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_octinoxate
yikes, candy! That must be really stressful. Did they give you any more info (or were you able to find any more info) about why a test might be inconclusive, and what the odds are that it turns out positive vs. negative? I hope everything turns out well.

Kel, I don't know much about herpes breakouts, but it seems to me like that's great news! Like your body has learned how to combat the breakouts better. Did you do anything in particular to help your body out when you felt this one coming on?
kelkello
Octi, after my last breakout, my doc upped my dose of Valtrex. I also take Lysine, which is supposed to help. I've been taking medication for stress, and since stress is a trigger, that may have helped. Any one of those things could have helped. Here's hoping it gets easier each time.
fuego_lento
Kel, I think Octi's right, and that your body's starting to be able to fight it better. I don't think lysine does much of anything for me, but I take it anyway because I figure even a placebo effect can't hurt.

Candycane, I totally remember your HIV scare. Fingers crossed that everything's fine. I'm sure you're okay. But is there anyone you can talk to? That's so nerve-racking to go through by yourself. Keep us posted, okay? Oh, and a friend of mine has Hep C -- and seems totally healthy. She's South Asian, and apparently it's really common in India/Bangladessh/Pakistan and she likely got it before her family moved to the US. She gets regular checkups to make sure nothing's happening, but so far she's fine. It's not as scary as the advertisements say it is unless you don't take care of yourself.
candycane_girl
So far I've told two of my friends. I looked up a bit online and it didn't even mention the possibility of getitng it from semen, just blood or dirty needles (and I'm not a drug addict or anything). So I'm really starting to think it's just a false alarm. Also, one of the friends that I talked to told me that she has family and friends who work in the medical field and it's kind of ridiculous how often things can get messed up. All I know is that I want to get my blood taken over again and get my results asap!
p_176
candycane girl! i had the same thing happen a week or so ago - please try not to worry about it! i looked up hep c, and really, unless you work in health care or something where you come into a lot of contact with potentially diseased blood, you're a low risk. the sites i looked at said that contracting it through sexual activity was rare.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hepatitisc.html
www.ashastd.org
keep your chin up! and good luck
p_176
has anyone had any luck getting the hpv vaccine? my dermatologist (who did the laser surgery) suggested i get it, and when i called my gyn, he was extremely reluctant - apparently, pediatricians are getting it before gyns ['cause the target group is younger], and also it's unsure whether or not various insurances will cover the vaccine.
_octinoxate
P, I did get my first of the three shots about a month and a half ago, but it was at the university health center so I don't know how it goes in the outside world. My insurance did not cover it. (Fuckers.) I say insist to your gyno that you get it, unless he has any actual valid health concerns for you (not just being a bit older). How old are you, anyway?
p_176
hey- i am 26, so right at the cutoff for the vaccine. also, i already had precancerous growths on my cervix (which were removed and though i've had abnormal paps since then, the cellchanges were either not there or were lowgrade), my gyn says that the vaccine won't do anything [since i've already had the problem]. but the guy who did the surgery (who accepts my insurance but is not in network, so not technically bound by insurance bureacracy) says that in preliminary studies, even women with cell changes who got the vaccine, had an easier time clearing the outbreak and of course it prevents any future outbreaks from becoming cancerous. my gyn said to contact the guy (dermatologist) who did the surgery and order it through merck.
candycane_girl
thanks, p! I'm pretty damn sure that I don't have hep C, I think it just bothers me that they have to call me and tell me that my results are indeterminate. You would think that with all the medical advances we could at least get blood tests with clear results but oh well.


What's the deal with this HPV vaccine? It sounds like a good idea considering the huge number of people who contract it.
_octinoxate
P, what your gyno said is nonsense. There are various strains of HPV that are associated with cancer, and just because you already have one of them doesn't mean that you shouldn't protect yourself against the others. What if you clear this strain finally, only to catch another that gives you the same problems all over again?

