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tatiana
Well I asked my bf and he said that there was no correlation. HPV can take years to cause problems. You can also get it even if you are using condoms.

They are testing a vaccine for it and it seems to be pretty effective, but I don't think it is being tested in the States yet.
bklynhermit
went in for my colposcopy today and feel much better about everything.

firstly, my gyno (who was so chill and awesome and forthright with me, yay!) didn't find enough abnormality to even think it was worth biopsying. which is great. i do have to have another pap in 6 months, but meh.

also, i found out that HPV can just go away on its own in situations like mine (young healthy woman, low-grade dysplasia), which is something i did not know. finding out only that i had an abnormal pap and definitely HPV, my understanding was that i would basically be in for years of annoying cone biopsies and LEEPs until ultimately i would become infertile and/or develop full blown cervical cancer. so it's good to know that is can go away, and that it's not terribly likely that i'm headed down that path.

and aes5j, my understanding is that the time frame is rather wide in general - it takes several months for anything at all to show up - and then you can also have normal pap smears for years (regardless of anything being amiss or not) before it surfaces.

to use my own case as an example, i last slept with someone in january. i had an abnormal pap in april. it's almost impossible that i got HPV from the person i slept with in january. with my last partner before that, who i stopped seeing last august, it's far more likely. but even then, i skipped my annual the year before that, so who knows, i could have got it from three other partners in that time. AND since you can have normal pap smears for ages before something turns up, i could have gotten it from any of the people i slept with during my many years of responsible yearly pap smears.

i guess if you slept with someone more than 5-10 years ago, you can probably rule them out. but all in all, you really never know.

also, unless you KNOW your boyfriend didn't used to have it (and you don't - it's very rare that men are tested for HPV no matter how much he might swear that he 'knows' he doesn't have it), it's possible he's had it the whole time and gave it to you once you stopped using condoms. or that you had sex for months before it was FINALLY passed on due to the stars aligning right or whatever (while condoms help, it's possible that they don't entirely protect us from HPV transmission).

basically anything is possible regarding how you got HPV. it's not one of those diseases you can know you got because your guy is cheating. now if you end up with chlamydia and you didn't used to have it, then that would be different. but for now, i'd let things be. no use getting worked up about it. i spent a month thinking i was basically going to die, and turns out i have the cervical equivalent of a bad cold.
suffering
Anyone ever heard of a chlamydia infection just in the urethra? I had a chlamydia trachomatis infection just in the urethra (But it's gone now from the antibiotic treatment).

I thought it was unusual for it to just be in my urethra. Anyone know about this?

bklynhermit: thanks for the explanation about HPV that really helped me. I'm glad to hear things are looking up for you.

I wish I knew when the HPV vaccine was coming out.
aes5j
bklynhermit: definitely good to hear that you're doing fine, it gives me some hope that mine will end up alright too. my doctor couldn't get me in to see a gyno until early july so i guess that means that she's not too worried about it?

thanks again to everyone for the boyfriend info/advice. i'm going to go with my gut instinct for now and say that i didn't get it because he was sleeping around.

also, according to the news tonight the HPV vaccine might be given the green light by the FDA soon. however, the idea of giving it to teen and pre-teen girls will definitely not go over so well with conservatives so i wouldn't expect it to be available for a few years. if only they'd had it available when i was a teenager i might not have to deal with this stuff now.
bklynhermit
i asked my lovely new gyno about this yesterday.

she said it is in tests, but with all the different varieties of red tape left to go, not to mention marketing issues, political crap, etc. it will probably be YEARS (as in several) before this ever sees the light of day. and even then, it will be expensive, probably not covered by hmo's, and certainly not compulsory by any stretch.

not to mention that it's only for women (what a surprise) and that it's a preventative vaccine rather than a cure for those who already have it.

at this point, i'm not setting my sights on it.
pixiedust
Sorry I have been oput of touch, but I think someone correctly answered the question about low risk HPV. I only have the warts, and have had clean paps so my doctor was fairly certain there wasn't much to worry about and that it would probably go away on its own within a few years given my age and overall health which*knock on wood* it seems two. I was diagnosed about 2 1/2 years ago. She also told me it can take up to 2 years for it to develope which makes pretty good sense because it had been about two years from the time I slept with the person I *most likely* got it from.

