This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding HPV issues such as: genital warts, causes, diagnosis, cervical cancer, HPV in men, PAP tests, treatment, telling your spouse or partner
Does a colposcopy after a PAP always mean you have HPV? I received my PAP back that said I was tested negative for cancer and all the other tests I took, however "some" cells were noted to be abnormal. A colposcopy was recommended, but not required. I went to the colposcopy and the doctor said there were hardly any white spots- hardly. Does this still mean I have a strain of HPV? (The doctor was a terrible one, I'm switching.)
If so, and it's a low risk strain, will I ever get rid of it? Or will I always have it? Like antibodies against a cold? Will I always be in danger of passing it?
Requiring a colposcopy does not mean necessarily mean you have HPV because an abnormal pap does not always mean it is dysplasia - inflamation (inflammation) or an infection can create an abnormal pap result. However, if the results of the colopscopy confirm dysplasia (whether it be mild - CIN1, moderate - CIN2, severe CIN3, CIS (carcinoma in situ) or AIS (adenocarcinoma in situ) then yes - you at one point would have had an active infection of a high risk strain(s) of HPV. HPV is the causitive factor for 99.8% of ALL cervical cancers. It is extremely common, 80% of the population will have an active infection by the time they are 50, just most will never know because for the majority of the population HPV does not have any symptoms - it is more common to have it than not have it. A woman can test negative for it but still have it. The digiene test can only detect whether there is an active infection and if so whether the strain(s) is of the high risk (potential to cause cancer/dysplasia) category or the low risk (warts) category. If it is dormant at the time of testing, it will not detect it. HPV can remain dormant in a person's system for several years (over 20 even) before becoming active - if it ever does. It is just about impossible to know when or from whom you contracted it because it can lay dormant for so long and the fact that for most people there are usually no symptoms.
There is conflicting research as to whether HPV can be cleared and cured forever or whether or not it remains in your system for life. I personally strongly believe it is a life long virus because of the women I have met that have fought cervical dysplasia/cancer been cleared only years later to suddenly develop dysplasia again despite the fact that there haven't been any new exposures to HPV in the meantime. It is important to use condoms until an active infection has cleared and/or until you are in a monogamous relationship - however keep in mind condoms are only 70% effective because HPV is a contact virus. It can be transmitted even without intercourse but just simple genital contact.
Can I suggest another forum for you as well? It is sponsored by the National Cervical Cancer and HPV Coalition. Many of the members attend the conferences regularly, so there is a lot of accurate information as well as up to date research. The women on there have gone the range of dysplasia to advanced cervical/vulvar and vaginal cancer so there is a lot of support.
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