And though 26 is the cutoff point, it is still within the appropriate age range.
p_176
octi - exactly! i got the impression it was combination of him being conservative, and the difficulty i guess his office is experiencing getting the actual vaccine in the office. i'm definitely fighting for it.
candycane - hep c - my doc said that the test is really sensitive, so if they screw it up, it comes back as indeterminate/false positive. gah! there's got to be an easier way.
_octinoxate
Remember that you can always go get the vax at planned parenthood. (And in fact, if you go to a title x pp clinic they should do it on a sliding scale if your insurance won't cover it and it'll be a financial strain). When I intially called them there was a waiting list, but maybe that's not the case anymore or in your city.
zelda
Wooooh...have not posted in a zillion years.

I have a question for all you herpes ladies (can I get a what what)...I tried to start a new, exclusive Herpes thread but was unable to.

I have had HSV2 for a little over 2 years...so far, no big deal. Very mild, one outbreak a year or so...

However, this past month I started experiencing what I can only guess is weird prodomal pain, numbness, aching, and tingling ALONG THE ENTIRE RIGHT SIDE of my body...the same side that is affected by the herpes in my coochie.

I even have swollen lymph nodes behind my right ear. I have pain down my right arm, in my groin on my right side, all the way down the base of my right foot. I have been having headache pain on the right side of my head. The crazy thing is I only have a mild outbreak in my vagina.

Do you think this could be herpes related, or do I most likely have some rare brain cancer that will kill me in two weeks?

Have any of you all experience herpes pain and tingling outside the groin area?

I haven't taken Valtrex in a good long while but am ramping it up to 500 mgs twice a day to see if it will help. Four days into the regimine and it has not so far...

Erg.
_octinoxate
Zelda, I have never ever heard of herpes having effects like that. It targets mucus membranes (eg, mouth, genitals, even eyes) and there seems to be no scientific reason it would affect things like your brain (the headaches)!

That doesn't mean you have brain cancer (though I imagine it's a really scary situation... and I'd be prone to jump to that conclusion myself just out of fear)... but still, get thee to a doctor! Sounds like something's up with the old nervous system. Even if your symptoms go away I'd get it checked out... in fact, I'd hurry to the doc while the symptoms are still there because s/he might be able to figure things out more easily.

Good luck.
kelkello
Zelda...I've never had an experience like that, but I do sometimes get prodomal pain down my left leg, same side that is affected coochie wise. One or two outbreaks a year? I get one almost every month. Luckily it's only one sore (albeit a painful one). I keep thinking I will stop breaking out so much as time goes by. I've only had it for about 4 months. 4 months, 3 outbreaks. Did you get more when you first contracted herpes? I take 1 gram of Valtrex a day. That's the most they will give me.
zelda
Kello, I have to say I was pretty lucky. Even when I was first diagnosed, I didn't have a lot of outbreaks. I took 500 mg of Valtrex a day for the first year and a half. Instead of sores, I would get tingling, itching, and prodomal pain running down my leg. I am sorry you are having so many outbreaks, but four months is a fairly short time. I bet if you keep it up with the Valtrex in another few months it will calm down.

One thing I would use during OBs or pain/itching...those Preparation H wipes. I would fold them and put them between my cooch, especially at night. They cooled and helped me fall asleep. So did taking a bath before going to bed.

Octin, I am thinking my symptoms might be a pinched nerve...I figure if it doesn't go away by next week, I will see my doc.

xoZelda
fuego_lento
Zelda, I tried to post last night but something wasn't working right. It sounds like it could *maybe* be herpes-related. Herpes lives in a nerve cluster near the base of the spine, then travels down the nerve pathway to cause outbreaks, which is why they're usually in/near the same spot. I have no idea what you can do to alleviate the symptoms, but I've read plenty of accounts on the Racoon site describing stuff similar to what you have.