Other than that i would just add that there really doesn't seem to be much reliable information out there about HPV. I mena you can hear everything from don't have sex, to don't worry about it. It does really such that they have a pill to fix every possible problem a man can have with his penis, but not a woman's problem. I bet if more men developed symptoms they would do more research!
suffering
Not do digress from the thread but ... to quote pixiedust:

"It does really such that they have a pill to fix every possible problem a man can have with his penis, but not a woman's problem. I bet if more men developed symptoms they would do more research!"

Why do you think more research would be done if more men developed symptoms? I have seen this argument posted numerous times in the BUST lounge where people say "Oh if men developed these symptoms there would surely be a cure by now". I don't understand why people think this. I don't think it has anything to do with gender at all I think it has to do with the limits of medicine. There are SO many things doctors don't know much about and HPV is just one of them.

Someone else posted about erectile dysfunction and Viagra and how they have a pill for that but there is so little known/so little publicity about so many "female" disorders. I agree! And I swear if I see one more stupid Viagra commercial...grrrrrr....

But again I don't think this has to do with gender I think it has to do with drug companies pushing their product. I can guarantee you if they came out with a pill for a "female" illness you'd see a commercial for it every five seconds just like you see for Viagra (Oh those commercials are so stupid).
pixiedust
suffering...it is a well known fact that most researchers/doctors/ect are men. Women still haven't been able to break down the gender barrier in the math and science fields. If you are a middle aged, white, male researcher what are you more interested in researching? a pill to correct your problem, or your wifes?

Look at the Christopher Reeves foundation or Lance Armstrong...their causes didn't get much research until someone who had the problem could back the reasearch monetarily and make the researchers want to care about it.
tatiana
I guarantee you that if men had to put their testicles in a vise like we have to put our breasts for mammograms that they would come up with something less painful in a hurry.

I've worked in medical research for a decade and it is full of some of the most screwed up, egotistical, sexist people you ever want to meet. Altruism is no more the driving factor than in any other business.

We don't know the limits of medicine unless we research something, and if there is no money (grant money even, not profit) in researching it then it doesn't get done. The imbalance in the sexes in research is a factor. You go with what you are most familiar with, so men are going to go with what they know because they can make a case for it and they know about it.

How many men know about BV, or any number of other things that go on in women? How many guys know the side effects of the pill, or how painful a mammogram is? The average guy doesn't--it's not even on his radar--and research is full of average joes just like any other business.

I don't think that it is willful disregard; I think it is a lack of variety in experience and view point.
suffering
"If you are a middle aged, white, male researcher what are you more interested in researching? a pill to correct your problem, or your wifes? "

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this.

"Look at the Christopher Reeves foundation or Lance Armstrong...their causes didn't get much research until someone who had the problem could back the reasearch monetarily and make the researchers want to care about it."

Yes, this is human nature. People aren't interested in something until it affects them personally. This is just the way it is. And in terms of raising money it helps if the person is a celebrity. It has nothing to do with gender.

Tatiana points out that it is not "willful disregard" and she is right, in my opinion. The problem I have with the "we aren't researching it because it's a women's health issue" argument is it is overly simplistic.

