My doc recently called and told me that my pap came back abnormal showing HPV. She wants to do a colposcpy to see if I have any dysplasia(whatever that means). I cried for hours after I hung up the phone from her. But after talking to a few friends and relatives, they said I have nothing to worry about.My main concern is cervical cancer. What if the test results come back positive. Im so scared that it keeps me up at night!
Im also relationship. I told my boyfriend about it and he seemed to be very supportive. But I dont think he gets the seriousness of it. I mean, Im now not allowed to have sex right? Can he get HPV too? We've had sex (oral as well as unprotected). I know its not such a responsibe thing to do but it happened. What steps should I take next as far as sex? Please HELP!!!!!
Jazzy, I completely understand what you are saying and am very glad you have such a great support system. You are allowed to have sex, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. You and your partner have passed it back and forth and will not reinfect eachother unless you are not monogamous. As far as the oral sex, I wouldn't recommend doing it, maybe somebody else can give you more info. on that but I refuse to have oral sex after being told I had HPV. When is your colposcopy scheduled? Dysplasia means abnormal cells, so they are going to take a closer look at them during the colposcopy. There is some information at the Center for Disease Control, check it out. Let us know how you are doing and how the appointment goes. Good luck.
Hi JazzyJ. Andiesq has given you some good information.
The pap is only a screening device. From that, the doctor has ordered a colposcopy with possible biopsy to get a closer look at the exocervix. He/she might take some "pinches" of cervical tissue to sample them. It is also possible the doctor might do another tissue sample called and ECC (endocervical curettage). It scrapes the endocervical canal where the doctor cannot see. I am so thankful that my doctor did an ECC even though I've always had good paps and she didn't have to take any biopsies of the exocervix.
Since you and your boyfriend have had intercourse, you both have already shared whatever strains of HPV either of you had in the beginning of the relationship (as long as you are both monogamous). The good news for men is that high risk HPV rarely causes any problems in men. The bad news is there is no FDA approved test to test men for HPV. The only way they know they have it is if their partner (or prior partner) tells him she has high risk HPV.
When it comes to oral sex, that is a decision you and he need to make. If you and he have already done that before, then you are both already exposed to the virus.
Remember that genital warts are caused by low risk HPV not high risk HPV. Cervical dysplasia (and cervical cancer) are caused by high risk HPV, not low risk HPV. One does not cause the other. Does that make sense?
Most women with HPV will never develop cervical cancer. As long as you keep up with Pap smears and your doctor's recommendations, it is probably something you will never have to worry about. When the doctor examines your cervix, if there are abnormal cells, they can remove the abnormal cells long before they ever turn into cancer.
HPV is extremely easy to pass on. That's why it's so common. Since you have had sex, your boyfriend is pretty much certain to have the same HPV virus as you. He may have even given it to you, since there's no good way to tell. There is some evidence that high-risk HPV can live in the throat and contribute to throat cancer, but even WITH HPV living in the throat the risk of throat cancer is so tiny that it is really nothing to worry about. You can certainly continue to have oral sex without worry.
okay people now im REALLY freaking out!
My docs office mistakenly faxed a copy of my lab result to my apt complex instead of to the docs office where I attend school.(IDIOTS) Anyways,it said I tested positive for high risk HPV...not only that, but there is 13 different types.(without differentiation) w/e that means. It also said something about LGSIL which mens Low Grade Squamous Intraepithelial lesion. I dont know what any of this means. I am now even more scared, ashamed, sad, and fustrated than ever! Someone please shed some light on this new info!
JazzyJ, the most accurate way you can learn about high risk HPV and LGSIL (and other forms of cervical dysplasia) is by going to the Center for Disease Control and read what it says about those things.
What is your doctor recommending as the next step (because of the LGSIL and high risk HPV)? I don't recall, have you said how old you are?
Hey Jazzy, trust me when I say I know exactly how you feel, since this same situation happened to me about two and a half years ago (and to a few of my friends, actually). It was terrifying, especially since my doc gave me practically no info and treated me very judgmentally.
First and most important - it is very unlikely that you actually have cancer, particularly if you've been getting your exams every year since you started having sex. It usually takes years for full blown cervical cancer to develop, which is exactly why they recommend yearly exams - to catch it well before any actual cancer develops.
Second, LGSIL might sound terrible, but it really isn't. LGSIL just means that there are some cells on your cervix that show a small amount of change, it does not mean cancer or even anything particularly worrying, just that you have some cells that are slightly abnormal. I was told that it's the most common result for an abnormal pap (which LOTS of people have), although that's just anecdotal. But yeah, scary as it might sound, LGSIL is common and does not mean you have cancer.
Third, if you're young (and I assume you are, since you say you're a student) and your diagnosis is LGSIL then the most likely thing is that the colposcopy will confirm that you have low level changes and your gyno will choose to wait and have you get pap smears every three to six months in the expectation that your body will heal itself. The specialist I saw for the colposcopy was better than my normal doctor, and she told me that in younger women low level changes almost always resolve themselves, so treatment is avoided and only done in cases where they really think it's bad enough cancer might develop (usually removing the portion of the cervix that has changes as a first step). Mine was actually HGSIL (high grade) and I had CIN II areas (which means more changes and is normally treated, whereas most people with LGSIL have CIN I, which is not typically treated), but I've had five paps since which have all come back fine. I mean, please please do follow up and get the colposcopy and get your gyno's opinion, but also be aware that the most likely thing is you'll just have to get exams more frequently and behave as healthily as possible to help your body heal itself.
Finally... if you smoke, even just socially, STOP asap. It's one of the main reasons that HPV causes changes for some people, and if you do it this problem will probably just get worse. Don't beat yourself up about getting HPV, though, since many many women have it (estimates are 80% by age fifty) and they just don't know it. If you're 26 or under ask about the HPV vaccine. My gyno recommended it, as she said that though it won't prevent the strain you currently have (you most likely have that for life) it will prevent several others you may not yet have, so it's worthwhile. Also, like someone else said the high risk strain causes cervical problems while the low risk causes genital warts, so it's really really unlikely that he'll have any problems and no risk in oral sex (from this, at least).
Yeesh, this is longer than I meant it to be. But seriously, I know how you feel, especially since there's so much info out there that seems to say "IF YOU HAVE HPV YOU HAVE CERVICAL CANCER!!!". No, you probably don't. What you do have is one more reason to take good care of yourself. Get the colposcopy (and take some advil before it, it really helps), and follow up with your gyno, and just in case you weren't before, be consistent about getting paps every year. If you do all that, you'll be ok, and you'll be wiser for it.