How are you doing otherwise? I haven't seen you in ages, girl!
kelkello
Hey Fuego, what's the raccoon site? Could it be useful for me? I'm still kind of confused with what is happening to me. I keep having the symptoms but no real breakout. But I'm every bit as miserable because it feels like it's happening, just no actual sores, it seems. I guess it's good, like you said, because my body is trying to fight it. I hope.
zelda
hey fuego! great to hear from you again...yeah, it's been ages since i've been around the BUST lounge...gettin' hitched, buying a new house, all that domestic jazz...then i was "scared" by the new lounge layout (i'm such a creature of habit)...

thanks for your thoughts about these bizarre symptoms maybe being herpes related...i'm going to go to the doctor on monday and see...it's truly the most peculiar group of symptoms i've ever had. i'll let you know what happens.

how have YOU been? how has your rate of OBs been? hopefully a bit better since i was last a regular on these boards...

kello, i hear you...for me, the drag about H (for me) has always been the itching, prodomal aching, and discomfort INSTEAD of sores...i've had very few sores but lots of times when other symptoms like the ones you've described occur.

when i was first diagnosed, those annoying symptoms lasted for almost a month and a half! I was always sleeping with a wet wascloth or prep H wipe between my legs...i think you said you've been diagnosed recently? until the virus settles down, it may act crazy like this for a while...but hopefully your symptoms will mellow out soon...are you on valtrex or any antiviral?

the racoon boards are great...google herpes and raccoon and you will make it there...really good info and the people are all so nice (the regular posters who answer questions like rajah)
kelkello
Zelda, I was diagnosed about four months ago. I take a gram of Valtrex a day. 500 mg wasn't cutting it. Since I've upped it, I don't get as many sores, but I still get the symptoms. My boyfriend (who gave it to me but didn't know he had it) hardly ever has any symptoms or outbreaks. He had it for over a year and had no symptoms at all, which is how I ended up with it. I think stress is the big factor for me...I get stressed very easily, and nothing phases him at all. I dunno, but it doesn't seem fair.
zelda
kello, your situation sounds very similar to mine...my then boyfriend (now husband) gave me H after we had been together for three years...he did not know he had it...he has never had any symptoms. we can only deduce he gave it to me as a former girlfriend of his did have it, and i had only been with one other person before him (and that had been years before).

i am also greatly affected by stress...i have found H to be, in a strange way, a method of keeping my stress in check...when i start feeling that prodomal aching, it is a reminder to me that my body needs a break and that i am asking too much of it.

the first 3 to 6 months for me were full of no sores but tons of prodomal itching and general "icky" feelings down there...then it went away as fast as it came and has never, ever been like that again. it's good you're taking the valtrex...keep taking it and thinking positive thoughts. i like to think of my body attacking the virus and sending it into dormancy...visualization works a lot in these kinds of situations, or so they say.

hang in there!


by the way, i hear you on the "it doesn't seem fair" thing...i'm a vegetarian who works out and doesn't smoke...my husband smokes, eats fun-yuns, and considers reaching for the remote to be his exercise...yet he doesn't show symptoms of the virus.

my GYN says there is no way of knowing why the virus manifests itself certain ways with certain people (symptoms versus no symptoms)...part of me wonders if genetics plays a factor...my poor kid sister contracted HSV-1 in the genitals after receiving oral sex ONCE from a guy who didn't have any visible cold sores!!! her first partner. so i wonder if there is a gene that makes you an easy "target" or something.

fortunately for my sister, HSV-1 likes the mouth better than the vagina, and after two years she has never had another outbreak and probably never will again.
kelkello
Zelda, I really really hope mine starts to ease up. I get to feeling great, like it's not the huge deal I thought it was, and *bam* it hits me again and I'm feeling so horrible about myself, my choices, my boyfriend (even though I know he had no idea, I start feeling the tiniest bit ill towards him when I break out), etc. Every itch, every pang, every little twinge I feel down below makes me worry.

Question: Do you refrain from sex entirely when prodomal or outbreaking? Since you both have it, do you worry about it? I've heard mixed reviews on this. Some people say even if you both have the same strain, you should refrain. Others say your body will decide when it will break out and it doesn't matter if you engage in sex if you and your partner have the same strain. I have no idea. Granted, I feel less than sexy when this is happening, but I do wonder about it.
fuego_lento
Zelda, I've been okay. Got a new job that I actually like. The boy that was in the picture last I saw you here turned out to be emotionally abusive and is now ancient history (of course, I stayed with him for 9 months before ending it, but live and learn). Not much else going on. There is a potential new boy, so we'll see what happens. But that's it. My life is boring. Nothing like yours!

