen (if he notices anything unusual…just don’t blow it off).  Oral sex and oropharyngeal cancer though (up to 65-70% caused by HPV adn we may decide more in the future…same strains that cause cervical ca…particularly 16)…that could be an issue.  If it were me, I’d want to know the results.  He would be at increased risk for that if he performs oral sex.  It might be smart for you to wait a couple of years from when you were first diagnosed before he engages in oral sex with you. (assuming you are not having persistently abnormal tests).

Post # 7
Member
620 posts
Busy bee

Hey…a thanks would be nice for Pro advice (if it was helpful)…lol  It just lets a person know he/she didn’t waste his/her time.  lol

Post # 8
Member
409 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Socrates: I was helped by it 🙂  

Post # 9
Member
620 posts
Busy bee

@Ambellina13:

Cool.  Sometimes it is just good to know you are helping people otherwise why waste your time?  lol 

I even hooked you people up with the down-low info on oral sex and the relationship of the strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer to oropharyngeal cancer (When I saw Michael Douglas’ diagnosis, I thought about CZJ but no details on positivity…odds likely though…also possible just smoking or drinking).  I think they will be pushing that out more since a vaccine company wants to make more money and immunize boys (in addition to girls).  They already got approval.

 

Post # 10
Member
1810 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

@Socrates: “I even hooked you people up with the down-low info on oral sex and the relationship of the strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer to oropharyngeal cancer (When I saw Michael Douglas’ diagnosis, I thought about CZJ but no details on positivity…odds likely though…also possible just smoking or drinking).  I think they will be pushing that out more since a vaccine company wants to make more money and immunize boys (in addition to girls).  They already got approval.”

Whoa! Interesting.

And your post was informative to me as well.

 

ETA: “Hey…a thanks would be nice for Pro advice (if it was helpful)…lol  It just lets a person know he/she didn’t waste his/her time.  lol”

^^ I want to say that all the time!

Post # 11
Member
620 posts
Busy bee

@JenniMichele:

Yeah…one thing I find fascinating is how the society has it wrong on oral sex.  lol

The current attitude is “if you don’t know the person well, why not start with oral sex?”

In reality what we should probably be advising is:

“A guy should avoid givng oral sex to a woman who he has not had unprotected sex with.”

Why do I say that?  While there is no study that has confirmed this, in theory, once the guy has been exposed to the HPV via sex, his body will develop antibodies.  These antibodies should make it less likely that if he is exposed to HPV via oral sex later that it has the opportunity to establish itself in his throat (can’t say it won’t but in theory, odds should be lower). 

Interesting really…

But again…keep in mind most women will clear the HPV with time (average 8 months…90% in 2 years). 

I just thought of something interesting…even though we give those numbers for percent who clear, in reality, a higher % of women than 10% will be positive for every age group.  If women were married and with the same partners who do not cheat, the numbers should in theory be lower…  One day they should take 100 monogamous couples, make them do lie detectors, and then see what percentage of women are positive.  it should be less than 10%…in theory. 

Cheers

Post # 12
Member
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@PrncssDva–I want to share my story with you (and all reading this board) to give you some hope. When I was 20, I too was told that I had HPV. I had, mmm let’s just say symptoms, so the next year was extremly unpleasant. I had to go back to the doctor on an almost monthly basis. Once everything cleared up, I went back for a PAP every 6 months for about 3 years and then I went back to going annually. I have had normal PAPs every time since about 1.5 years after I was diagnosed. I also get the test for HPV (because that is not automatic here with an annual PAP) and it comes back negative every year (I’m now 30)!! There are many, many strains of HPV and they are all different. While some can lead to cervical cancer, others will clear up on their own. Keep on top of it, but I think it’s more common to have aless serious strain of HPV than it is to have the other. 

Post # 13
Member
620 posts
Busy bee

@FutureMrsBLT:

“There are many, many strains of HPV and they are all different. While some can lead to cervical cancer, others will clear up on their own. Keep on top of it, but I think it’s more common to have aless serious strain of HPV than it is to have the other.”

Your story will be helpful to many people but i just want to clarify the above statement which might cause some confusion.

It is true that there are many different strains. 

Some are high risk for causing cervical cancer while others cause other things (genital warts for example).  Even if a woman has a high risk strain, most will clear the virus on their own.  Not everyone who has a high risk strain will develop cervical cancer…in fact most will not…but there is a risk.

Your statement about  “more common to have a less serious strain” can be misleading.  Most tests out there test for the high risk strains so by the time they tell you it is positive, you already have a high risk strain.  Tests can be ordered for low and intermediate strains but the doctor would let you know.  If they just say “positive” without further clarifying, it implies “positive with a high risk strain”.  I think the correct thing for you to say is “most people will not develop cerival cancer.” 

I hope this clears things up.

Cheers

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