I have been sick with Interstitial cystitis for the past two years and my experience with the medical profession has been a total disaster (to say the least). None of the doctors have been able to help me. It would be very easy to say that it is because they don't care about me because it's a "woman's issue" however I think the truth is that they haven't been successful in helping me because they don't know a thing about what causes it and they don't really have any good treatments.
suffering
I forgot to add --

Also in terms of women's health issues not getting as much attention as men's health issues why is it then that virtually everyone knows that when you wear a pink ribbon that means you support breast cancer research? There are tons of people who run for the cure for breast cancer each year men and women.
pixiedust
"I'm not quite sure what you mean by this" Then you are trying to over analyse it or just don't have an open mind to points of view other than your own. And you are debating in a circle..yes, there is little information known....because little research is actually being done. Call it politics, money, whatever you like, I am calling it a women's health issue.

Truely, this isn't a debate thread. You asked a question and I answered. You seem to be getting very heated over the opinions given in a thread where it really isn't that appropriate.

I am here to support other busties who are trying to wade through the muck of misinformation and to share my experiences and information that I have recieved...and like anyone else, blow a little steam over the fact that this is a huge problem that is getting very little medical attention.
suffering
I think you are really misinterpreting the tone of my post. I really don't see the need to lash out at me by implying I am closed minded.

All I was saying was you can call it a gender issue if you want but it's more complicated than that. There is really no need for hostility or personal attacks.
venetia
Heh. In what universe are gender issues not complicated?

:-)
bklynhermit
i think tatiana hit it on the head, there.

the issue isn't that our doctors don't care about our individual cases (or us as individuals) because we suffer from women's health issues or are women, or whatever.

it's that men are running most of the medical research institutes. men are writing the medical texts. men are teaching in medical schools and research programs and thus affecting the kind of research their students are allowed to undertake, as well as the direction their students are encouraged to take. if you're told over and over that a certain approach won't work or a certain field is not fundable or ripe for research, you'll eventually leave it alone and find something more acceptable, regardless of your gender or your field.

men are writing the checks for research, as well as heading the foundations that collect such checks and dole the money out in the form of grants. i'm not sure how much this pertains to medical research specifically, but i know that less than 5% of all grant money in the world goes to groups that work on women's issues.

it's not so much that male doctors and researchers hate women and don't want to help us, it's that the entire research infrastructure is run by people who don't have women's health issues and thus don't immediately think of them when it's time to write the proposals or the checks.

breast cancer, though, is a bit of an exception. i've been playing around in my mind with reasons why that might be, and i'm not sure. part of me wonders if it doesn't have to do with the fact that breasts are, at this point, the most visible feature that marks us as female, and that the West has this HUGE breast fetish. i know that the breast cancer issue started in the public eye with concern about mastectomies. which leads me to wonder if it doesn't have to do with some kind of collective horror over the idea of women losing our breasts, the main feature that marks us as women. all this publicity about breast cancer started in the 70's, a time when other visible female-markers were disappearing. women began to cut their hair short, just as men began growing theirs longer. pants and flat shoes became acceptable as professional attire for women. women's status grew by leaps and bounds, in all areas. so it's interesting for there to suddenly be this uproar over the need for mastectomies -- and over the past 30 years, mastectomy rates have dropped dramatically, while i'm not sure breast cancer rates have dropped at all.
bemylightx
Ok so I think I may have an STD.
lately (for like the past month or 2) sex has been extremely painful and sometimes i bleed. i mean like every time we have sex i am in an extreme amount of pain. its mostly upon penetration and the first bunch of thrusts, but sometimes it lasts the entire time. its more of like a raw kind of pain inside of my vagina, from what i remember it kind of reminds me of losing my virginity, but i have had sex with 9 people since then so im sure my hymen is long gone.I know its not lack of lubrication because i make sure to break out the ky if im feeling dry. i got a pap smear like 3 or 4 weeks ago, and nothing. i need to make a trip back to my dr but i have no idea what this could be. i was wondering if anyone else has experienced something like this.
bklynhermit
you should ask your doctor about this. i'd wonder if it wasn't some kind of sore or cut in your vagina itself, though i'd imagine your doctor would have seen something like that during your last exam.

