Thanks for the response. I realize that the doctor I saw Monday was still a resident physician, meaning she was not quite an established gyno. I now know that I'd never let an inexperienced hand do a LEEP on me (remember Michelle's nightmare???), especially knowing how aggressively she wanted to treat my dysplasia.
I saw one more doctor today and she was not as aggressive as the doctor I saw last Monday yet not as conservative as my best friend's mom. She said waiting and monitering is ok for a little bit, but if the dysplasia still is around in the next couple of months, then a LEEP is suggested. Something else that she suggested (as did my friend's mom) is that for CIN I/II that a minor, minor LEEP should be done-- meaning only a very small piece should be shaved off. Apparently there's all types of LEEPs- there are more minor ones that they'd use for our type dysplasia and there are more invasive LEEPs where they take more out tissue for more severe dysplasia. Interestingly, the doctor on Monday never mentioned this to me-- so I definitely know that if I need a LEEP if this regimen doesn't work, that I wouldn't want the aggressive doctor doing it! This has definitely been a learning experience for me in terms of doctor's opinions and treatment options. Unfortunately for us, we're in this gray area between CIN I and II where anything can be suggested. I truly hope our naturopathic treatment works for us!
I hope the regimen is holding up okay for you! I wanted to ask you another quick question about the suppositories. I know we're not supposed to have sex while we're on the suppository regimen, so do you abstain when you do those vitamin a suppositories? And you're not using condoms, right?
I'm taking a few weeks off of the suppositories before my boyfriend moves to NY. I'm not sure if I should use condoms (I'm still on the pill, getting off of it next month) so as to not irritate my cervix? But then I remembered you weren't using condoms so I thought I'd ask what you're doing with your boyfriend (well not literally, hahaha). Anyway thanks for the advice and support-- I'm so glad we're going through this similar plan together! Hope you're having a great weekend!
Hey girls...sorry for the delayed response. Since seeing a new doc earlier this week I've been preoccupied reading up on cryo and all that...doing tons of research too. I just faxed a bunch of medical records to a THIRD doctor today- one at a medical college, hoping once again for another opinion. Hahah I wonder what my insurance company thinks of all this!! (actually, probably not so funny...)
My biggest gripe is that my results are kind of ambigous, and have been done in different labs, by different docs/pathologists over the past year. It makes me wonder about the subjectivity of how they "call" a result. I hate not knowing EXACTLY what my diagnosis is too! And maybe when I think its getting better, it is jsut the different doc's eye. Uggg.. who knows. My docs have always given a general interpretation of what the pathology reports say, and maybe I just dont know how to ask the right questions when I'm on the spot. I'm definately preparing better for the next one.
Anyways, the first doc recommended cryo as she errs on the side of caution, while the doc I've just recently seen suggested cryo, and his reasoning being that I would likely just keep getting abnormal paps, and why not take care of it with a simple procedure which helps 90% of women have normal paps. he also recommended cryo since I jump back and forth between home and school out in LA, and have different docs. Maybe he's worried I wouldnt follow up. After leaving his office I was 75% confident of his recommendations to do cryo, and he said I'd need to call back the next day to schedule ( I told him I wanted to think it over). He said it was best to do it early next week, having just gotten off my period, and that he'd be out of town the next couple days. My window for deciding was small. That whole next day I read and researched frantically, and alas, business hours were over and I hadnt called. I still just CANT bring myself to call, and I think that says something...I'm just not comfortable with it.
In addition to getting a third opinion (which is in the works right now) I plan on finding a natural doctor when I get back to LA (I'm home from school in Wisconsin for the summer...). My life is pretty crazy right now, which is one worry of mine in terms of sticking to a health regimine. Right now I feel like I'm just sort of following my own instincts as far as vitamins, taking different ones as I read about them. I wonder if this is counter-intuitive or bad in any way...? i also take a few different brands of vitamins, depending on if I'm near a "natural food store" (dont want to name names...).
One thing I've been wondering: do they do HPV testing on the pap smears? I've never been HPV DNA tested, but in the pathology report "history" section, it cites a result as "ASCUS, HR HPV". This sounds like a diagnosis of high risk HPV, but I was never aware of being tested. I know it doesnt make a whole lot of difference, but one thing I've been reading in the research is how the progression of dysplasia to cancer can depend a great deal on if you have low risk or high risk HPV.
