I started a new thread that we can refer to later on as the months go by (and anyone else on this board for that matter who is pursuing a health regimen to help the body suppress the HPV).
I've been on BCP on and off for 5 years too! What is brown mask? Although it never gave me any side effects (although ortho tri-cyclen was the WORST), I'm ready to get off it to see if this helps my body speed things along in terms of dysplasia and suppressing HPV. I'm just annoyed that my docs never said in the past 2 years of my ASCUS paps that BCP deplete essential vitamins that the body needs to keep dysplasia at bay.
So you said you use the plan B pill sometimes-- I'm assuming when you have an accident? Do you use condoms now otherwise?
We must keep in touch as the weeks go by. And your re-pap is before mine (Sep), so you'll have to let us all know how it turns out! Have a great weekend!
thanks for starting the thread. I was browsing the other threads and came across the discussion among Michelle, Karen and Kim in regards to the HPV relation with CC. It made me think of the variety of women that seek help and information and read these sites. It's a wonderful thing to have this opportunity of learning and supporting each other.
Anyway, regarding your BCP questions, I tried Ortho-tri cyclen and it was the second worst for me, the first place goes to Loestrin Fe (which has very little estrogen and supposly lighter side effects but my body just did not like it all). I don't use condoms as we are in a committed relationship (marriage is projected for the near future), so I'm prone to "accidents". Because of the research I have done so far on BCP and their compounds, I feel comfortable using plan B, since it is an all and only progesterone, and it does not have any adverse effect on our bodies in terms of triggering the production of more estrogen. I have been suggested many other BC methods but I against all the hormonal ones that include estrogen on it. After having some children maybe I can go for the 5 year syringe option. Not yet though.
I am currently practicing FAM, the natural fertility method, for which I did tons of research. It goes well with me since I am now more knowlegdable of my body hormonal changes, my cycle, and much aware of ovulation time. The downside is that Plan B must be handy if you or your partner forget one night out of the five "risky" ones that you are ovulating. It's super easy: measure your basal body temperature every morning in a chart, observe your cervical fluid changes (this has proven very reliable to me), look for changes in cervic position (I really dont do this much), look for signs of ovulation (same signs as pms, tender breasts, mood changing etc)and compare the charts for at least a couple of months until you're confident. Now I dont even need to chart that much because I know my body well, and if an accident happen, Plan B is attainable even without a prescription.
As far as the brown mask, they usually appeare in women during pregnancy or taking birth control pills, commonly known as melasma (chloasma). They're caused by hormonal changes. I got a small brown coloration in my face beacuse a brand of birth control that had way too much estrogen on it. I only used that brand for five months (after that bad experience with ortho -tri cyclen), enough to make the difference on me.
I just noticed that I was running low on folic acid, and I'll get some more. That made me think, what brands of vitamins do you use? [removed]
Last edited by mod-anon; 06-22-2007 at 01:31 PM.
Reason: do not discuss online purchasing
Well I guess we can't share which brands of vitamins we use with each other! My ND sold me vitamins that she prescribes for her patients, including folic acid supplements that are supposedly a more purified form of tablets (sorry I can't tell you the brand because of the board rules!).
Regarding birth control, I've never tried the natural rhythm method-- I think I'd be too paranoid to try it out! But after having been on BCP for so long, going back to condoms will be a change. At this point, though, I'm really willing to try anything and everything that it takes to suppress this nasty virus. And help the dysplasia regress!
Have you read that article by Dr. Tori Hudson on cervical dysplasia and naturopathy? It's really interesting and it'll give you some pointers and hope! I think the articles sites a study where 43 women who had dysplasia (from CIN I to CIN III) and were treated with a naturopathic regimen-- it says 38 went back to normal paps, 3 had some improvement on paps, 2 stayed the same and NONE progressed to a more advanced stage of dysplasia. This article was published in a naturopathic journal of medicine so I know it's not full of crap-- it's very encouraging but it definitely means that we have to stay the course with our regimen and not get lazy with suppositories, supplements, exercise, etc. Try searching for the article online for it, it's called "Preventing and Treating Cervical Dysplasia: A Natural Medicine Perspective."
thanks for the info. I was "banned" for the weekend becasue I mentioned the brand I use. I wish there was a way we could exchange this information. Let's open up a thread at Vitamins and suplements and ask for permission to mention the brands without any reimbursment.