it sounds kinda like something i went through when i developed a sensitive skin issue -- changing my brand of detergent and my brand of lube helped greatly. i didn't bleed, however.

how does non-penetrative sex feel? is it an overall vulva pain, or just on the inside?
koala
bemylightx: You sound exactly like me about a year ago. I went through all the tests and then my doctor told me I had vaginismus. Its the involuntary contraction of the vaginal walls. Some women get it because they were molested and some get it becuase of their religious views of sex. i attribute mine to my anxiety disorder. If this is indeed what is wrong with you...be careful...its a viscious cycle. Your vagina is contracting and it makes sex hurt pretty badly. Because you know that sex will hurt, you get "tense" anticipating the pain.
saktii
I'm a little concerned about the way Planned Parenthood is handling my HPV treatment. So, I go in yesterday for my coloscopy, and as I'm looking at my chart, I happen to notice that under pap test results, the box for "normal" is checked off.
Oh, Good I think to myself, that pap came back normal.
So the doctor does the coloscopy, and informs me she's going to do a biopsy as well. I ask her, "What did my last pap results say?"
She replies, "Oh, well, it showed some low grade abnormality."
I say, "Really? Hmmmm.." (I don't mention what i saw on my chart) "So," I ask her, "I'm wondering if I even need to have the warts treated if studies have shown that the wart causing strains aren't the same as the high risk cancer strains."
"Well," She replies, "They can turn into them."
She may have been telling the truth, but I'm still concerned about the difference in what she told me as opposed to what my chart said.
pixiedust
I think there may be a "range" of normal. I know when I had my first pap I was pg and had some abnormal cells but my doctor said it was pretty common and nothing to worry about. PP is where I was treated for HPV too. the doctor I saw there was really great and very knowledgable. I also kind of think they try to scare you a little to keep you coming back year after year. And to cover thier butts in case it does get worse.
saktii
yeah, I got the feeling that they were just doing everything possible to cover their own butts--just in case-- which is reasonable, but I still don't like feeling confused when I walk out of a doctor's office.
I'm thinking very seriously about hiring a homeopath, as soon as I can afford the 250.00 fee.
bklynhermit
the fact that they are biopsying after a normal pap smear seems a bit excessive. i also don't like that your chart said normal and your doctor said abnormal. while there is a range, normal is normal is normal. normal pap and low grade abnormalities are two very different things, and that would have shown up on your chart.

i had low-grade abnormalities on my last pap smear (the one that started all this for me), and it very clearly says on the report "abnormal results: low grade cervical abnormalities; further testing necessary" i.e. colposcopy and perhaps biopsy. when i saw my doctor (not planned parenthood) she did the colpo and didn't think i needed a biopsy. while there's certainly a range of abnormal, and even a range of low-grade (you might need a biopsy and you might not), it's kind of fucked up imho to biopsy after a normal pap smear... if that's the case, shouldn't they just biopsy everyone, to cover their bases?

