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Author Topic: Questions about HPV
purple7337
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First of all, I love love LOVE Scarleteen. I think it’s such a great idea!

Ok, on to the serious stuff. A few days ago, I felt a strange bumpy, grainy like spot on my genitals. (I’m a girl) I know what my body normally feels like, and I’d never felt this before. I suppose it could have been there for longer, but I didn’t feel it until a few days ago. Upon examining it with a mirror, I discovered that it was my urethral opening. I can’t really tell for sure, but the top left part of the opening could resemble a wart. It’s very hard to tell though, and that could just be the way my urethral opening looks. It’s not painful, itchy, swollen, or red. It doesn’t interfere with urination either. Honestly, if I hadn’t felt it the other day, I wouldn’t know it was there.

This doesn’t make much sense to me for a number of reasons.

First of all, I have had the Gardasil shots (all 3 rounds). In fact, I got them before I was sexually active.

Second of all, I have never successfully had sex. From what I can tell, I either make myself tremendously nervous, or I have a tiny vagina (or a combination of the two). The last time I attempted sex was a year ago, outside of a relationship. Since then, I became involved with my boyfriend in October and we’ve been intimate. We haven’t had sex, but I know he has before with other women. I know it’s nearly impossible to track who I may have gotten this from, but I’m assuming it’s my boyfriend since a year is an especially long time to go with no symptoms. My boyfriend has been recently tested (since we’ve been intimate) for STIs and came back clean. I know there’s no test for HPV. This means he could already have it and have given it to me even though he doesn’t have any symptoms, right?

To complicate things further, I’m studying abroad and haven’t had sexual contact since December. I can’t exactly go to a gynecologist here, either.

I guess I’m just a little confused. Is there anything this bump could possibly be besides a wart? Can urethral openings just be rough or bumpy? I know Gardasil protects against types 6 and 11 and these are the types that cause 90% of warts, so I guess the only way I could have it is from one of those types that cause the other 10%?

Also, if it is a genital wart, and I got it from my boyfriend, can we re-infect each other? I’ve read that in some cases, people can “grow out” of it, especially young people who haven’t had a flare up in two years.

I’m just generally confused, and any advice you could provide would be great. Thanks in advance!

Posts: 3 | From: USA | Registered: Apr 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
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HI purple7337 and welcome to Scarleteen,


first of all, yes, the urethral opening can be bumpy and iregularly shaped. So the most likely thing here is that you've just never encountered your urethral opening before (many people aren't consciously aware of that part of their body beyond it's function) and that this is what it's always looked like.

Have you noticed any warts on your boyfriend? You're right that there's no test for HPV itself in men, unless they have a visible wart which can then be tested.

IN terms of peple "growing out" of HPV, what happens is that the body's immune system is able to rid the body of the virus. There is, however, no test to show whether this has happened or not.

I'm going to leave you with a couple of links to information on HPV:

The HPV Vaccine FAQ

The STI Files: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)


What questions do you still have that weren't answered here or in the links?

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Also, is there a particular reason why you think you cannot go to a gynecologist to have them take a look?

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
purple7337
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Wow! Thank you both for your quick responses!

I have not noticed any warts on my boyfriend. We both have always used condoms before with other partners. I know that this doesn't completely eliminate the risks of HPV, but it can help.

I'm studying abroad this semester, and even though I speak the language, I still think it would be very uncomfortable/difficult to go to the gynecologist here. I'm coming home to the US soon, so I can go when I get back. I absolutely HATE the gynecologist's. I'm terrified of going, even when there's nothing wrong. I had a really bad experience last time I went. [Razz]

You're right about not being conscious of it! I mean I knew my urethral opening was there, but I'd never actually seen it until I felt the weird spot!

My boyfriend is back at home in the US getting ready to graduate from college, and I'd much rather talk to him about all this in person. I guess I just wanted to hear someone else's opinion before I hit panic mode and made him worried for no reason. Thank you both!

Posts: 3 | From: USA | Registered: Apr 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
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Hi purple7337,

You're very welcome.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience the last time you were at your gynecologist. Would you like to talk about that at all and about ways to prevent a repeat bad experience?

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
purple7337
Neophyte
Member # 107425

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Hi,

I think what made it bad was that I didn't really know what to expect.

The first time I went to the gynecologist she said she didn't need to do an exam, because I wasn't sexually active (I had to go to fill out some health forms for college). The next time I went, I still wasn't sexually active, but I was planning on becoming sexually active in the near future.

It was just very awkward. It also hurt when she used the speculum. When I let her know that I was uncomfortable she just said something to the effect of, "Well you shouldn't be and I'm almost done." When she finished she asked me about my sexual history and when I repeated that I had never had sex before she said "Oh, well that's probably why you were uncomfortable."

It's not like it was extremely painful or anything, but I was really self-conscious about someone "examining" me, like anyone would be at the normal doctors. I also just felt kind of stupid and whiny when she made the remarks about how it shouldn't hurt.

I know I should just suck it up and go back, but it kind of freaks me out.

Posts: 3 | From: USA | Registered: Apr 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
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That really wasn't cool of her to not take you seriously when you said it hurt, and her comment about it being uncomfortable because you hadn't engaged in sex yet was unfeeling and inaccurate.

Being tense can definitely make a pelvic exam more uncomfortable, and now you'll be worrying about what she might say. I'm very sorry she was so inconsiderate of you.

Is seeing another gyn aan option for you?

It also may not be necessary for her to do an internal exam, especially since you've had one relativly recently.

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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