I have read Tony's article several times. It is one of the first hits that come back when you search for natural treatment. It's indeed very encouraging. There aere quite a few studies done that back it up. I actually have seen that different organization encourage women to go under this "trial" (they still call them trial) or alternative treatment if it is recommended.
As far as BCP, d osome research and reading. I was very suspectible at the beggining too, but han got very comfortable with it.
That's annoying that they banned you-- I guess we can only help each other to a certain degree!
Yes I agree-- let's see if the Vitamins section will let us share our brand names with each other. I would like to share with you the type of folic acid supplement I take 2x a day because my doctor says it's a more "pure" form (sorry I can't remember the exact medical/technical terminology for it) so that the body absorbs and processes it better.
It's been 1 week since I started my regimen and it's not too bad! Taking vitamins twice a day isn't so bad and even the suppositories aren't as uncomfortable/icky as I thought they'd be. Do you use the vag pack suppositories too?
Today I'm going to visit my best friend's mom, the gynecologist. And then in 2 weeks I will see a gynecologist from my university. It will be interesting to see how they diverge in terms of treatment recommendations for women like us with CIN I-II. I'll report back to you later today! Have a nice Monday!
I just finished talking to my best friend's mom, the gynecologist. I found out some really, really useful and helpful information regarding my particular type of dysplasia (CIN I-II).
Firstly, this woman is very close to me and saw me grow up with her daughter. So I know that her personal connection to me would be beneficial as she would recommend the best particular course of action.
She was upfront with me about her particular approach as a gynecologist-- having practiced for years, she now assumes a conservative approach when treating younger women who have dysplasia (women in their 20s and early 30s). She said that a lot of gynecologists now don't bother giving young women pap smears until 3 years after their first sexual encounter because dysplasia is SO COMMON and spontaneously regresses in most of those cases. She said that if doctors performed LEEPs on younger women with dysplasia, they'd more than likely have to do repeat LEEPs because the dysplasia is likely to recur in younger women.
After she reviewed my case (2 years of ASCUS paps, 2 benign biopsies, one biopsy last month that showed CIN I-II), she said that my progression is a very common one for women in their 20s.
Her recommendation for me? DO NOT GET A LEEP. She also stated that she'd be very surprised if a gynecologist suggested I get a LEEP right away as for CIN I-II is much too mild to warrant a LEEP. As dysplasia takes up to 10 years to progress to cancer -- and it doesn't always progress to cancer either-- a wait-and-watch approach for younger women with milder dysplasia is suggested.
She also said that if my dysplasia persisted for a year or even progressed to CIN II, that a LEEP would be advisable-- BUT she said that there is such thing as a shallow LEEP which would best for my dysplasia (the tiny lesions that showed up on the colposcopy were near the outer edges of the cervix, away from the canal). This type of LEEP is more conservative and does NOT affect the cervical canal, causing less complications. I never even heard of a shallow leep! So this is good to know for any of you ladies depending on where your lesions are located-- it's worth at least asking your doctor about before a LEEP is performed.
All in all, I felt SO relieved and reassured after talking to her. She says that she sees this SO often in women in their 20s and takes a conservative approach (but with consistent check-ups and monitering via biopsies) so as not to perform a LEEP if it's not necessary. She says that regression is still possible in high-grade lesions, so she prefers to moniter younger patients closely.
Sorry for this epic post! I had to write and share this information because her talk with me was SO helpful and put me at such ease. She also assured me that LEEP complications were very rare and fertility is not typically affected-- but also underscored that if a LEEP is not *urgently* necessary (e.g. usually only used for CIN 3 or carcinoma in situ), then a more conservative wait-and-watch approach is urged for these women.
So ladies remember it's very important to get all the info you can possibly get about your particular case and ask, ask, ask all the doctors you can possibly see! The more opinions you have on your case, the more knowledge you will be armed with to make better and more informed decisions. I hope this helped!