Which also makes me wonder...if there's an underlying VIRUS that is causing issues for our cervixes (cervices?), how is just cutting/burning/freezing/lasering out the "bad" parts going to solve anything??? Isnt it just as likely to cause more issues? Cutting off your stuffy nose when you have a cold isnt going to cure the cold, no?? I just get suspicous that these docs feel they have to do SOMETHING, and with fear of malpractice or some such threat, maybe they are more inclined to take this route with our bodies.
I just feel so ambivilant towards ALL of it. I mean, its definately going against the grain to not blindly trust what one doctor says. To be suspicious of the whole medical route, to question it, to feel a strong inclination to seek out another way... at times I question my instincts though. I'm guessing y'all have had similar feelings...?? Like, maybe I should just do away with the "bad" parts like they say...but deep down I know that its not what's right for me. I need to heal myself! I hope you ladies are having luck doing so...I need faith that its possible.
I completely understand EXACTLY what you're going through now-- exactly! We have the same dysplasia diagnosis and unfortunately, this ambiguous result will generate different treatment recommendations with different doctors. Trust me, THAT in and of itself is frustrating!
So like I said before, you MUST be 100% comfortable with getting a procedure done. You said you were 75% comfortable with going ahead with the cryo-- well, I'm not sure that's good enough to go ahead with it, then.
When my first doc suggested a LEEP and I first got my CIN I-II diagnosis, I was upset, crying, and just wanted all this OVER with. In my emotional state, I wanted the LEEP. I wanted the LEEP because I thought I'd get normal paps after that and the problem would be solved.
But after I calmed down, I decided to seek more information. I joined these boards and found a great support network. I searched hours online for all types of information on dysplasia, HPV, treatments, natural treatments, etc. I made appointments with different doctors who were NOT all employed at my university (because they'd all be trained the same way).
As I said before, all the docs suggested different things. I went ahead with my best friend's mother's opinion who said not to get a LEEP now and I could moniter my dysplasia with follow up paps and biopsies for the next several months-- she's been a gynecologist for many, many years so her years of expertise AND the fact that she loves me like a daughter gave her opinion much more weight than the other doctors, who wanted to give me a LEEP.
So you see? I definitely agree with you that these doctors are being very aggressive and err on the side of caution because they don't want to get sued!!! Simple as that! My boyfriend is a physician's assistant and he's said that medicine is now based upon a "Cover your own a** medicine" protocol. It's better for them to over-treat than under-treat. This says EVERYTHING to me about why I've received differing doctor opinions. My best friend's mom isn't scared of me suing her for undertreatment and she would never recommend that I do something which could harm my health!
I'm urging you to seek out more information and opinions. I also do encourage the natural route as I'm currently on it myself. I cannot attest to its success yet, but as you can see another woman on this board, Shadow88, just posted her success story using a naturopathic treatment.
You're also right about these surgical treatments not being a cure-all. They don't cure us of HPV! And HPV is what is causing this dysplasia for most of us. The only way to guarantee that dysplasia won't come back or to make it regress is to suppress the virus via health changes, lifesyle factors, etc. Definitely read Dr. Tori Hudson's article on Preventing and treating cervical dysplasia naturally. It's very encouraging and the study shows how successful naturopathy is for treating cervical dysplasia...even CIN III!
You do have to be dedicated to the program, though. It's only 3 months so I think that's more than worth it to help the dysplasia regress and help suppress the virus. And honestly, it's not that bad taking tons of vitamins and eating healthier. There are also daily vaginal suppositories that help treat the abnormal cervical cells, which aren't too bad either. Really look into it if you're toying with the idea. There are tons of naturopathic doctors here in california and while it's a little expensive, I'd rather go this route than jumping into a LEEP which may not get to the root of the problem (HPV infection).
Take care Marielle! I know how difficult this is but realize that a few of us are doing this treatment and it can work, if you apply yourself. But definitely get more information for yourself and make a decision based on what you've learned-- you must feel 100% comfortable with whatever you choose to do! Hope you're well and let me know if you have any other specific questions on the naturopathic treatment.
I wanted to just say hi and see how your regimen is going for you. Aren't you almost done soon? I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a normal pap smear for you!!
I have one more month til I finish my regimen and then I have to wait another month to let things "settle" down there (haha) before I do another pap. Even if it comes back as just CIN I I'd be happy! Well I'd be happy with a normal result but as long as things get better and not the same or worse then that'd be great.
