Hi doctors, I'm a 22 year old female and i was exposed to low risk hpv about a year ago. I have been to 2 doctors at a sexual health clinic, the last time was about 2 months ago. I just got back from seeing a nurse practitioner at a different clinic because I had some inflammation and irritation, along with a cut that comes back every 2 weeks( no blisters ) she swabbed me for herpes. Aside.. she said she saw genital warts and that it was probably what was bothering me. The other 2 doctors told me they didn't see any warts and that it was just glands. I also do not see anything that resembles warts. The other two doctors told me not to worry because they hadn't seen any warts, and told me that the virus clears in time. The nurse practitioner was extremely addament that the genital warts type of hpv will always be in my body and i will always get future outbreaks of warts, just like herpes. I told her about it clearing within two years and she argued with me that its only the high risk types.. I don't know what to do.. i feel so lost.. i'm worried about the herpes swab.. and now apparently i have warts.. which i cannot see, nor could the other doctors, and it will never go away? what do I tell future partners? I haven't even slept with that many people i'm so depressed. I don't know who to believe or what to do.. she wants me to go back in a week and have these apparent warts frozen off.. but I don't know if I should. I wish I could just make an appointment to visit one of you in the US and have this all figured out. PLEASE HELP! also.. one last question, can I have my future male partners just receive the hpv vaccine to protect them? Thanks so much
Welcome to our Forum. I'm so sorry to hear of your most unfortunate interaction with this nurse. Her comments were insensitive. incorrect, simplistic and unprofessional. It sounds like the doctors you met with were more realistic and appropriate.
For better or worse, at present HPV is a "fact of life" and most people have it or will have it at some point in the future. Despite this fact, only a tiny minority of persons with HPV get the consequences of infection (primarily women and primarily cancer and pre-cancerous lesions). HPV is the most commonly acquired STD. Over 85% of sexually active women will have HPV infection at some time in their lives. The figure for men is less well studied but similar. In some HPV will cause genital warts, in others it will not cause warts but may lead to changes in PAP smears. In nearly everyone who gets HPV, warts or otherwise, the infections will resolve by themselves without therapy in 8-24 months. In a very small minority of women, HPV infection can persist and lead to the pre-cancerous lesions that PAP smears detect and which can then be treated. For men there is far less risk of any sort. Being so very common, it certainly is not something to be too upset about
It sounds to me that there is not agreement on whether or not you even have HPV. If you do, so what! - most other people do too. I would not advise you to see this nurse again- clearly she is not helping you. Further, since IF you have HPV, it is unlikely to have any major consequence for you, I would advise against getting treated (freezing) if you are not sure that you even have the infection.
Given how widespread HPV is, I do not feel strongly about discussing this with sexual partners. On the other hand, I think the HPV vaccine is a goo idea for everyone, male an female, if possible for its potential benefits, both on a personal and for partners.
I hope these comments are helpful. There are excellent other perspectives available on the web site run by the American Social Health Association -check out both their information on HPV and on Sexual Health. (Disclosure. Dr. Handsfield and I are both members of the American Social Health Association Board of Directors.) EWH
Thanks so much doctor, I am also nervous about the cut that she swabbed, I didnt think it was possible for herpes to come back atleast once every 2 weeks, but she said it was,.. i also thought you had to have blisters, anyways i guess i will find out in a week, thank you so much again for your help!
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