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confused and scared about HPV
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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

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confused and scared about HPV

I had an abnormal pap smear in January. I just found out the results yesterday and i'm freaking out a little bit. I was told the results showed I had mildly abnormal cells but nothing was mentioned about HPV. When I went to pick up the test results so i could take them to a gynecologist Feb 22 the paper said I had abnormal cells and HPV. I had an STD screening and I didnt test positive for any STD's so how do i have HPV?  I'm so confused and I cant bare the thought of having given HPV to another person. I dont know if im contagious dont know what i have and its already driving me crazy. I cant stop crying and i cant stop shaking. I just hope someone can shed some light on this subject for me. I dont understand why no one mentioned the HPV and I dont understand if I have genital warts or what. Someone please help me!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
First of all let me just say that my name is Tina not Adam.
I am really suprised that your doctor didn't explain things a little better to you.  Im not sure how old you are, but depending on your age, most positive HPV's are usually false. Did you know that HPV can be in your body for years before you have any symptoms, thats why its so important to have your pap every year.   STD and HPV have nothing to do with each other,  you can not spread HPV, it is only given to you (the female) through sex from the male. Also abnormal cell changes can be from things like having sex right before your pap.  You should always avoid having sex before any gyneological exams,  you will probably be having a colposcopy when you see the gyne on the 22, having vaginal warts is not always a bad thing,  and if you do, they will most likely remove them during your colposcopy, this is not painful just uncomfortable, just be sure to take some IBP before your exam.  You will probably have a follow-up pap in a few months, most paps for young women are normal at this point,  Just be sure to always have your pap every year and to use condoms.  Also, have you heard about the Gardasil injection for HPV, if you are under 26 you should really talk to your provider about this.  I hope this will help you.  If you are still feeling confused there are some good sites to go to,  you can also get info about the colposcopy.  Good Luck!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I just need to add that HPV should be taken seriously because left untreated can turn into cervical cancer.  When paps are done they usually always check for HPV, and in women over 30 have more of a chance of actually getting cervical cancer.
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Avatar_n_tn
One more thing, I should of not put in HPV and STD are not the same thing, as they are, what I meant by that is STD, we usually think of gonorrhea, chalmydia, HPV is sexually transmitted by the male, and have different forms, and can cause genital warts, and those warts can actually spread to your partner, but in most cases not.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Tina...well I should say that I am 30 years old. I have never had an abnormal pap before and I've only slept with 2 men my entire life. ( i know numbers dont mean a thing here but im just saying)   I want to understand something..are you saying that even if i have HPV i cant pass it on to a male partner? I've always thought it was highly contagious and easily transmittable from person to person no matter the sex so i'm confused by that.  I have never had any signs of warts at all thats why i'm thrown for a loop. I also am wondering if the test results always come back positive for HPV when you show abnormal cells.  Does anyone know the answer to that?

Also I had a pap done in October last year and it came back normal but they said they needed another sample because they didnt feel they had enough to do a good test. I know things happen quickly but how is it that i was ok three months earlier?

