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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: HPV and Cervical Cancer

 ModestGoddess - Tue May 29, 2007 5:42 pm

I am 23 y/o female, currently on birth control pills (microgestin 1/20). I had my annual pap in Feb 2007 and got tested for all STDs. The STD tests were negative, but the pap results came back abnormal. A colposcopy and biopsy were then done, and I was diagnosed with HPV and told I have "level 2 precancerous cells." (She said there were "3 levels of precancerous cells, and then cancer".) She was pressuring me to have a LEEP procedure done. I researched other options, discovered that the LEEP was probably the most invasive and drastic of them all, and inquired about the other options. She gave me no explanation, was rude, and simply said that it had to be a LEEP. I decided to go to a different Doc for a 2nd opinion. He reviewed my records, discussed the various options with me (including repeating the pap and colposcopy in 3 months); I decided to go with the repeated pap option, and I switched Docs and am seeing him in mid-June for the pap.

My question is, is there any way of knowing where you contracted the HPV from? At my last pap in Jan 06, there was nothing detected, supposedly (However, i went to the Doc at my university, so I don't know how thorough the exam was). I've only had sex with one person since that exam, and that's my boyfriend whom i've been with for almost a year. We first had sex in Aug/Sept 2006...if I got it from him, could it have progressed all the way to "level 2 precancerous cells" in 5 months time? In 2005, about six months prior to my Jan 06 pap, I was raped by a guy I had been dating, and he didn't use a condom. Is there any possibility that I got it from him (and it hadn't progressed to the point that it woudl be detected in the January 06 pap)? I don't know why I care so much-- part of me wishes it was from him so I could have a reason to hate him more, and part of me wishes it wasn't because now I feel permanently damaged by something I didn't choose (like if I did get cancer or had a LEEP and it made me unable to have children).

Also, if I didn't get it from my current boyfriend, can I have given it to him, and how would the virus affect him physically? I've heard it doesn't really have an effect on men, but I want to be sure. If he has it and I get treated for the precancerous cells, can he give it to me again? Should I tell my boyfriend or talk to him about it? I'm scared to (especially if I didn't get it from him). He knows about the precancerous cells...but not that it's from an STD. I feel really dirty and ashamed, even though I know it's a fairly common thing.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue May 29, 2007 9:19 pm

User avatar It is unlikely that you will be able to tell who you contracted the HPV from. As you know, HPV is a sexually transmitted infection. It can take many years to begin to cause cervical changes or may be more aggressive. If you had a pap smear that was negative for any changes, HPV testing was probably not done. It is generally done when changes are found to see what strain of HPV it is since some are more aggressive than others.

HPV can be spread to males. In general, HPV does not cause symptoms in men. There is suspicion that it may increase the risk of penile cancer but the link is not as strong as it is for cervical cancer. Strains that cause genital warts generally are less associated with cervical cancer but can also cause warts in men.

Best wishes.
 Surfinkangarooo - Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:40 am

Hi, ModestGoddess

I'm 23 and like you I found out that I have HPV level 2. I'm not sure what kind of HPV because I'm waiting for my pap Smears results that come in in January. I'm seriously confused about all this, I'm not sure what's going to happen and what this means.

I would love to hear more about your experience with HPV now. Do you think I should be frighten about it. I know you aren't a doctor in this field but you have experienced this.

The doctor told me if they find cancerous cells that they will cut a small piece of my cervix. I think I should go to another doctor for a second opinion after my results.

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