Kel, I've only dated two guys who had H and knew it, and in both cases if either of us felt anything funny we'd refrain. Most of the time. I think in cases where both partners have it, you're refraining so as to not irritate any sores or cause them to appear if they haven't already. Though there were times when we were so worked up we just decided we couldn't figure out what the problem was, and went ahead.
pixiedust
It's been a while since I have been in here since I finally seem to have cleared the HPV, but I though I'd let you guys know, there is a really good article about HPV in this months Cosmo. It mentions that they are starting to test for another vaccine that would target more of the cancer causing strains. They are also starting to look into a vaccine for men and women over 26.
_octinoxate
Thanks for the tip, pixie. ... it reminds me: anyone here know anything about the herpes vax that's supposedly in the works?
zelda
fuego, i hope this new guy works out because you deserve it!

the racoon boards always have some info on the herpes vax...not sure what's going on with it, but hopefully it will be successful...i imagine a world where any future child i might have could be vaxed against HPV and herpes. that would be awesome!

kello, mr. zelda and i refrain if i feel like something is going on only because i don't feel comfortable or sexy when that is going on. we never worry about different strains or whatever since we are 99 % he gave it to me and just doesn't have any symptoms...also, we're married and everything, so we don't think about that as much as others? (i guess.)

remember that weird, right side pain i was having? my doctor said he wasn't concerned, that is was more than likely my body fighting some virus, and that it really could be herpes related...he said to keep an eye on it....a week later, bam! i'm having an outbreak right now. ha! i wonder if all that pain was a very long prodomal period. he said the lymphatic system extends all the way down the torso and everything, so even though i hadn't had herpes pain in my abdomen and even arm, he said it WAS possible. even the lymph nodes behind the ear might have been related. huh, never knew.

it's only one little sore, but it's right where my pee hits, so it stings when i go to the bathroom. i'm on 1000 mg of Valtrex a day for five days and then will revert back to one 500 mg a day for a while...i think my body is just stressing from the big move to our new place and just general stress...

hopefully it will clear up soon and i won't have another one for a while. kello, i know right now is so icky with outbreaks coming one on top of the other, but hopefully the pain will get less and less...the minimal pain i am feeling now is akin to the annoyance caused by a sore knee or something minor...it's more an irritation than anything else. certainly nothing compared to the pain i felt during the first year of having H.
kelkello
Zelda, you are lucky that you got married to the one who gave it to you. I'm still with my guy (who gave it to me, but he had no idea he had it), but it looks like there's little chance we'll ever be married. I talked about this in another thread. He's been married before and can't see himself ever making that committment (is that spelled wrong? My spelling is all messed up lately) again. I'm toiling over whether to stay with a great guy who will be faithful but will more than likely never take our relationship to the next level. That makes me terrified because it's hard enough to find a guy when you are disease free. Dating is not something that comes easy for me. Trust isn't either. So add a raging case of herpes to the mix, and I'm pretty sure I'll never date again. What guy is going to want a girl who will give him penis cooties? I may as well stay where I am.
fuego_lento
Kel, it can happen. The guy who gave it to me had no idea he had it (because jackass didn't take care of himself and never went to see a doctor about that persistent case of "jock itch"), but he used to say things like "who else would want you now?" if I wanted to break up with him. I dunno, I haven't had great luck with men, and I have a hard time trusting them, so I hear you.

