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
I am new to this forum, I finally got the courage to post my own personal story after 8-9 months of researching HPV. It has been a rough time for me lost weight, frequent spells of crying, just an emotional roller coaster!
So I was diagnosed with high risk hpv in december of 2010. I went in to get my yearly pap smear (which were all normal until this new diagnosis). The pap smear showed ASCUS so my doctor tested for high risk hpv and it was positive :(... I went and had the colpolscopy done in March 2011 and she did a biopsy which came back benign! I was then told to come back in 6 months for a repeat pap smear and hpv test. So I went September 1, 2011 and the results came back with the pap smear being normal and negaative for high risk hpv. My doctor really could'nt explain the results other than saying the first test must've been a false positive??? Having done alot of research I am aware of the potential for clearance so Im thinking that may be the case. But with her saying the first hpv test was a false positive this really has me confused. I have no other symptoms other than the one abnormal pap back in dec 2010.
So here are my questions
1. What are the chances that the first test was a true false positive?
2. What are the chances that I have cleared the virus in 8-9months?
3. I am confused about developing genital warts... Some places i read that those with high risk hpv ABSOLUTELY cannot develop warts because its a total different strain?
4. I am going back in 6 months, so March of next year for another pap and hpv test. What are the chances that they will be both normal negative as well?
Sorry for the whole list of questions I am just so confused and tired of hpv controlling my every thought. I wake up thinking about it and go to sleep with the same thoughts. My mind is constantly racing. I just want a peace of mind ;(
Sorry you have gone through all this stress. I wish doctors would explain things to people more and we wouldn't have to agonize over stuff. Although it doesn't sound like this doctor knows a whole lot about HPV. Anyway, firstly because of your age a large number of women in their 20's get high and low risk HPV and most will come and go. If you had an ASCUS, and it was biopsied as negative you don't have to worry. But since you have had high risk HPV you will want to keep following up as they suggest. At some point high risk HPV can take hold and become cancerous but it usually takes years But you want to keep an eye on these. These ASCUS are cells of unknown origin and around 90 percent of the time don't become anything. A few do become cancerous but not if you were negative on the biopsy. So, just keep getting your Pap smears done on a regular basis and I wouldn't worry about it. You can have a high risk HPV type and an ASCUS caused by another HPV type . It is not uncommon when you are sexually active to have multiple HPV types. So, try not worry anymore over it as long as you keep getting screened. I would worry about other STDs if you are getting HPV.
Take care and let me know if you have any more questions or concerns.
Thanks for your response. I have been tested for all other STD's with all negative results. I have only had 2 sexual partners in my life and I'm positive that the hpv came from the second one. I am now in a monogamous relationship with the first guy and pretty sure that it will be life long between the two of us. I just don't want to cause harm to him and I want to understand what's going on with my body also. My doctor has tried to explain but it's just not making sense. I am hoping and praying that all paps and hpv tests are both normal and negative from here on out. I am a pretty heathy person. I don't smoke or drink. Try to get good sleep when my mind isnt racing. I workout when ever my busy work and school schedule allows. I am so happy I found this forum so many informative forums. :)
I am sorry that you have had to go through this and this is part of the reason that I don’t like the HPV test. First, cervical cancer is rare, rare, rare. An ASCUS Pap is common—5-6 million in the US every year. Being HPV positive is also very common under 30, but so is the chance of having a false positive HPV Test. The reason that I don’t like the test is it does not tell you if you have a specific HPV and it is not always accurate. This leaves women thinking that they have had HPV and cleared it, when in fact they never had HPV and just had a bad test. If you think about it this way, they use the Pap to see if there is anything abnormal and an ASCUS Pap is either normal or mildly abnormal, they just can’t tell. Then they use the HPV test again to see if you may be at marginal risk (and I say marginal because HPV means nothing, especially at your age). They use both of the tests to see if you need a colposcopy and it was documented in 2007 by Harvard that 95% of the colposcopies were unnecessary. Since your biopsy was normal, you are fine and you should only need a Pap in a year, once you have 3 that are normal you can be tested every two years.
1. There is a very high chance it was a false positive, you need to rely on the fact that the biopsy result was benign.
2. There is a chance, it usually clears 4 menstrual cycles later—but remember if your biopsy is normal, you probably did not have HPV—normal means normal; no dysplasia and no HPV.
3. Absolutely, you CANNOT develop genital warts from high risk HPV. There is real confusion about the terms high and low risk. And it comes from the term high risk that gets everyone so anxious. While it is true that high risk appears to be associated with cervical cancer in very rare cases approximately 4,000 a year in the US. It is a persistent HPV infection, one that does not clear with added “unknown factors” usually in women in their late 40’s that have never had a Pap test or not had one for 5 years or more that get cervical cancer. The term “high risk” suggests you are really at risk when it really is just a term for a number of genotypes for the high risk strains of HPV.
4. I would not have another Pap or HPV test for a year, if it were me. This just seems to be over testing. And the more you get tested, the greater the chance for an error that someone wants to follow up on. They know the new liquid tests are creating more ASCUS results and that is the reason that Pap tests guidelines were changed to every 2 years from every year in 2009. (It would appear that you may not have needed your Pap in 2010 that caused these problems) It would also appear that you did not need a repeat Pap and HPV test at 6 months for a biopsy that was benign.
You had a benign biopsy which means normal. You had a scare because the testing is poor. Your Dr. needs to follow up on the testing because she knows that there are false positives with the testing but she wants to be sure. She also makes more money with the testing, so many OB/Gyn’s are happy to continually repeat tests and colposcopies. Unfortunately, there are many young women your age that are going through what you are due to the HPV test. It is a 10 billion dollar market. ASCUS are not cells of unknown origin—simple inflammation and artifact on a slide can be read improperly now because most Paps are liquid tests that are read by a computer.
Also unfortunately; your lost weight, your crying and your emotional roller coaster are all normal when women get diagnosed with HPV. There have been studies done that indicate this diagnosis is equally as upsetting to women as those that are diagnosed with a true cancer.
So get off “roller coaster” and enjoy you life. Have fun and enjoy yourself. Your risk of cervical cancer is pretty much zero and it is the same risk that you had before any of this testing was done.
Thanks so much @Hollyv for your response. This has meant so much to me and I feel alot better already. I don't think doctors understand the emotional toll this has on a person and all they say is "this is normal and everyone has/had it at one point in their lives." I also agree with you that all the testing was definetly unnecessary! I really wish the first HPV test was never done for the ASCUS pap, but I do understand that is the protocol they follow. As for the colposcopy, 2nd pap and 2nd hpv test I kinda pushed my doctor into performing these because I was so scared and felt like it was needed even though she was slightly against it. I am going to take your advice and wait another year before getting another pap and hpv test. I am definitely jumping off this "roller coaster" and moving forward with life. I am tired of feeling like this horrible disgusting person all because of this 3 letter word "HPV" Once again thanks for our response and I will keep in touch ;)
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