I'm going in tomorrow for a colposcopy, after being told today I have low grade mild dysplasia, associated with HPV. She said most likely, in fact she practically assured me, that this wasn't cancer. From what I've read there are over 100 kinds of HPV, 75% of the population has it at one time, that not all lead to cancer or warts, that often it goes away on its own. Is this correct? And does this mean I have genital warts now and wil lalways be contagious? I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I know I can ask my doctor all this tomorrow but I know I'll be up all night and am searching for all info I can get. But has anyone experienced this and have any advice? I'm pretty terrified, honestly.
I think every one of us has been right where you are. Just know that knowledge is power and you won't feel so confused and helpless as you learn about all this. You've already got a lot of info and you're correct - there are a lot of different strains of HPV and a huge percentage of the population has been exposed. The strains that cause warts generally don't cause cervical cell changes. It's important if you have an abnormal pap that you be tested to learn what strain you have. The reason - if you have a high risk strain (ie. 16 or 18) then the docs might want to watch you closer if you continue having abnormal paps. (That's what I have unfortunately). Please don't panic - in the case of mild dysplasia your body has a huge opportunity to fight off the virus and the abnormal cell changes. It's NOT cancer - it's the first in a series of changes that can lead to cancer if left alone for years. Most doctors will do a re-pap in a couple of months and if there is still mild dysplasia, they'll do a colposcopy and biopsy to be certain the changes aren't more severe. Remember - pap smears are screening tools only and the real diagnosis can only be with a biopsy. If your biopsy shows mild dysplasia, they'll likely put you on a watch with paps every three to six months. There are some things you can do to help your immune system fight off the virus - Don't smoke, don't let your hubby or boyfriend smoke (or if they do, use condoms), up your intake of folic acid and vitamin c. If you want specifics about a regimine I used, search for my post Using vitamins and minerals to reverse dysplasia. Anyway - that's a general overview. Hopefully your body will fight off the virus and you won't have further trouble. Some of us have been battling this thing for some time and in a few, it's progressed. In some (like me) it keeps regressing then coming back as mild dysplasia then regressing again. The GOOD news is - there are treatments they can use such as LEEP if it does happen to progress to moderate or severe dysplasia to stop it from ever becoming cancer. Just always, always keep current on your pap smears and you'll be fine! Hope that helps. <hugs>