Anyway I just wanted to see how you're holding up and I hope you're doing well! Take care
LA girl have you done any treatment for CIN I- II ? Or are you just taking vitamins and doing the wait and see. I wonder if my colpo shows just CIN I if I should just do the wait and see. I am 27 years old and I stopped smoking when I got my pap results and started taking vitamins to suppress it as much as I could.( I didnt really smoke that much before but still socially) So I am trying to eat healthy and take supplements. Also about leep...I asked my doctor about getting this done instead of cryo because it has a better success rate and she said she could do that if I wanted and she would just do very small two little areas. So that can do just smaller areas depending on the level of dysplasia.
Last edited by sarmee; 08-14-2007 at 08:28 PM.
Furtiva and I are both undergoing a similar health regimen to boost our immune systems in the hopes of suppressing the HPV we have-- I believe this is the best way to help us out, by getting to the root of the problem (HPV). I'm under the care of a naturopathic doctor here in California and these doctors have had great success in successfully treating different stages of dysplasia with vitamin supplements, dietary and health changes, and daily vaginal suppositories. Each doctor will prescribe a different regimen according to your health and diagnosis. Furtiva and I opted to back out of a LEEP as we're both bridging low grade and high grade dysplasia (CIN I-II). This gives us a bit more flexibility to try a holistic and naturopathic treatment.
Try reading through this thread to see what we're taking to give you an idea of what you could start taking. But definitely wait and see what your biopsy results are and then make your own decision. I feel that improving my health is the best bet and of course if this regimen doesn't work, well then I always have the LEEP to fall back on. I'm young like you, too, and don't want to mess around with my reproductive organs unless it's necessary -- and right now with a CIN I-II diagnosis, I know it isn't necessary.
Take care and let me know if you have other questions!
Thanks for your inquiry. By the end of the month my time will be up for the final result. Doctor suggested colpo to make sure to see all the changes and/or improvements if any.
I am getting very nervous, needles to say, as the colpo dates approaches. I might have to postpone the colpo for a week bcs it might fall under my period and I'd rather have it done a week after the period, so that the cervix is not too tender. I'll definitely let you know.
I was thinking all and all after this its a good lesson for me. It made me realize things that are important to me like health issues and taking care of yourself in the long term.
On a different note, I will be coming to San Diego some time soon for a 2 weeks visit. I hope I get good news so I can fully enjoy the San diego sun . When is your Bf moving to NY?
FYI, don't mean to preach (I smoke many years before I quit) but to offer more incentive to stop smoking completely: research very clear: nicotine stores in cervical ducts (among other tissues) and more than double your risk for cervical dysplasia and make it very hard for immune system to function properly.
Ohhh I'm really hoping everything goes well for you by the end of this month. So you're not getting a pap first and going straight for the colpo?
I'm starting to get nervous too, even though I have to wait til October to get a re-pap. I'm toying with the idea of getting escharotic treatments if my dysplasia hasn't changed-- what about you? Anyway lets' hope we don't have to consider alternate options! I'm sending you warm wishes from Cali!
A trip to San Diego will be nice and relaxing for you-- the weather out here is beautiful now! Not too hot and there's always a nice ocean breeze. My bf leaves for NY this Saturday night so that's been stressful and crappy, too! Especially since we probably won't see each other til December after my exams. Oh well! I guess I can just focus 100% on school and my health til then.
I hope you're doing well! Please let me know how it all goes! Take care
yeah quitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do even for me not being a heavy smoker I still am addicted to it. But I am trying to do anything I can now to supress this virus. I was wondering if anyone here was in a long term monagomous relationship and then found out they had hpv. I am just wondering because I have been with my spouse for 4 yrs and now this show up after normal paps until now. I also am wondering if the doc only saw two little warty tissues would she also be able to see dysplasic areas or are they sometimes very hard to spot?
I was in a monogamous, long-term relationship when I first starting having abnormal paps and was diagnosed with HPV. In fact, most of my friends and lots of women here on this board seem to first find out about their HPV when involved in monogamous relationships. I wonder if it's because lots of women in these relationships tend to stop using condoms and go on the pill? Since there's no barrier, perhaps contracting HPV would be easier than if we used condoms? But I also know condoms don't protect fully against contracting HPV. Who knows! All I know is that HPV is rampant and it's pretty much a marker for someone who's had sex. Unless you are a virgin and you marry a virgin, there's not way to really protect yourself from getting HPV. Oh the joys we women go through!