I really just wish the nurse that told me about the abnormal results had mentioned the HPV to me before i got home and read it on the paper by myself. Oddly the abnormal cells results dont bother me anymore. Its the thought of having HPV for the rest of my life and always having to worry
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Avatar_f_tn
u can give hpv to a male...both types of the virus that cause warts and otherwise.u can have abnormal cells and not hpv...thin prep pap tests  show hpv cells.this is a tricky virus which can show anytime.crappy of nurse not to inform u verbally of the hpv.i was celibate for 10 years got in2 a rels. and foolishly did not use condoms.also foolishly b-lieved x when he told me no sex 4 3 years.i had CIN 1 first then 6 mos. later high risk HPV 2 colps and a LEEP surgery 8-07.Pap test came up normal 12-17 yipppee!bad cells gone from cervix but virus lies dormant.good website www.ashastd.org for hpv!
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Avatar_f_tn
well here's the thing. I went to that site you mentioned and noticed the two different tests that are done. one for the Pap smear (ThinPrep) and a separate one for HPV ( Hybrid Capture II)  My papers say I only had the ThinPrep test. so im more confused now than I was before. How can i be positive for something that according to their paperwork they never tested me for?  Lord have mercy if Feb 22 doesn't hurry up and get here i'm going to go nuts
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Avatar_f_tn
i was under the impression that the thin prep was the hpv test....i was told the thin prep will pick up hpv....and the hybrid capture must be a new one.they are developing new things with this constantly which is good!Calm down dear..I know how u feel.....it will work out for the best of ur health!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi again,
I just want to give you a little more info, There are alot of myths about HPV, and whose right and whose wrong, only your doctor can actually give you the right answers, also webmd has a good site for HPV try it!
There are different strains of HPV and genital warts is one, and yes that can be passed to males, but the HPV its self can only be given to a women by a male, and that is how we get it.  at this time there is not any testing for males.  Just having HPV does not mean that you will get warts and in most cases warts are not passed on, I do know that there is more studies of this, and Im sure soon we will all hear differently.  Most HPV is not even detected or do some women ever have symptoms, while others don't find out til their 70's.
They have came out with a new pap test and it can detect HPV, along with chalmydia and gonorrhea, they are thin prep and sure path, both are liquid based paps and for women over 30 should always be checked for HPV, and women under 30 they do reflex to HPV meaning that if something shows then they actually do the HPV test.
No HPV does not always show up on abnormal cells, ABN cells can be from a variety of things, and usually when they say they need to repeat your pap because they didn't have enough cells to check it, that what it means, the doctor didn't get enough cells on the brush for the lab to accurately do the test.  This usually freaks people out, but you should not be alarmed.  HPV is a virus, and like any other virus it can go away, or it can lay dorment for years without any symptoms.  That is why we have paps it comes from the word Papilloma re: Human Papillomavirus HPV.  Also as I mentioned yesterday girls and women 9-26 yrs old should get the gardisil injection as this can help prevent HPV.
I hope this has helped you, Im sorry that you are so confused and scared, and I know being 30 and just learning all of this can be overwhelming, just remember the sooner things are caught the better, and be sure to ask your doctor questions, take a list in with you, so that you can be sure that everything is answered.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with all adam 10b has 2 say.I am 52..i reacted so strongly to this and most likely due to x boyfriend yelling he didn't give this to me...was a really an a-hole about it...we had a bad parting of the ways which i know intensified my reaction.I always went to the doctor with my list of questions....and after a year has passed and my pap is clear..i am a much saner woman!Also choosing celibacy again until i feel good about any future partner..at 52 i won't go thru this again!
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412875_tn?1240369982
before december of 07 i didn't know very much on the hpv. i have been with my husband for 4 years and on march 4th we will be married for a year. i went to the doctor because i didn't have a period for two months and i was scared i was prego. but i got a pap smear done so i could get birth control (iud) a cupple weeks later they called me and told me that my pap was normal and that i had high risk hpv. but i had no cancerus cells at the time. they wanted me to come back in 6 months and get another pap done. when i herd this i was devestated. i cried for weeks i was hurt and i felt betrayed and ect. then when i calmed down i did a lot of reserch on hpv. yes you can pass hpv on to any sexual partner that you have sex with, yes only males are the ones you can get it from. but however there are diffrent ways you can get it from and i am not sure if all the sites i have been to but i have come to a conclution that they are really unsure of how you can spread the hpv. one web site said it can be stored under your fingernails, and one said you can get hpv threw skin to skin contact. and others say you could get it by sharing your underware, bath towles and washcloths ect. yes the hpv can be dormat in your system for up to 8 years. so you could of had it and it was undetected. i was shocked because i had a pap done not to long before that because i had a baby back in 2007. so when i got my 6 week check up they said it was normal and there was nothing there and then in december i got another one and it came back positive for high risk hpv. and yes the gardilil can prevent you from getting certain types of high risk hpv it dosen't prevent all types and it isn't a cure it just helps prevent you from getting it. also if you go to the doctor and ask what you can do to help you fight hpv they only thing you can really do is boost your immune system and your immune system can fight it off unless its to far advanced. you should go and get vtamins you can, like you want to get something with high antioxidants, omega-3's. try and get the emergen-c and drink that you also might want to get a malti-vitamin and also a prenatal vitamins are good and the doctor also said they are finding new things in walnuts and she said to eat about 8-10 walnuts a day ( also good for lowering your cholesterol) also if you smoke your twice as more likely for your high risk hpv to turn into cervical cancer, so if you smoke you might want to consider quiting. i just wish i knew what the symptoms of the hpv is other than genital warts. and i wish i knew what the symptoms are for it turning into cancer. i know that i went from having no periods from october to the begining of december and then i had two periods in december and january. i hope this has helped some of you out with your questions.
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Avatar_f_tn
www.ashastd.org is reccomended as a very credible source of info on HPV by the doctors here under the Experts Forum...STD.Browse the archives as well for their responses to people posting with HPV.There is a lot of misinformation out there as well.HPV left untreated for years develops in2 cervical cancer.Early detection and treatment nips this off the cervix...literally!:))
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Avatar_f_tn
I called yesterday to try and get a sooner appointment and they actually tried to change my appointment to a later date. When i told the woman that i was freaked out about the HPV and that no one had told me about it when i got the results of my pap test about it she actually said.."its just a virus"  It may be just a virus to her, but it's way more than that to me. I was able to find a doctor that will take me sooner (valentines day of all days) So hopefully i'll have some answers and calm down. Just knowing that i'll find out something the coming week has calmed me down a lot. I'm still hopeful that the test was completely wrong even though you all keep telling me its not possible.  