which is creepily close to what they used to do when the possibility of reproductive cancer came up -- remove first and ask questions later...
saktii
*sorry, double post* this is the problem with the way healthcare is dealt with here in the US... If you can't afford insurance or you have a job which doesn't offer it (like me) then you are left to deal with places like free clinics and Planned Parenthood, who depend on funding from the government, and will often do alot of unnecessary procedures/tests to ensure that they continue to recieve funding.
But you know-- I've always been highly suspicious of the american medical system anyway, so my opinions could just be totally biased.
saktii
this is the problem with the way healthcare is dealt with here in the US... If you can't afford insurance or you have a job which doesn't offer it (like me) then you are left to deal with places like free clinics and Planned Parenthood, who depend on funding from the government, and will often do alot of unnecessary procedures/tests to ensure that they continue to recieve funding.
But you know-- I've always been highly suspicious of the american medical system anyway, so my opinions could just be totally biased.
p_176
so...how long did it take for your immune system to suppress the virus?
i have surgery part II this week...
pixiedust
p it took me almost exactly 2 years from the time I was diagnosed, but I think I had one outbreak before that that eventually went away on its own. so maybe 2 1/2 years. I probably had it without symptoms for another 2 years prior to that. Also i don't know if it had any effect but I had started taking a good multivitamin and ester C to build up my immune syatem about the time it went away for good.*knock on wood*
p_176
bump....is anyone else still having problems with this after 2-4 years, or is it just me? somehow i gotta stop having surgery every other month...
saktii
Oh, p.. you poor baby! *hugs*... My mother swears that the thing that worked for her was wiping her parts down with a saltwater solution every night before bed. I asked her where she got such a ridiculous idea from, and she claims an old country doctor told her to do it, and it worked like a charm. I figure-- what the hell-- might as well give it a shot.
pixiedust
Natural remedies do work sometimes! Aloe Vera is what worked for me. soemone told me once that soaking teh lesions in urine would make them go away too...but I ain't going there unless alll else fails!
saktii
did they specify who's urine it had to be? Because, if it's your own, that would be so bad
saktii
did they specify who's urine it had to be? Because, if it's your own, that would be so bad
saktii
er, not be so bad... and oops on the double posting.
saktii
Does anyone know if a coloscopy can disrupt your menstrual cycle? I was supposed to get my period 2 or 3 days ago, and when it came it was almost non-existent. I don't remember them mentioning this at the doctor's office.
margot
Hi Saktii. Did you just have a colposcopy, or treatment too?
My periods have been a bit funny since my LEEP 4 months ago. I get hardly anything for days, (sometimes like a week) then a normal period.
I spoke to the clinic, and they said, as long as I get some blood, then it's ok. The nurse said to go back if I was in period pain, but had no blood. In rare cases, the cervix can heal and close, making periods very painful, long, and light, but she stressed that is rare.
Hope all is ok.
saktii
the only treatment they did as far as I know is putting stuff on the lesions. I haven't had any laser tretments or cryo or anyhthing.
margot
Hmmm. Don't know about that then. My expertise only extends to LEEP. I don't have HPV (as far as I know) but have been having treatment for cervical pre-cancer.
I've got my follow up appointment soon. Wish me luck!
bklynhermit
margot, my understanding is that if you are at the LEEP phase of pre-cancerous cervical stuff, you have HPV.

this is based on what my gynecologist told me when i went in for my colposcopy a few weeks ago. she actually said, "since you have low grade lesions, we already know you have HPV and don't need to test you."

and saktii, i had a colpo a few weeks ago, right after i finished my last period. and i started my next period today. just about right on time, if not a bit early. seems pretty normal so far. might it be stress? my dr. didn't tell me anything about the possibility of cycle disruption, though she knew i wasn't expecting mine anytime soon.

if you're concerned, i'd call your doctor. i'm sure she'll know more. also, while we're on the subject, i wanna compare notes! for a couple days after my colpo, my whole vaginal area felt, um, weird. it's hard to describe. it felt misshapen or out of whack somehow. kind of similar to the feeling of not putting in a tampon at the right angle. it went away after a couple days, and i'm guessing it's what happens when they pop you open for 10 minutes at a stretch. but did anybody else experience something like that? i'm more curious than anything else as it went away weeks ago.
saktii
Good luck Margot! Oh, and yes-- my colpo made me feel like I'd masturbated with a pinecone... The discharge was pretty gross, too.
bklynhermit
haha! priceless, saktii.

i didn't have any interesting discharge. alas, as i'm always interested in those things.

