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 was just diagnosed with HPV, but I have a normal pap and no warts... I'm not sure what that means since everywhere I look everyone else with the HPV seems to have one or the other. What does this mean?
I have been having more menstral cramping.. was concerned so I went in for my normal pap exam (as it was time anyway) and they did the test.Apparently my doctor does do the test at the same time as the pap .. The doctor didn't say anything about seeing any warts.. and i figure she was closer to it than me, so it they were there then she would have seen them and said something... don't see anything on the outside.. anyway, the doctor calls me tells me I'm HPV positive and gives me NO information.She was totally unconcerned. I freaked!!! started doing research and freaked some more...
I'm starting to feel better now that I've found some support web sites, but I'm starting to wonder if I have a false positive.. I haven't seen anyone on any sites that has no symptoms at all.
No, your test is correct. Let me tell you my experience and this will help clear some of this up.
A month ago I went for my yearly about 2 months early. My last few periods had been a bit different, thicker but nothing really bad. My main reason for going early is that I had been having issues with a hemorrhoid, first time I have had that and it has now gone away. I also was having something called a mucocele in my mouth and the dentist who is young scared me a bit by suggesting it was in the herpes family which I knew it wasn't but I wanted to have testing to make sure. I also asked for HPV testing because I have never been tested for it.
A few days later I get a neg herpes test and then a few days after that I get the results my pap shows dyplasia/abnormal pre cancerous cells and that I have high and low risk hpv. Like you I went to the internet and scared myself silly. Finding this site was my saving grace. It lead me to the helpful and correct info on HPV. I am still in a learning process myself but feel so much better about what is going on with me.
At my 1st appt, during the pap the doc didn't see warts. After I found out I had low risk I looked for myself and saw an area in my vaginal opening (not inside where I can't see) that looked different to me. When I went and for my biopsy I told the doc (a different doc) and he said he would look and says he doesn't see anything. Then he says the type I have wont cause warts. I tell him I was told I have low risk and he just blankly looks at me. Like you the docs just say I am overthinking HPV and just don't worry. Well, that's not me, I have to know and be proactive. So a few days later I look again and know I am right, that the area must be warts so I make another appt with the first doc and she agrees. At this appointment I also ask to be tested for bacterial vaginosis because I was having issues after the biopsy. The vinegar used caused an this infection and I got an rx and that has cleared. During that I had my period and it was really bad, very dark and thick with bad cramping. I am hoping that was from the infection because everything I read says HPV wont effect periods. I will see how the next one goes. I have had 2 acid treatments for the warts and have 2 more to go.
So, find out if you have high risk, low risk or both. This will tell you if you could get warts. If you have low risk just keep an eye on yourself. If you only have high then was your pap normal and you shouldn't worry, just have your paps according to when the doc says and always get your yearly. If your period issues continue talk to your doc and see if there might be another reason for that. Stress could be a factor. Most likely you got HPV and your immue system delt with it without you getting symptoms. Many people have no clue they have it til a pap comes back abnormal and most people don't even get cell changes or warts. This is so common that most people will have a strain or more than one strain in their lifetime. Just because you have results showing HPV now doesn't mean you can't get more strains in the future and symptoms from them. So be careful to protect yourself, even though condoms are not 100%.
You can definitely have a false positive test if you had the Digene or the Cervista test--the most commonly used HPV tests in the United States. If your Pap was normal then you have normal cells (Pap) and you could have HPV or you have normal cells (Pap) and a false positive HPV test. The key here is you have normal cervical cells.The algorithm used by the American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecology with your result is to just be retested with a Pap and an HPV test in one year. The reason for this is you are at really low risk with a normal Pap--lower risk if you are under 30 years of age because they should not do the HPV test with a normal Pap. If you really were HPV positive, it could clear up without an invasive procedure such as a colposcopy. I know this is all very confusing but we are really over testing with Paps in the US and the new liquid Pap smears that are being done by computer are creating some false Pap results. The Pap has always had a problem with accuracy and that is the reason it was done yearly because if there was an inccurate result, it often corrected the next year. Cervical cancer is slow growing and takes usually 10-15 years to progress. The new HPV tests appear to be scaring many women because even many physicians don't understand them. The digene test is a luminescence test that has some problems with accuracy. The only accurate test that I know for HPV is HPV PCR (polymerase chain reaction, the same type of DNA testing that is used to look at the DNA of criminals to convict which has a 99.9% accuracy) because it compares its results with the genetics bank. I know that I can't take the worry away from you but it would appear that you are fine since your Pap was normal and it would be doubtful that you have low risk if you don't have symptoms of warts. Keep on top of your immune system--eat well, take vitamins and exercise, try not to worry and don't smoke.
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