Two years ago, I had an abnormal pap, resulting from HPV. I had a colposcopy done, and the results came back stating that I had precancerous cell changes on the cervix at a low grade one. I was told to wait and continue getting pap smears every 6 months to see if it goes away, because in most cases it does on it own. Same thing came back with the abnormal papsmear, and I had another colposcopy stating that it had not gotten worse, but it hasnt gotten better. Now that it has been 2 years, I should get the LEEP procedure to prevent the cell changes from becoming invasive. She also told me that I was a "high risk for the "wart virus" which is only affecting my cervix. So, now in one week I will be getting the LEEP. I am not nervous about the procedure, however I do have some unanswered questions. My boyfriend and I who have been together for 3 years are in a monogamous relationship. He has no symptoms of HPV, and was told that it is very hard to detect in men. If I have this LEEP done, is it possible that I can get reinfected considering we are in a monogamous relationship?? Or, has my body built up antibodies against the type of HPV I have, where it wont come back. I am trying to avoid ever having the LEEP done again due to the decrease of fertility everytime it is done. I am only 22, and I want kids, but not right now. Also, are there any things I can do to boost my immune system to better fight this off??
There is always the possibility it will come back. Unfortunately there are no guarantees. Are you still at low grade dysplasia (precancerous cells)? If you are maybe you should discuss cryosurgery/cryotherapy. This is a procedure where they go in and freeze the precancerous cells. They say it is 80-90% affective I had this done when my dysplasia was moderate. I will tell you it didn't work for me and my cells turned to severe and I just had LEEP done about 2 weeks ago. I have the same fears of "what if I have to have it again" because of fertility issues and only being 21. So maybe the cryo would be something you might want to discuss with your doctor. I know one of the girls here has had LEEP done twice however and is now with her doctors ok trying to conceive, and has high hopes. Good Luck and keep us posted!!
Hi. I'm also about to have a LEEP and am concerned about fertility. Reinfection isn't exactly an issue if you are monogamous. HPV stays in your body for several years before your immune system successfully destroys it, so even if you weren't exposed to the virus again, the fact that it's still in your body means that your dysplasia could come back. If you weren't monogamous, you could also be exposed to new strains of the virus.
There are several things you can do to improve your immune system. The most important thing you can do is to improve your diet by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, because fruits and veg are the BEST sources of the vitamins and minerals that the immune system requires to function properly. Just have a vegetable with lunch and dinner, and eat fruit a couple of times a day as a snack, or with breakfast and lunch. Have a couple of glasses of orange juice each day. Easy - no need to get complicated about it.
Exercise also helps your body fight infections. Again, you don't have to do anything extreme. A 20 minute walk 4 days a week would be a great start. You can also take vitamin supplements. The vitamin most likely to help fight dysplasia is probably folic acid. I would say your best bet would be to take a folic acid supplement. Taking a B complex and vitamin C might help, too. But go for the folic acid.
Timber- I usually agree with EVERYTHING you say, but even in a monogamous relationship the virus could reinfect look at previous threads about couples who have only ever been with each other. HPV has many strains and it is a virus that can be spread back and fourth between partners. Unless I misunderstood something......
Losethoscurls I think you and I agree but are just wording our thoughts differently. A person can become reinfected with other strains of the virus. However, if a woman is only with one man, she's probably been exposed to every strain that he carries. So, if she stays monogamous with that man, she won't be exposed to any additional strains.
If a woman's body successfully fought off the virus, and she continued having sex with her monogamous partner, she could definitely be reinfected if he was still a carrier. However, she wouldn't be exposed to new strains. You know what I mean?
