I just found out on Tues. that I tested positive for HPV at my regular pap exam. I am scheduled to go back in March for a colospscopy. I spoke to my NP on Wed. about my pap results (after being totally freaked, as I am newly engaged!) Anyway, my NP said that my pap result was "normal," but that the HPV test came back positive for one high-risk strain of HPV; the test did not indicate which strain I was positive for. She also said that chlamydia & gonorreah screens were negative (thank goodness). This is my first diagnosis of HPV; all pap smears have been normal for past 17 years; test HPV negative for past 5 years (since began screening at age 30).
So, of course, I have spent several hours over the course of the past few days researching all I can on HPV. From what I have read, my results would suggest having another pap/HPV test in 6-12 months to determine if HPV is still active. I now have a new question...why do you think my NP would want to schedule a colospcopy in 6-8 weeks, with a normal pap result? Does anyone have any knowledge of this?
Thank you in advanced!
tougherthanrest (this is title of my favorite song!)
Since my last post, I have done much research on HPV and colposcopy. However, I am still uncertain as to whether a colposcopy is truly warranted in my situation. I have NEVER had an abnormal pap (once a year for 17 years; no prior HPV +, for last 4 years). And my most recent pap came back "normal," but HPV positive (although my NP was uncertain as to what strain - just one of the high-risk types). I am inclined to go with get another pap done at my follow-up in March, and see what the results are. As, I believe that a colpscopy at this point is slightly premature; especially since most cases of HPV will resolve on their own within 6-24 months (most within 18-24 months) and there was no indication that I have abnormal cells or any type of dysplasia (as of Jan. 5). I do not believe in doing any unneccessary medical procedures, and am leaning toward "wait and see." Anyone out there who has any advice on this? Does this sound reasonable and/or medically sound? Anyone taken the "wait and see" route and what were your results? Thanks in advance for any replies...
I'm definitely not a pro on the subject, but I've done some digging and have asked a lot of questions. As to having a positive HPV test and normal pap, what the doc explained to me is that the HPV testing methods have advanced in the last couple of months to the point where they can test both for pap and HPV and get different results. Before, the test was combined, so the result was combined... something like that! Sorry, I don't remember verbatim. But her point was that the test is more advance where test results can come out positive for HPV and normal pap.
As far as getting the Colposcopy, it may be wise to get it. It is very probable for a younger female to fight the infection off. Not sure how old you are, but I have read that age does play a factor. A colpo is nothing more than a extensive pap (ok, there's a bit more, but this is how I convinced myself to get it done). I just think it's better to just know now then wait 6 months down the line to retest and have the cell abnormalities spread. There's a current thread about someone who's diagnosis progressed in 12 months. It's best to know exactly where you stand, and take it from there.
Don't know if that helped, but definitely talk to your doctor about the possible risks of opting out. I know it's hard to ask questions because you never know what questions to ask! I know I didn't!!! But maybe come up with a written list of questions and/or scenarios to talk about? I don't know... but good luck with whatever you decide.
Well, if you've just become infected with HPV now, in your 30s... you're lucky.
80% of women will get it sometime in their lives, and most of us get it within a year or two of becoming sexually active.
I was diagnosed with hpv-related dysplasia at 16 years old. Fortunately, it was easily treated with cryotherapy, and I've never had another abnormal PAP since (it's been over 20 years).
They probably want to do the colpo because of your age.
Most people with healthy immune systems clear the hpv virus on their own within a year or two.
And since most people are infected at a young age, they're clear of it by their mid-20s or so.
When doctors see a woman in her 30s testing positive for hpv, it makes them nervous because they think maybe she's had it for ten years already. Maybe she's had it since her teens. Maybe her immune system is not able to clear it. That's when they start worrying about cervical cancer.
If you know for sure that you didn't have hpv a couple of years ago, and now you do, chances are you've just recently been infected for the first time, and your body has as good a chance of clearing the virus as anybody's.
Maybe it's standard procedure among gynos to do colpos/further investigations on any woman in her 30s who tests positive for the hpv virus, simply because, as I mentioned, most people tend to get it when they're younger, and be clear of it by their 30s.