Anytime furtiva! I was more than happy to share the info. A huge weight was lifted after I talked to her yesterday and I just felt I had to share this information with other women who are stressed or worried about their dysplasia. I'm lucky to have someone close to me who's a specialist in this field as I'd get the best advice possible. Basically the fact that so many women experience this and so often it can clear up is truly reassuring, as is the fact that LEEPs and other procedures normally have little risks involved. All in all, she did say second and even third opinions are IMPORTANT before any woman proceeds with a particular course of treatment. There is *plenty* of time to see other doctors because even the most severe dysplasia takes years to turn into invasive cancer, if it ever does.
So ladies, try not to stress too much and keep yourselves informed! Ask different doctors how they'd treat your particular case and then YOU make your own best decision based on the information they give you. Dysplasia is very slow to progress and can regress (depending on the level)-- so don't think that time is of the essence with dysplasia as you have time to think about how you want to treat your case.
I have a question for you. Has your doctor told you to abstain from sex while you're doing the vaginal suppositories? My doc recommended this to me today and I wasn't too happy about that! haha! I'm not sure if I'll really be able to abstain for 3 months-- my boyfriend will be moving to NY in 2 months so not being able to say goodbye "properly" (haha read: sexually) before he leaves is a little unrealistic.
Have you read about this anywhere? Thanks for all your advice and hope you're having a good evening!
Have you read about this anywhere? Thanks for all your advice and hope you're having a good evening!
Yes, unfortunately while you are doing the suppositories and douches you are supposed to refrain from sexuall activites as they can 1) change the envirorment, ph, acidity with the introduction of sperm/your own sexual discharges 2) damage the cervix (sometimes lol)
I don't use the suppositories as you do, just the vitamin A treatment so it easier for me not to refrain. I'd say talk to your doctor and take a break from your suppositories regimen for these weeks and than go back to it.
Thanks for the info, furtiva! I will definitely be telling my doc I'll need a couple of weeks off of the suppositories before my bf takes off for NY. I hope that won't mess up the regimen, but I doubt it!
She also told me to wait about a month after I finish the regimen to get a re-pap because some of the suppositories (the vag packs-- you're not doing those?) are intended to make the affected cells slough off the cervix. So waiting a few weeks after using the suppositories is an ideal time to get a re-pap so as to let the cervix heal.
Also, my doc is very confident this regimen is going to get rid of the dysplasia. She says in the unlikely even that it doesn't, that the escharotic treatments would do the trick. If my re-pap in October isn't normal and I still have dysplasia, I'm definitely going to try the escharotic treatments before I do a LEEP. I'm so happy to know we have options! But ugh, I'm so ready to be done with this dysplasia!!! We are all going to kick it into oblivion!
This is some great stuff yall are talking about...I've been feeling the same way ever since I got my second abnormal pap--kind of distrustful of accepting my doctor's aggressive approach, especially after all the research I've been finding!! Its rediculous how biased some doctor's views are, and really really unfortunate how rare it is to find a doc who will actually acknowledge the role diet, birth control pills, etc. have on the cervix.
I stopped birth control a several months ago, which is something I've always kind of been skeptical of...(I'd been on it 5+ years) and reading all the research kind of sealed the deal for me. I almost feel like my body was telling me to get off of it...hard to explain. Anyways, I've been taking a regimen of a multivitamin, several folic acid pills, vitamin E, selenium, and a super B complex each day ever since. We'll see if it makes a difference, if the dysplasia "spontaneously" regresses!
Since quitting the pill, I've also taken this oppurtunity to use a "fertility monitor" (can name the brand... hahaha) which in the US is strictly to be used for pregnancy achievement, yet the UK has an almost identical product that is advertised as a tool for FAM! (Hmmm, makes ya wonder....) My BF and I use condoms as well, but its been fun tracking my hormones and getting in touch with the connection between hormones, mood, sex drive, etc!!
I feel strongly that I deserve a better OBGYN, and vowed never to go back to the doc who dumbed down everything she told me, tried to talk me out of going off BC, balked at the research I found, and made me feel like my body wasnt mine!!! I'm going on Tuesday to a new doc... anxious to get a second opinion and some real answers. Its just sad that probably so many women are just sort of pushed through the whole rigamarole based on the influence of a doc's subjective opinion (especially with CIN I-II, like myself) which may do more harm than good! Uggghh... I could go on a 20 page rant, but I'll stop myself now!
