STDs Expert Forum
Afraid
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Afraid

Hi,

I am 30 years old, in a monogamist relationship for more than 6 years. My last four paps came back abnormal (atypical cells). I had a colposcopy and the biopsy was negative for cancer or pre cancer. HPV is always negative. No wbc, rbc, bacteria were found in my urine. Never been tested for STDs. Could I have Chlamydia?

I am very afraid. Because if I have, assuming that my husband did not had any sexual encounter, I probably have this for more than 6 years... And then I can be infertile.

Danielle

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I would like to help, but I really don't understand where all the fear is coming from.  If your gynecologist says there is no risk for cancer, then you can rely on that.  So from that standpoint, there is no reason to be frightened.  Second, other than HPV, chlamydia and other STDs do not cause abnormal cells in the cervix of the sort that require colposcopy.  (Most likely you have had HPV, even if the HPV tests themselves are negative.  But you could have had it for years, without your husband being unfaithful.)  And it sounds like you're not at risk for chlamydia or other STDs.  If your husband has had other partners, you could be at risk-- but you seem to think that isn't likely, and you are the best judge of that possibility; you know your husband and I do not.  However, if you are at risk, it probably has nothing to do with your abnormal pap smears.

If you remain concered about STD, speak with your doctor.  It's an easy thing to test for chlamydia and other STDs in order to be sure. (You might find s/he has already tested you, with negative results.)

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
9 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree. But, my doctor said that maybe the cause for my abnormal paps is a STD. She said that maybe a STD is causing some kind of inflammation... Then she said the word "Chlamydia". Now I am afraid. I said to her that I feel fine and she said that Chlamydia has no symptoms... Then I asked to be tested. But I have to wait for one week for the results and this is driving me crazy. Now I am wondering during the gynecological exam, could she see if something was wrong with me?
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Avatar_f_tn
OK, Thank you for your response. Just for my curiosity. Can I have a STD for more than 6 years?

Thank you again, Danielle
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239123_tn?1267651214
I change my response, with a more nuanced reply -- before your follow-up comment.  My response is now somewhat different.  But it probalby doesn't change things much.

However, if the abnormal changes on pap smear are due to inflammation, chlamydia indeed is a possibility.  So is gonorrhea, trichomonas, and other STDs.  However, most women with inflammation on pap smear have no STD.  Often the cause of inflammation is simply unknown.  I cannot say whether your gynecologist acutally saw something that made her suspect STD.  You need to clarify that with her.  In any case, as I replied above, it's an easy thing to be tested.  If the results are positive, deal with it.  If negative, you can rely on the test results.

But the most important thing by far is to trust your gynecologist.  Evaluation by a provider who has actually examined you is more reliable than the opinion of a distant expert.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Chamydia is rarely if ever carried for as long as 6 years.  Herpes is possible, but there isn't a thing in your story that even hints at herpes.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you Doctor. And related to the HPV issue. If I had HPV in the past and now the HPV test has been negative for more than 1 year, does that mean that I do not have the virus in my body anymore?
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239123_tn?1267651214
Most HPV infections clear up within a year, so most likely your infection is gone.
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Avatar_f_tn
I thought that HPV could go dormant but it is never eradicated from the body.  If a person has HPV 16, tests positive and then a year later, tests negative, she still has hpv 16 but it just isn't "active".  So, if she comes in contact with HPV 16 again, she won't be infected "twice".  Am I misunderstanding how these HPV's work?  Also, that HPV16 could still cause some problems with cancer years later if the immunity is compromised.

I know that bacteria infections can be completely cleared from the body - i.e. you get chlamydia once, take medication to kill it, you can still get chlamydia again because it's a bacteria.  Viruses are different which is why we can be vaccinated against them.  Is it wrong to think that a virus is never eradicated from the body?

HPV is so confusing.
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239123_tn?1267651214
There is debate among the experts on whether HPV invariably persists.  Nobody knows for sure.  What is clear is that within 6-12 months (faster with some HPV types, slower with others -- often up to 24 months for some types), most infections can no longer be detected using the most sensitive available tests.  The large majority of such persons never have a recurrent problem and apparently do not transmit to their partners.  So for practical purposes, most HPV infections clear up within a year, whether or not HPV DNA persists at an undetectable level.

This is a thread jump, answered only because the information is important for all readers.  But no ongoing discussion, please.
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