There are cases of HPV/dysplasia in this board of virgins marrying virgins and being ultimately faithful to each other, so even that is not unheard. Don;t get stuck on such trivial things like how you contracted it, you have it now, so take care of yourself.
As far as your question, if the doc performed a colpo, than he/she would have been able to detect dysplasia in your cervix or on the canal by appying the acedic lotion. Depending on how experienced (and beleived or not how strong eyes your doctor has!).
WHen you first quit smoking is the hardest time ever, than after you make it say in three months time, you dont even want to be near to those who smoke. Ain't that nice? Just try to keep yourself busy and everytime you think of a cigarette think of all the bad things you're getting from it.
LaGirl, yours is an interesting theory of being monogamous ang going on the pill that makes HPV active. Mine is a bit different, I think it's because your body gets used to a certain life style and partner so it goes to a staus quo, and when you encounter stress it hits your immune system the most. As I have almost always had exclusive LTR and used pills very rarely, my case of first ever yeast infection (that lead to abnormal PAP and dysplasia) came up when I was under a lot of stress. My continous monogamity (loyality) didn't affect a thing.
Back to the health regimen, this month I am taking fish oil tablets, the spectrum brand to reinforce the omega 3 fatty acids intake.
Somehow nomatter how healthy I try to feed myself, I feel that I am not getting enough of everything! I guess i'm getting a bit obsessive about this whole thing.
I didnt realize until I got diagnosed with hpv that I had alot of things stacked against me..I smoked..have been on birth control for 5 yrs..and have a very stressful job (sales)...my theory is I have the dysplasia because of stress. I just got done planning a wedding and getting married and moved out of state and started a new job all in 2 months time..now I find out about this..go figure. Yeah I know it is stupid to place blame but I most likely got it from my husband considering I was a virgin until him. So of course it does sometimes get to me..but I love him and I know he wouldnt do anything to hurt me..It just was weird because I read online that usually your body fights it off within 2 yrs...but I guess that isnt the case because it seems alot of people have been in long terms and then it shows up all of a sudden....
Last edited by sarmee; 08-16-2007 at 04:29 PM.
Yeah trying to figure out how HPV works in conjunction with dysplasia will make your head hurt. Even the doctors don't fully know how it works so there isn't much point trying to figure out why/how you have it/got it-- like furtiva said, the most important thing is to figure out how to live a healthier lifestyle so your body's immune system will eventually recognize the HPV strain(s) you have so it won't cause any more dysplastic changes.
One reason that HPV may show up later in women who have been with the same partner for years is the following: my friend's mom, the gyno, told me that most women will benefit from the HPV vaccine for a variety of reasons. Say you've been married or with your husband/boyfriend for years and you've both been faithful. Well, you are both exposed to and both share the same active HPV strains in your bodies. So let's say you and your boyfriend share HPV strain #68 and your body is working to recognize and suppress the virus. *BUT* your boyfriend could also be carrying A DORMANT HPV strain #16 that you aren't infected with currently because it is dormant. But say in 3 years time, that HPV 16 becomes active and there you go, you've now been infected with a new strain! So my friend's mom told me that the vaccine can help protect you against that possibility, as well.
The more you read and learn about HPV, the more you see how prolific it is and how it is virtually impossible to screen against it-- unless you remain a virgin for life! And who wants that? Hahaha!
The bottom line is that even if you have an aggressive strain of HPV, there is no way it'll progress to cancer if you are vigilant with your check-ups and moniter your health closely. Most cases of cervical cancers are found in third world countries (and poorer women in first world countries, like the US) where women don't have access or money to regular pap smears.
So yeah Sarmee, stress is a BIG factor in a lot of our cases. Think of how powerful stress is and how it can cause horrible damage to your body! (e.g. stomach ulcers that are caused by stress!) So really put your health first and everything will be ok.
Hey I have a question for you guys..when I went to my doc and she told me I have hpv high risk strain she said unfortunaly the vaccine wont help you since you already have it but they are doing alot of research on it so they might come out with something to help you one day. Well my friend told me she had crysurgery done and now the doctor is having her get the vaccine...isnt that weird? maybe she just has the low risk strain?