What bothers me is all ppl talk about it like its no big deal. They act like the only time you need to worry is if you actually have signs of warts and to my understanding thats not the case. The fact HPV can be dormant doesnt change the fact it can still be spread, but for some reason ppl think telling me that will make me feel better. It doesnt.

Thanks for all the information y'all =)
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Avatar_f_tn
it upsets the heck outta us and 2 the docs no big deal....i was really upset about this and my doc said U need to get over urself....ur not a member of a priveleged population,this is rampant!Now i realize she was trying to make me feel a part of the population..ok...but nonetheless like u it was not a good verbal bedside manner!!!I took me well over a year with paps colps the LEEP and now a clean pap to feel better....still bothers me a tad but i know how u feel....and with treatment and with time u'll come 2 better terms with it as many of us here have!
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412875_tn?1240369982
i have a question. when you all found out you had hpv did they do anymore tests on you or did they just say just come in ever 6 months and were going to keep an eye on it to see if you get cancerus cells?
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412875_tn?1240369982
thank you i wasn't sure on anything anymore i was just letting you all know what i know and apparently its a whole lot of nothing. thank you
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Avatar_f_tn
i had CIN 1.Had cryo surgery for this.went back for followup pap and 6 mos.later was told u got high risk hpv!had colp on this...then LEEP...recent pap clean of hpv cells on cervix....have to go every 4 mos. now for a year.......til 12-17-08 to be sure they don't return but one thing in my favor...a BIG thing is that i haven't had sex since 9-06 and no xposure to another strain of hpv.
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412875_tn?1240369982
so should i have something more than a pap done? my doc said that i didn't need anything more than that. but i am not sure i am still confused by the whole thing, and i do still have a whole **** load of mixed emotions running threw my head
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Avatar_f_tn
i have a question that maybe you can answer for me. Is it possible with no future exposure to HPV that you can be free of the disease?   I have read many websites and they say things like your own body can cure you of the disease sometimes in as little as 2 months and more often 2 years.  Has your doctor told you that this is a possibility or are these websites giving false hope?
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Avatar_f_tn
in younger wome n with no prior history they'll watch the HPV to see if it will go away on its own with paps...many times it will so follow ur docs advice and just take it from there.
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Avatar_f_tn
my doc and the docs have stated that the body can clear itself of the HPV virus in 6-12 mos.it lies dormant then.But there are more than 40 strains of this and if i got sexual with someone again,i could get another strain from them since men don't know they have it unless they have genital warts!So for me right now remaining celibate is a good thing for i'm not one to have sex just for fun.If i ever meet someone someday who is worthwhile...I will insist on testing for them for i don't want another std.Don't want another LEEP..and meeting someone worthwhile at my age is a very hard find.
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks..I just didn't understand the whole dormant thing. I know i can be exposed to new strains and that will always be a risk regardless but I just wanted to know if it became dormant and I found a person that didn't have it that i wasn't going to give it to him.

