I am 45 years old and consider myself extremely healthy. I have exercised regularly (4 to 6 times per week) since my early 20's, weigh 117 at 5 ft. 6 ,don't smoke or drink, and try to eat healthy. I have 3 children and have always had a normal yearly pap. Last week my GYN called and said that my pap was still normal but I tested positive for HPV with the digene test. (He said his office just started using this test along with the pap this year) So I came in for a colposcopy and he did a biopsy from several places on my cervix. He said he was doing them "just to be on the safe side" but I am truly worried. My husband and I have been married and faithful for 16years. I really started to panic when I was on one Internet site and started reading about women who just like me had normal paps with Drs who just started using the HPV test, testing positive, having colopscpy and then discovering that they had invasive cervical cancer.
How can this be? I have always thought that having yearly paps and mamograms was the safest thing I could do to protect myself.
Is it possible that I have had this HPV for over 16 years and it suddenly, coincidentily is active when my doctor tests me for it for the first time? Or has my HPV been active for over 16 years? That scares me to death because of the damage it could have done all this time.
I am in agony until next week when I get the results of the colopscopy.
I wouldn't be too concerned. I am certainly not an expert in HPV testing or PAPs, but the fact that you are having normal PAPs implies (to me at least) that your HPV infection isn't doing much of anything. A positive HPV test means the doctor should monitor the situation more carefully. I believe that the doctor is being honest with his "just to be on the safe side" rationale. Hopefully another forum member can provide more insight, but for now remember how HPV is (75-90% of us will get it) and how rare cervical cancer is, especially among people who get regular PAPs.
I’m hoping that you have your colposcopy result back now and that it is normal. Since your Pap was normal to have an HPV test just confuses the issue. More Dr’s are using the Pap+ test (which means Pap and HPV test) if you are over 30 but they often don’t understand it. The Dr. should have explained this to you first and of course it costs more, so does having a colposcopy. You should have had a repeat Pap in 6-12 months before a colposcopy if your Pap was normal. And I’m not sure why biopsies are done to be on the safe side, either he saw something or he didn’t, you can have colposcopy which is visual and not biopsy. Your Pap tests in the past were probably conventional on a slide and the new ones are liquid that can pick up abnormalities that don’t mean anything. You need to have the liquid Pap in order for them to run an HPV test from it. The HPV test can cross react and be called abnormal when it is not. There is a lot of misinformation about HPV and in most women even if they have HPV it resolves 4 menstrual cycles later. If you have been in a 16 year relationship, your risk factor is low. Cervical cancer is rare unless there is a history in your family. Good Luck.
Yes, my colposcopy came back normal and my Dr said to reschedule an apointment in 6 months. I read that I should have just returned 6 months later without a colposcopy too, but I guess his office goes above what the guidelines are (money may indeed be a factor). I just hope when I go back in February that I test negative for the HPV. I really don't want that virus hanging around just waiting to do damage. I've been trying all kinds of natural approaches to strenghtneing my immune system, so we'll see....
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