Timber and lovethoscurls, thank you very much for the information. Does cryosurgery have any affect on fertility?? My gyno never even mentioned this, but anything to help prevent me from having trouble conceiving is worth hearing about atleast. My gyno said that because my strains are the same as my boyfriend, my body has built up antibodies against it, however, if I am with another man sexually who has a different strain, then I can definately be reinfected. She also stated that it could come back simply because the colposcopy just didnt show a certain area that was infected even though it existed. Like I said, I am really nervous about having kids. Now, after the LEEP, what do I wait for?? Do they test the cells that they have taken off?? Or do I just wait for a follow-up?? Also, I have heard about creams that my boyfriend can use to help prevent these "invisible" warts from appearing... have either of you heard about this?? Also, what about this new vaccine coming out preventing certain strains of HPV. I believe it is gauged toward strains 16 and 18, yet I have 33 and 35. Even though my body has been exposed to HPV, can I take the vaccine to prevent certain other types like 16 and 18?? I( know there are alot of question, sorry!! Thanks again.
I can't say I know to much about the vaccine. Cryo has not effect on fertility, however cells are destroyed and can not be sent for further testing, with LEEP they can be. With LEEP they will send them to the lab and be able to tell what they were and if they got all of them. With cry they can not do this, so you are back to the waiting game for another 4 months till they can repeat pap and tell you if it was successful. I haven't heard anything about any creams either.
Thanks again lovethoscurls. I think that after having this for 2 years, and it not changing, I think I should go ahead with the LEEP so they can atleast test the cells. tThen after that, if it comes back, get the cryo if that is possible. It seems like the best option to find out what is going on and prevent the infertility to get worse. I am also going to be under anesthesia for this surgery...does that seem weird?? Most people I talk to said that they just get a local.
I have heard of a lot of doctors putting you to sleep for this. My didn't and before hand I honestly was wishing he was going to, because I was scared. I have never had ANYTHING done up until all of this mess for the last year. I wouldn't be worried about it. Some doctors just feel safer because you have to be completely still because if you move the loop may touch something you don't want it to touch. I would make sure if your ins is paying for this that they do cover the anesthesiologist though. Good Luck JSilva! If you have anymore questions just let us know. We all know how stressful this can be!
The word lovethoscurls just used, "mess," is a good word for dysplasia. The whole situation is a long, stressful, annoying mess.
I'm not getting put under. I've read lots of LEEP stories and some women get put under but most don't. I personally don't see a point in being put under for a 5 or 10 minute procedure and then having to deal with the side effects of anesthesia for the rest of the day. But I guess you should do what you and your doc feel is best for you.
The vaccine isn't out quite yet, but they aren't sure yet if the vaccine will be effective on women who have already been exposed to HPV. It's an interesting question.
I just want to let you know that your fertility will be ok if you have multiple LEEPS. Doctor's say that there are cases in which a woman can't carry to term, or may go into pre-mature labor. But there are so many different things that they can do to help you carry to term. My doctor has insured me that I will not have any issues thus far with pregnancy. I've had two LEEPS.
Being reinfected with HPV is always a huge concern. My Dr. compares HPV to a weed. It can go away and then come back at any time. Its very scary for us to go through but at least we have eachother to talk to.
I agree with Timber. A woman wont get infected with a new strain if she is with the same partner.
I just had another abnormal pap. I will get my colposcopy results next week. I'm praying that I won't need anything done further but the only thing I can say is that i'm being proactive and i'm making sure that this does not progress to cancer. I think we are all being smart and following up on our paps.
one more thing: i've been put to sleep for a LEEP and i've also been awake for one. either way it's fine. if you are going to be awake you don't feel anything! I just seem to get very worked up about this so my doctor put me to sleep the last time.
I just want to let you know that your fertility will be ok if you have multiple LEEPS. Doctor's say that there are cases in which a woman can't carry to term, or may go into pre-mature labor. But there are so many different things that they can do to help you carry to term.
LEEPS can cause fertilty problems if you have it done multiple times. As it shortens the cervix and makes it more difficult for sperm to make it's way up. It doesn't always but it can. As SL mentioned it can also cause pre-mature birth, they do however have ways of preventing this.
When I asked my Doctor that question he said that at the present time I would not have any problems with having children. He said that he has only "shaven" the part of my cervix that showed the abnormality during any of my LEEPS and that he has not taken any chunks of my cervix off.
This story might shed some light. My cousin had severe dysplasia/HPV. she had a cone biopsy, where they remove a cone shaped part of your cervix. She has had 2 healthy children and did not have any problems carrying them to full term. that story makes me stay positive.