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Avatar_f_tn
u could run into guy who has HPV non wart bearing strain and he could give it to u again...and u to him but the sucky thing is we women have the most hassles with it,not the men unless they have warts.so important to find out the  guys std history...ALL of it...if they balk 4 get them!i feel good about my abstinence..the only way i can guarantee i won't get anything...and like i say at 52..my pickins r slim.Most men my age want younger women and multiple partners.....they are unbelievably ignorant to all the std's out there and so many don't even know what hpv is....even tho their the carrier.
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412875_tn?1240369982
lol amen, and let me add even if someone is married there is always a chance that some men (and i say some because not all men ) cheat. so if someones husband ever did cheat they could pick up i different strand of the hpv. and if that was the case if you had unprotected sex with him and you already had one type of high risk hpv then you could get that strand of the hpv as well and there is a good chance it could turn into cancer. i have been told that my husband was cheating on me but he denies it. and the bad thing about hpv is the fact it can be dormat for so many years that there is no really good way of telling when you got it. so i could of picked it up from him if he ever did really cheat on me but i can't prove it so the only thing i can say is that i picked it up before we got together from one of my other ex's and not known it and it didn't become positive until november.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had my colposcopy done last thur and I'm waiting for the results of that but the doctor said she didn't see anything for me to be worried about. There was one tiny and i do mean tiny spot that turned white during the procedure which BTW HURT LIKE H-E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS!!   I talked with her about HPV as well and basically she told me that we are all exposed to it the moment we have sex and the only ppl who don't have it these days are nuns.  (comforting thought huh)  She basically said that I shouldn't put life on hold because i have it and having it is not the end of the world. I'm in a committed relationship now and what concerned me was that having HPV and knowing that he was also a carrier now that it would have to be the end for us. I realize now that's not the case and it was a huge relief
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Avatar_f_tn
so she's gonna watch that lil spot?u go back in 6 mos to check and see?no ya can't put ur life on hold and its not the end of the world........stinks but too damn common.u sound like ur a young woman....i'm not that young anymore and am not that old at 52 but i'm too old for the BS thats rampant with the males in my age group that they seem to think is normal and i CHOOSE not 2 participate!Maybe someday i will meet someone who is mature takes care of their health and is cognizant of all these std's out there.....but until then i'm cool cruising solo...and no worries about getting nother strain of HPV!
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Avatar_f_tn
I went back yesterday and got the results of the colposcopy and my third pap smear in 4 months. They both showed atypical cells and not the mild dysplasia i was told i had before.  The doctor tells me the atypical means that i probably have an infection and she gave me a Rx. I have to go back in 4 months to have a second colposcopy which i am dreading like you would not believe. She said if that one comes back clear then i would go back to regular yearly exams. Let's hope the colposcopy comes back normal. It was dreadfully painful and i dont even want to know how bad the LEEP is.

I'm actually not that young. I'll be 31 in a few months. Men my age are just as bad as men in their 50's. I dont think its an age thing at all anymore. Its just, pardon my expression, but its just a horny universe we live in these days. My current boyfriend is much younger than me (24) and he had only 3 sexual partners when we met. It just goes to show that because you or the person you are with doesnt have a lot of experience you are just as likely to get an STD as the average prostitute.  Sobering thought huh?
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Avatar_f_tn
well this is some good news here for u!I began to look at it as one pap atta time,one exam atta time!Maybe that colp was painful cuz u were tense?weren't relaxed?that would be easy to do in this situation...mine felt like a big pinch and i just kept BREATHING!Don't think LEEP at this point.This HPV stuff really stinks..i know its common and the doctors say live with it...we have too.....I know a few men who can control themselves sexually expecially if their married or in a described monogomous relationship which is refreshing in this day and age.U r young dear I remember when i was 31????wow that was quite awhile ago!:)keep us posted!
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