But there are decent guys out there. You are more than your girlbits, and as long as you keep that in mind others will, too. You are not this dumb virus. It doesn't have to limit you unless you let it. Guys have liked you for *you* in the past -- and present -- and that's not going to end. Chin up. It gets better.
kelkello
Thanks for the kind words, Fuego. I don't know if I believe them, but I'm tryin'. He's never said, "Who'd want you now," but I've said, "Who'd want me now?" when he talks about how I'm young and pretty and could have any guy I wanted. He says that to me because he feels he's ruining my life by keeping me in a holding pattern relationship-wise. I feel like if I want out of the holding pattern, I'll leave. I'm not ready to leave yet. But part of me sort of knows that I will only be willing to be somebody's "girlfriend" for so long before we move further or split. I'm not THAT young...I'm 32. I'm certainly not at old-lady land's door, but I'm not as young as I was. And I don't feel pretty. And past experience certainly tells me I couldn't have any guy I want. The thought of starting over is just exhausting, especially when I already love the one I'm with. It's so frustrating to look at someone and know he loves you and know you love him, but it just may never go anywhere but here. And is here where I want to be?
zelda
kello, i know the idea of starting over might seem exhausting, but i hope whatever happens you don't stay with him ONLY because you are afraid you wouldn't be able to find something because you have H. while i can't speak from personal experience, i know single friends with H who find it to be a filter for assholes. think about it...if you met some totally awesome, wonderful dude who had H and you didn't, you wouldn't run, right? sure, you might be apprehensive and have 100 questions at first, but i bet you would still give it a chance and so would a lot of good men out there...like i said, try thinking of it as a filter for assholes.

just try to remember all the awesome, great things about yourself and focus on that.

have you tried couples counseling with this guy? mr. zelda and i did at one point before we got married to just work on some things, and it really helped.
_octinoxate
Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that Cary Tennis, very cool advice columnist at salon.com, recently responded to a letter re: disclosing herpes. While I actually don't think his advice this time is very spot-on, people might find it useful to read the comments people wrote in about his response. Check it out here:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/tenn/2006/11/...rpes/index.html

*note: I'd go right to the "editor's choice" comments, because the others are often lame in various ways.

*note: be warned that some of the people who wrote in on the topic have some views that might be frustrating/saddening/etc. for people with herpes. Of course, others wrote very encouraging statements. Just be prepared for both if you check out the link.
kelkello
Octi, reading the salon.com thing was incredibly helpful to me. Thank you so much for posting that. It made me feel much, much better. I don't know when or if I'll be "out there" in the dating pool, but it's nice to have some ideas of how to handle the situation. I've read a ton about this virus, but nothing dealing with this side of it. Thanks again for the post.

And surprisingly, even the discouraging comments weren't that horrible. Of course, I only read the editor's choice, but they aren't editors for nothing right?
_octinoxate
Kel, I'm so glad it was helpful! It was sad for me to read your post about feeling like nobody else would want you now. I really liked the one letter to the editor where the writer said that herpes would not be a deal-breaker for him/her, but rather it would just make him/her wait a little longer to make sure there were no deal breakers of other sorts before taking the risk and sleeping with the person. (Do you remember that one?) I would imagine that lots of people would feel that way (myself included).
amy9roo
Hi ladies,

This is my first post but I have following yours for months now...
Really need some input.
I began dating a new boyfriend in April and began spotting before periods in June. In August I went to the doctor to see what was wrong and was told I had contracted high-risk HPV. I have never had an abnormal pap and hadn't had sex in about a year. Prior to that I had a bad relationship and had no sex for about 2 years. I am positive I contracted HPV from him; I thought we were in a trusting and honest relationship and of course I told him. I never blamed him and told him I didn't want it to ruin our relationship; that we would deal with it. A week later he told me he didn't know how he felt about me and two weeks later we broke up. He said things didn't feel "natural". He said our break up might not be permanent. I had fallen in love with him and felt very alone. I had my colposcapy in October and it turns out the HPV had cleared itself up. I let him know and we talked about reconciliation. He ended up not returning my phone call to meet. Long story short, we have remained in contact since and have seen each other a couple of times. Nothing physical. I find myself often trying to explain to him why things weren't "natural" and getting upset and frustrated. He says he isn't into having a relationship and yet will be loving and affectionate on the phone and in person. He has dated 3 other women since we ended (2 and 1/2 months ago). I have realized he is no longer interested in me but am having a very hard time with this.
I know I should not remain in contact with him and feel incredibly damaged that I misjudged this person so wholly. (And yet I still care for him very much). I also feel that no one will want me and that I don't think I will want anyone either.
I could use general input and support. Has this been typical of boyfriends and HPV in your experiences? Where do I go from here?