i like to think, sometimes, that had i had better math and science grades (or grew up in the dark ages when one didn't need to be able to explain the pythagorean theorem to deliver babies), i might have become a midwife or ob/gyn. i'm so fascinated about this stuff.
p_176
when i had a colposcopy, i did not feel any different per se....i had some more pain in my vi-jay-jay (gotta love greys anatomy)....but the idea of masturbating with a pinecone is pretty ironic;-)
hope all is well with everyone....so far my latest laser surgery seems to have been successful.
margot
Hmmm... Well, I thought I might have HPV, but when I asked the clinic, they said I hadn't. I had regular pap smears, and nothing abnormal.
Then, last year I miscarried twice. After the miscarriages, I felt something wasn't right, and nagged my doctor, until he gave me a pap smear, (earlier than scheduled).
I've never had any reason to believe I've been exposed to HPV and am in a 10 year monogomous relationship.
So I'm confused. I'll ask again at my check up. If I have HPV I really think I should be told, because couldn't I just go round passing it on?
Anyhoo, I read this thread a lot, as lots of you have the joy of colposcopies etc, and none of my friends have.
saktii
I think I may have forgotten to mention that I was biopsied, during the coloscopy.. I'm still not sure if that was a natural part of the procedure, or something they did as a cancer-determining side project.
Also, BTW-- the saltwater thing actually IS working. God knows why, but they're almost gone. I guess Mommy still does know best.
p_176
i've been using tea tree oil, as well as salt water sitz baths. so far, no returns....here's hoping!
p_176
good luck margot!! chances are the leep took care of any abnormal cells you had - so you may no longer have a problem? but they should have explained it better for you.
pixiedust
saktii, what is the salt water treatment? Just putting table salt in water, or is there a specific salt to water ratio? I know someone else suffering with this, and I thought I would pass it on to her.

I bet it is the fact that it dries out the lesions. Aloe dries things too..probably why it is working.
saktii
I just pour about 3 tablespoons of it into a coffee cup, get some facial cleansing cotton rounds, soak them in the salt water and rub it all over (inside and outside).. it stings the tiniest bit, but barely noticeable at all.
halcyon
fyi....gardasil (aka the hpv vaccine) has been approved by the fda. it's about time!
margot
Ok, so I looked up a load of stuff on the internet. So I must have HPV, right? And it looks like I got lucky to get the symptomless, ie no warts, cancer causing one?
I've read the archives of this thread. Anyone out there with some positive stories of LEEP obliterating everything first time?
I'm feeling really down, and could do with a happily ending story.
My partner is really positive, and says it's no big deal, they detected early changes, and they're keeping a close eye on it. We're also in a committed relationship, so we kind of feel (hope!) it ends here, so to speak.
It's making me think a lot about my sexual history though, and raising some really uncomfortable memories. Of course, I could have contracted it from my husband.
Can I just say AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!
Thank you.
dandelion
Just wanted to check back in here...I just read an article about the new vaccine being approved and got sad that I missed out. But finally, after almost exactly two years of having recurring warts (and after having a LEEP and 4 subsequent clean paps)...I think it's finally over and I'm symptom free. Thank god because I think I posted before about this...that my insurance changed and was charging me for "outpatient surgery" everytime I had the warts removed. And it just sucked because I had to refrain my sex and felt awful and gross and it was just sorta hellish, this whole thing.

One word of advice. I found a new gyno that I like a lot, and she suggested after my last treatment that I use Neosporin on the treated areas. Since then, I have not had a recurrence of warts, and I was dealing with recurrences in the same damn spot month after month. So anyone out there with recurring warts should definitely try this. I think she told me to use it twice a day. Maybe the antibiotic in it has some sort of effect, who knows. All I know is, I'm happy to be free from this and hope to high heaven it never comes back!
bklynhermit
so here's my question about gardasil:

let's say my pre-cancerous lesions go away, and my body has cleared itself of this strain of HPV. does that mean i can have the vaccine now and never worry about the cancerous strains again?

obviously the drug will be most useful for people who've never been exposed. and the media is hyping the question of whether it will become mandatory in schools (silly imo because at this point health insurance doesn't even cover it to my knowledge). but is it an option for women who've had it before and it's gone away on its own?
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