PS- How do you go about finding a good, qualified naturopathic doctor? I dont even know where to start.... My boyfriend knows of one in Carlsbad that specializes in women's health...probably lots of $$$$. Take care....
I'm so glad our posts gave you some hope and insight! It goes to show you *how critical* it is for all of us to be proactive about our health and to seek as much information we can about our particular medical cases. So I'm *very* happy to hear you're going to seek another gyno-- you have to feel comfortable with the doctor you see, especially for this particular type of "problem"!
Since talking to everyone on these boards, personal friends, doctors, and doing research online, I feel so much more relieved about this HPV/dysplasia we have. It is so common! And if it's most common for younger women to get dysplasia -- women who've not yet had children-- why on earth would aggressive LEEPs be the surgery of choice when there's more than a strong chance the dysplasia goes away?
I understand now it is used as a precautionary measure as lots of younger women do not follow-up with repeat paps and get scared and stop going to the doctor. But to proceed with an invasive surgery, albeit minor, is too aggressive on women who haven't had kids yet and want to one day. Ugh it's very frustrating!
It sounds like you're wanting to try a naturopathic regimen, too? I'm seeing a naturopathic doctor here in Monrovia (near Pasadena) but there are quite a few in the LA area. I believe there is a national association of naturopathic physicians webpage (sorry can't post the site, grrr) and you can look up online which docs are in your area. I believe I remember reading about a couple of doctors who treat dysplasia out in the westside of LA, perhaps that's closer to you?
Yes, they are a bit pricey as most insurance companies don't cover the cost. I will say that the first visit/consult is the most expensive (couple hundred bucks) BUT after that, you really don't need to have regular visits (just check ups every month or so) as the regimen consists of daily vitamin supplements and vaginal suppositories-- all you can do at home and not at the doctor's office.
However, if you decide to do an escharotic treatment (usually left for women with CIN III or carcinoma in situ, not us women with CIN I/II), that requires weekly or biweekly doctor visits, which would make it a bit more expensive. It's a pretty intense treatment BUT it works very well, so I've read. It involves bathing the cervix with a treatment and letting it sit there so the affected cells can thus slough off. For women like us with CIN I-II, the vaginal suppositories have a similar effect-- you insert them at night up near your cervix and the suppository melts and has the same effect of making the abnormal cells slough off of the cervix.
I will say it is a committment with the daily suppositories and requires abstinence for 3 months (eeek! thankfully my bf is leaving for NY soon! so i'll have to go off the suppository regimen for a few weeks before he leaves hahaha)-- but you can do other stuff like oral, etc - just no penetration!
Let us know if you decide to see the naturopathic doctor. I'd strongly suggest this treatment especially if you have CIN I-II like furtiva and I do. Even after speaking to a regular gyno (my best friend's mom), I realize that any type of surgery (even cryo) would be premature. But then again my best friend's mom happens to be a gyno who approaches her treatment from a conservative angle, which to me makes more sense. Why is there a rush?? CIN is so slow to progress and especially if we have mild/mod dysplasia, then there's a good chance, with proper nutrition, health, supplements, etc, that our dysplasia will go away. I'm so glad you decided to hold off on any surgery!
My naturopathic doctor is convinced this treatment will work, and you know, I believe it. Even if in 3 months' time my dysplasia hasn't gotten better, well then I'll opt for the more aggressive naturopathic treatment (escharotic treatment) which will work. I suggest reading Dr. Tori Hudson's article on treating cervical dysplasia naturally-- it's online and you can find it on any search engine. It is incredibly informative *and* really, really encouraging for us!
Take care Marielle and good luck! Do keep in touch, especially if you opt for a naturopathic regimen. The three of us (you, furtiva and I) will need to keep tabs on how we're coming along as we all have CIN I/II and are choosing a naturopathic route. Have a nice Sunday!
Ok so I want to give you girls an update! I went in today for a consult appointment to see a gynecologist about my CIN I-II biopsy results and what she'd recommend for treatment. As I'd already seen one gynecologist a few weeks ago (my best friend's mom), I thought I'd go in and get a 2nd opinion.
I had a feeling before I went that the doctor would urge that I get a LEEP. And surprise surprise, that's what she said I should do! So I'm posting about my experience here to underscore *just how subjective* treatment recommendations are for this type of dysplasia.
