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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Emergencies and Crises » Terrified! Pap smear showed HPV!

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Author Topic: Terrified! Pap smear showed HPV!
Goldenblaze
Neophyte
Member # 102173

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So I got my first Pap smear done two weeks ago and the doctors office called me today and told me that it found i had low grade HPV and they want me to come in and the want to do a biopsy (I know that's not right but its something-opsy) and look under a microscope at it.

How could this happen? My husband is my only sexual partner ever and he got tested in the Marine corps for stds and stuff and was never positive! I did get one gaurdasil shot too.

I'm really scared... How could this happen? Why do they want to do more tests? I heard that HPV is usually taken care of naturally by the body. I haven't had any warts or STDs before! And I was normal after I had my baby boy 11 months ago!

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Assuming your husband is a person with a penis, he could not have been tested for HPV because, to date, we don't have a test for HPV for men.

As well, not only is Gardasil not 100%, but it's a three-dose immunization, so just one of the three may not offer anyone any protection at all. [Frown]

I'm sorry to hear you're feeling so freaked, but it sounds like you might be helped by some education about HPV.

For instance, a pap smear can't actually test for HPV. It's a test to look for cervical cell changes. Now, often a pap smear, when it finds those changes, can suggest they might be because of HPV, but it still isn't a test for it. Why your healthcare provider wants to take a look with other tests is for that reason. So, you may or may not have HPV, since a pap can't determine that: it can only show that it might be the case. When you have the biopsy done, you'll have better information. And that's why they want to do that biopsy (which probably is a biopsy: that'd be the next step in a situation like this).

All strains of HPV do not produce warts, only some. And even with those that do, when warts appear, they don't always appear in places you can see.

Some strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer, and that's the reason why we need to be concerned about HPV, and why your doctor is following up. The strains that can't cause it (and that'd be the wart strains) really are little more than an annoyance for most people with it, if that. And even for most people with cervical strains (those that can cause cancer), cancer isn't usually the result, especially for folks who are good about keeping up with their sexual healthcare.

While HPV should be considered something that once you have, you may always have, we also do know that plenty of people -- particularly people who acquired it in their teens or early twenties -- shed the virus over time. That can be within a year or ten, but it is often shed among many people who acquire it, so they really don't have it anymore.

Per you having a normal pap with your delivery, that may be because you didn't have HPV yet, or it may be because it hadn't had an impact on your cervix yet for your pap smear to show abnormalities.

I know that was a lot of info to throw at you, so just let me know if you want more clarity around any of that, or have more questions. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Goldenblaze
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Member # 102173

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Thank you so much! I didn't realize HPV was common and not dangerous. Ive always been healthy so it just surprised me to hear that is was possibly pre-cancerous. Hopefully everything turns out okay
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Goldenblaze
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And I did have several warts on my hands and feet that appeared once i got into college. I assumed I picked them up from the showers, since it was 4 girls to one shower. They all went away on their own..the last one dissapeared about 2 months ago. Is HPV only spread through sexual contact?
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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The strains of HPV that cause warts on the hands and feet are different strains than a genital strain. There are over 100 strains of HPV.

If it turns out you have HPV genitally, or of the cervix, you can be sure that was about sexual transmission, because that's how those strains are transmitted. A person can't get them from things like shared shower stalls.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alexalex
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 100767

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The good news is, from everything I've read, treating possibly-precancerous cervix cells is not too much of a big deal. A little uncomfortable maybe, but they pretty much just remove them so they can't turn into full blown cancer. (That's why it's so important to get paps regularly- if you catch it early, it's very easy to deal with. If you catch it late, not so much.) Now that you know that it might be in your body, you'll want to keep being diligent about getting checked, but as long as you're on top of things you should be fine :-)
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