pixiedust
Amy, I just wanted to say, when I found out I had HPV, the doctor told me it could be dormant in your body for years, so it is really hard to figure out who gave it to you. I am pretty sure where I got it, and it was over 3 years before I had any warts. And I had clean paps in that time period.
roseviolet
Just popping in to second what Pixie had to say. Amy, there's a chance that your long-ago-ex gave you HPV. And there's a chance that your recent ex contracted the virus years ago & didn't realize it. There's no way to know who gave you the disease, partly because of its ability to lay dormant and undetected for years in your body. And in any case, having HPV doesn't mean that you are a bad person. And even if you did contract it from your recent ex, that does not mean that he cheated on you or that he is a bad person. I'm sorry that your doctor did not explain this to you when you were diagnosed. It may have saved you and your boyfriend a lot of grief.

As for the relationship issues that you're having now, you'll probably get more feedback if you post your story over in one of the threads in The Mating Game - perhaps in General Relationship/Dating Advice. Good luck!
kelkello
I am thrilled to say that this is the first month since my herpes diagnosis in August that I've gone without an outbreak. I had a little prodomal pain, but no sores. This is big news for me, especially since it has been an exceptionally stressful month, and stress is a major factor in my outbreaks. It's the little victories. Now let's hope I haven't jinxed myself into a massive outbreak.
pixiedust
Congrats Kelo! I bet that feels really good to feel "normal" again! I know I was excited when I finally got rid of my last wart!knock on wood...that was 10 months ago!
seethroughdreams
A bit of a subject change...I was wondering if anyone knows anything about chlymidia. Heres the story- I started 'getting involved' again w/ an ex boyfriend. one day after we slept together there was a little blood, not my period. So i went to the dr, and she said it might be chlymidia. but the test came back negative, and i had no other weirdness or symptoms, so i went on w/ my life. a few weeks later, the ex went to visit a girl in texas, and she called him a few days later and was pissed b/c he apparently gave her chlymidia. he does say that it kinda hurts when he pees since he saw her, but her story is a bit fishy, mostly b/c she went to the dr. on afriday afternoon and had her results sat. morning.... anyway now HE is convinced that I gave it to him....(you can probably tell by now that there are more complex issues between us here, but that is way too long to write about) ANYWAY-I am just wondering if anyone knows about the accuracy of the test? i just feel like someone is lying, but im not sure who... so if any of you guys have any knowledge of this sort of thing, advice would be much apreciated.thanks
ps- I already took anti biotics
fuego_lento
Seethru, has he been tested? If not, I bet that'd answer a lot of your questions. You might want to be retested, too, to make sure that even if your last test was inaccurate the antibiotics did their job. I'm not sure if you'll get a satisfactory answer out of all this, but it might at least give you peace of mind.
pixiedust
I don't know much about it...but playing the blame game really isn't going to help anyone. The guy needs to be treated. If you already took the antibiotics for it, I would imagine you are ok now and would not test positive on a new test. It doesn't really matter who is lying. You got your self taken care of..and the others involved need to get themselves treated.
justanyothergurl
I went to the doctor's a couple days ago, and was prescribed some cream for the genital warts that I got from some bastard or another during my crazy summer...but that's not why I'm posting.

My doctor told me about a new development for treatment of HPV. There is now a vaccine for HPV. Although it doesnt treat the infection in those who are already infected, it can be given as a preventative measure, or administered after treatment of existing warts or infections. I'm going in for a pap, and am recieving the vaccination next week. This is a new thing, so be sure to ask about it at your next checkup-it may be helpful!
Hope you all are doing well.
pianogirl
Ladies I usually post on another thread however I was wondering if any of you have any malodor down there?

