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  • Hit with bad news, so many questions

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    Old 08-10-2011, 10:35 PM   #1
    fstreet
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    Hit with bad news, so many questions

    i had gone to the gynecologist for because i was concerned that i was having a herpes outbreak and wanted to find out if it was herpes. that was bad enough, having to wait for the results, and i had already braced myself for bad news. once my doctor called however, not only do i have herpes simples 1, but also have tested positive for HPV on my pap smear. to make matters worse, he went on to say (as i struggled to breathe) that abnormal cells showed up on the pap and i need to get a biopsy to test for dysplasia. this was about 5 minutes before my shift started and i spent the rest of the night spilling tea and welling up with tears every time someone placed an order. i was just hit with the cold reality that just ONE person can be the wrong person, now matter how careful you are. now not only do i have to deal with telling my future lover/boyfriend/husband, whoever he may be, im worried about this dysplasia. how likely is it that it could jump in a span of a year from hpv to dysplasia? and how severe would it be? how severe COULD it be? im freaking out and dont know how to deal with this. the guy im sleeping with knows i tested positive and hes being really nice about it and wants to be friends, but obviously he doesnt want to sleep with me anymore. i feel like i cant deal with this rejection along with the concern that i may have a precancerous condition, its too much, i feel like im going to break. im thinking i should just stop speaking to him, even tho i really do care about him and hes the only person who knows and is being understanding...i cant tell my mom...im only 20 and in college, ive been careful but obviously not careful enough, and i want to be in a serious relationship eventually and get married but here i am with all these "stigmas" if you will, and i feel almost like i will be treated like a leper. what man would want to sleep with me after this???

    this whole post isnt even a question, its just my rambling of how hurt, confused, shocked, and lost i am. any kind words, health tips, and information would be greatly appreciated, because i really need support right now.

     
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    Old 08-12-2011, 02:00 AM   #2
    Nerdlie
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    Re: Hit with bad news, so many questions

    Hi there hun,
    So sorry to hear the stress you are under. You need to remember to breathe, have hot baths, and relax. Look after yourself. You're going to need to boost your immune system with lots of vitamins, rest, sleep and green tea as well as exercise!
    I also have HPV -- LSIL pap, one year after having a regular one. I am also 20 and in college.
    First, it sounds like you really care about this guy you're seeing, and he's just spooked. Have you explained to him that: 1. he likely already has been exposed to the virus (HPV) since condoms don't protect against it very well (it's spread by skin-to-skin genital contact -- even with condoms, you both likely have it, there's no way to know who gave it to who, and he's going to likely pass it on to any other girls he sleeps with? That may make him reconsider his decision. Also, 2. there are medications you can take for the herpes to keep it under control/keep it from infecting future partners, as well as your current partner.
    ALSO, you should let him know that 80% of people will contract at least one form of HPV in their lifetime. It's extremely common. More people get it than not. And, at least, you don't have warts on top of everything else... there is no medication to stop the warts from popping up (only to treat them) as there is with herpes.
    I also cried a lot and was in quite a daze the first few days after diagnosis. It is a lot to take in. I imagine also getting told you have herpes on top of that would just add to the shock. The truth is though, these are not conditions that are obvious to the outside world, you aren't going to die (you've caught this early -- and if you keep your doc appointments and stay on top of things, you will prevent it from ever turning into dysplasia). If there is already dysplasia, there are lots of treatments. That's the other good news. Additionally, your body can clear the abnormal cells all on its own, if you keep your immune system strong! The HPV virus can go dormant (usually within 2 years) in which you won't be contagious anymore. There is a lot of silver lining. At least it's not HIV. That's how I got through the initial grief/shock... I learned the facts, and everything GOOD about it that I could.
    You don't need to worry yourself right now about cervical cancer/dysplasia/etc. because that takes YEARS to develop, and you've caught this early, before it's even considered 'precancer'. Abnormal paps (and HPV) are extremely common. HPV is the most common STI in the entire world. Also, 1/4 people have herpes. They're both super common since condoms protect against neither completely. You also shouldn't worry about not finding a future partner. Why? Because, HPV goes dormant. Herpes is treatable (though not curable) and can go dormant from the antiviral drugs (it's very reesponsive to valtrex and the like). There are even dating sites for people with STIs. It's extremely common these days, so don't put more anxiety/stress on yourself than needed.
    It may seem really scary right now, and like you'll never accept the news... but the truth is, you will come to accept and be at peace with this. I did within a week, actually. I went from fully-depressed, low self esteem, beating myself up, and feeling gross to inspired, motivated to be healthier and happy all in a week. How? Again, by educating myself on what HPV was (and in your case herpes as well) and what I could do. You have to take an active role in this, and not let it make you feel helpless/victimized. That will eat away at your soul. Instead, get inspired to take better care of yourself! I promise that in time you will come to terms with the news. There are treatments for both your diagnoses, and the remember the good news: it's not HIV, you caught the HPV early (and therefore have an extremely low chance of cervical cancer vs. undetected for years), and herpes is very treatable (you may never have an outbreak again if you find the right antiviral). You can still have children, you can still fall in love, and honestly -- if this guy still doesn't change his mind, and he's scared off that easily... he's not the right one for you. In fact, this may make you a hell of a lot more cautious about your future partners, and that means it's more likely you'll be in real full blown love next time you sleep with someone. When someone loves you, they will be able to accept your STI status (obviously as long as you're taking your antivirals and using condoms to minimize the chances of transmitting it to them during sex). It is still possible to have a great sex life, children, marriage and love... even with STIs!
    Take good care of yourself and stay positive!
    -Nerdlie

     
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