If you remember, my best friend's mom said to hold off on a LEEP. She said these cells are very slow to progress, if they progress at all. She said there's no harm in waiting a few more months to get another check-up. This woman knows and loves me and advised me the same way she'd advise her own daughter-- there's no way she would tell me NOT to do something if it would jeapordize my health.
Flash forward to today. I'm waiting to see the gynecologist and in walkes a very YOUNG (probably not much older than me, early 30s), jovial, warm doctor. She glances at my medical charts and says, "Well I see you've come in to talk about getting a LEEP done for your CIN II." I respond that I had between CIN I-II, not just CIN II. She replied, "Oh, well we just call it CIN II because we like to err on the side of caution."
I was pretty annoyed at this point but I hid it well. I listened to her reasonings why I needed the LEEP but little did she know I've already done my homework on the LEEP. Anyway, she implied that I needed to get this done ASAP -- which I know now is bull because dysplasia usually doesn't progress quickly and sometimes not at all. She made it sound that if I put off a LEEP for a few more months that I would risk getting more severe dysplasia and having to cut away more of the cervix. She she steps out of the room to see when the next appt for a LEEP would be (although I never said I'd get it done). She comes back into the room and says, "Oh well it looks like we can fit you in today for the LEEP!"
At that point I said no, thank you, but I'd like to wait and get another opinion. She said she understood but didn't think another doctor would tell me otherwise, even though the first doctor I saw told me NOT to get a LEEP.
I also asked her why my biopsy result didn't just say CIN II if they were going to treat it as such. She said that biopsy findings are very, very subjective and it depends on the particular pathologist who is examining the specimin. The like to be over-cautious so that's why they throw the CIN II in there, just in case.
All in all, I was pretty annoyed by the whole situation, especially her treating me as if I had CIN II when my biopsy showed I and II. I know now that her care is MUCH more aggressive and perhaps this is becoming standard fare now for gynos. She made it sound like the LEEP was no big deal-- I'm sorry bit chopping off part of my cervix is nothing I want to rush into!
Anyway girls I wanted to update you with that story and just to let you know how important it is to get second or third opinions. I am considering seeing one more doctor not affiliated with my aggressive-protocol university so I'll let you know how that goes.
When you girls got your CIN I-II, what did your doctors say specifically about it? Did they say why it was between I and II? And what did they think of you refusing to do a LEEP for now? Thanks for the feedback ladies! Hope you're doing well
It is very good to understand how doctors think. I can most certanly understand why the second doctor opted for the LEEP while she could have advised for a wait and see approach.
While I don't opt for that, you can't blame your doctor for being cautious. When I got my second opinion, my gyn told me that determing the type and length of CIN (if it's I, II or III) is highly subjective on the doctor who performs the colpo. The doctors generally like to presume the worst case scenario so that they can avoid and prevent more risky business. The other factor that makes them opt for LEEP is the knowledge and responsibility of the patient. If they feel that a patient is most likely to forget about it if htey advise the wait and see approach, she might not get another pap or colpo for many years which can be bad in preventing more dysplasia.
Thanks for all the insight though. It helps to know all viewpoints and experiences. I think that the most imporant lesson from our experience is to stay on top of our health concern and monitor it very closely.
Even that is known that dysplasia takes about 10 years to progress to cancer, it has happened in a much shorter time. Doctor emphasize this time as precious for preventing. It's their job to do so. I can't blame them for not supporting the natural approach either. They are trained in a certain manner. They believe in the methods that have been proven by theiir teachers. When this treatment has gained enough scientific support it will be time for them to include it as an alternative.Perhaps by that time they will be able to create a vaccine for dysplasia. Until then, doctors stick with what they know is a fact.
Sorry for the long post. It has taken me several months to completely understand their position and mine when it comes to treating something as potentially risky as cervical dysplasia.
Marielle, glad you're enjoying your FAM, I looked at the monitors but than decided to go for the basal body temperature thermometer and monitor it myself. It's the simplest and doesn't tell you with lights if you're ovulating or not,but I have become very comfortable with this. I too enjoy knowing so much more about how my body works and how hormones affect my cycles. The signs are there, we just need to learn to read them correctly. Amazing.