I was diagnosed with cervical dyplasia / hpv so I was wondering..
_octinoxate
Piano, hpv shouldn't have anything to do with any sort of odor you're experiencing. You could check out the bacterial vaginosis thread and ask those ladies some questions, but it could be so many different things that it might worth just going to a clinic. (Oh, and, I have to add the usual statement about how it's totally normal for women's bodies to have a little bit of a natural smell, even though we're told otherwise! But if it's changed and become bad, or much more intense, then you might need to take care of that.)
maggalicious
We just discovered the bumps on my boyfriend. I' m not even sure that I have it. A girl he used to sleep with called about a year ago and said she had it. He said he never had anything until he started sleeping with me. I have asked numerous doctors to test me for HPV several times since we have been together, and all tests came out negative. He has had sex with other people since then. I've had no outbreaks. WTF?
p_176
maggalicious - it may mean that at least you may have been exposed to the virus even though you have tested negative.

now, i KNOW generally how to have the 'i had/have hpv' talk with someone - and how to not freak them out about it - however, how do you have this talk with someone who has not had sex yet? i'm sorta worried that the guy i've been dating is going to, well, not want to be involved anymore.....
Beauty & her Bass
Help! I had HPV about a year and a half ago now. It's gone. That's great. The only problem is I have some serious dryness when my boy and I try to have sex. This was never an issue before the HPV but for the last year since it cleared up, I seem to need lube like no tomorrow.

Any hints, tricks, or tips? Or how about a clue as to what is going on with my body. My gyno simply smiled and told me "Well Beck, some women are just a little drier than others." This was never a problem before though, and it's driving me crazy.
_octinoxate
p176, that must be tough to worry about. I have a question: how do you feel this talk will be (or will need to be) different than the talk you've had with more sexually experienced partners? I don't see any inherent difference so far... it seems like you could use the exact same approach, no?

Beauty, (BTW, that photo looks a lot like Joan as Policewoman) I've never heard of HPV causing a change like that. Weird. What type of HPV did you have, and how was it treated? Maybe the treatment and not the HPV itself could have done something. But- are you sure there aren't any other changes that could be coming into play? (eg, stress, different boy, new medications, etc.) The only thing I'd add about this issue is to always be sure to stay super hydrated.

Okay, so: I'm sort of terrified of herpes. I'm always super paranoid that I'll catch it, or that I already have it without knowing it. Anytime anything slightly weird is going on with my body (for instance, today I have a little darker pink spot on my lip) I think I have herpes. The way I see it, my two options are to 1.) chill the fuck out (any help on this, ladies?) or 2.) not have sex at all until the herpes vaccine comes out in a year and a half or so. I don't like the idea of not getting laid for so long, and I also read somewhere that the vax won't work on people who already have herpes 1 (cold sores) and that the majority of people have that (even though I've never gotten cold sores). Anyone know anything about that?

ETA: I just did some research and realized I've got an option #3: Go get tested for herpes (since when do they offer this?? It wasn't available when I first became sexually active!) and insist that any potential partner go get tested as well before doing anything risky. The catch is, even kissing is risky! Also, there's a 3 month incubation period so the test couldn't happen until 3 months had elapsed since their last partner-- and to be truly thorough, we'd actually be talking 3 months even after the last *kissing* partner. (option #1 of chilling the fuck out is sounding better and better!)

Also, I can't decide if I want to get tested for herpes or not. I have no reason to think I have it except for my paranoia and the fact that it's so common. I talked to someone at a STD center and they told me they wouldn't recommend it as a simple routine screening (because herpes is so common and so not dangerous that they don't want to bother freaking people out with a positive diagnosis if they're asymptomatic... I get this, but at the same time, it seems like this is part of the reason it keeps getting transmitted.). Anyway, on the one hand I just want to know one way or the other, so that I can stop worrying about the question and so that I could protect any potential sex partner. On the other hand- the less responsible hand- if I have it I don't really want to know. Let sleeping dogs lie, ignorance is bliss, and so on. Why go looking for trouble (expensive trouble at that) if even the people doing the testing tell me not to bother?
pixiedust
Beauty, I haven't heard of that being a symptom or result of HPV either...in fact, I think I got wetter after having it. Or maybe it's just that I changed partners! But like Oxinate said, stay hydrated. One trick I know, when I was trying to get pregnant, I was drinking green tea to increase cervical mucos for concieving...it also upped the wettness factor at the same time. Lipton has a really tasty citrus flavored green tea that I drank.
bites
I have herpes. Or rather, I think I do. And I've been in mental trumoil ever since.

I get prodomal symptoms followed by disgusting outbreaks of pus-y sores and bleeding lesions all over my outer labia and vulva which my GP looked at and freaked out with 'THAT'S HERPES. OMG, I'M SO SORRY!" Then I went to the GUM clinic where they were nice, but managed to make me feel as if I was a pariah anyway because of all the OMGSECRECY that goes on in those places. I'm sorry, you cannot tell someone not to feel stigmatized and then act like MI5 about things. You know, the 'no last names, no letters to house in case someone sees you've visited the clap clinic' bullshit. It sends mixed messages. Not to mention, the female doc who examined and swabbed me there gave me the most brutal fucking internal exam I've ever experienced. I felt like I'd been raped via speculum. I actually cried with the pain. Altogether, an unhappy experience. Anyway, they tested me for more or less everything - herpes, gonnorhea, syph, chlamydia, HIV etc - and all my tests came back negative (this may have been becaise my daft GP had loaded me up on Acicolvir before I went in) and when I called for my results they said this didn't mean I don't have herpes and i should just get on with life and let it settle down and take acoclovir when i have outbreaks. I haven't even been offered long-term suppressive treatment which angers me now i read about it being standard for lots of people. I just had a nasty outbreak which failed to respond at all to my usual dose of aciclovir - my GP upped my dose to the one he says they use for shingles. Should I really be on long-term therapy?

I continue to suffer outbreaks and am currently undergoing the most painful one since I was 'diagnosed' six ,months ago. I was incredibly shocked and depressed at the initial diagnosis - I hadn't even had sex for 18 months previously and my GP acted as if he didn't believe me when I said so (yes, he's well known for being a judgemental prick). I had the whole thing of feeling dirty and ashamed and depressed as hell with the 'no-one will ever want me again' stuff. I've got over that, but not totally. The secrect surrounding it is still killing me. When I'm in pain and feeling down about it, it would be nice to have some understanding and sympathy like with any other disease. But it's still so stigmatizing. Check out the nasty herpes jokes everywhere online. It makes me feel awful. Plus, herpes doesn't have the PR. AIDS? Yeah, people will at least pretend understanding and sympathy nowadays and wear red ribbons .... ever heard of Herpes Awareness Week? Worn a Herpes Ribbon to show you care about its victims? No, didn't think so. So it's problematic for me. I cannot tell my rather old-fashioned parents - they wouldn't be able to deal with the fact I have a *gasp* STD. I can't tell my co-workers because ... well, would you? I'm not going public on my normal message boards because i know how spiteful and unpleasant some people can be. I don't have a single person IRL I trust and know well enough to talk to. I hear so much nasty talk about people with STDs I tend to assume most people are horribly judgmental until they actively prove otherwise. I have a few online female friends who've been super-cool about it, and one in particular has saved me from going crazy over the issue.

I still feel angry, though, Pissed as HELL at the person who gave it to me and at the unfairness of it - I have consistantly used condoms with every single partner except my first long-term relationship, and I only did that because he had a clean HIV test result, ironically. This was back in the early 90s, when everyone was so super-paranoid about AIDS and other STDS barely got a mention - colour me naive but I don't think I'd even really considered genital herpes as a risk until a friend of mine got it in college after a rape.

I wonder all the time about how I will tell my next potential sexual partner. I WILL tell them, because I wish the fucker who infected me had given ME the choice - but I fear it will simply be an exercise in rejection for the most part and that makes me feel tired and ill. I'm tempted to just decide to be celibate for the rest of my life, even though I know intellectually that's melodramatic and silly. It's just bad enough physically dealing with the diease itself without taking on society's attitudes and risking emotional rejection on top of that.

Thanks for letting me ramble.
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