Firstly, let me assure you that you are not alone in your confusion! Even medical professionals appear to be foxed by it. When I asked my consultant about the steps I could take to rid my body of the virus, she looked vague and said ‘well, we’re hoping that the LLETZ treatment will shock it away’. Er, what? Is that the official medical term?? It’s not a spider that I’m trying to get rid of here?!
I was also told that I should maintain a healthy lifestyle. Well, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, doing lots of exercise, eating more fruit and veg, not drinking much…but at my last smear, it was revealed that I’m still HPV positive!
From my (limited) understanding, I can tell you the following:
The nurse who told you that it’s here to stay is wrong. Your body can get rid of it. Apparently the majority (like, 9 out of 10 people) of us contract HPV at least one time during our lives. But with the lucky ones, it doesn’t stick around. With some people though, it can stay. I read somewhere that it can take as much as two years to go, which is not great! It can come back too – I think (bit unclear here) that your body can develop an immunity to some types but there are quite a few strains so you might be unlucky and have it come back.
Very importantly, the amount of sexual partners you’ve had is irrelevant. Read experiences on here and you’ll see it affects women who have only ever slept with one person, women who have been celibate for years and women who are in long term relationships with the same partner. I think it doesn’t have to be passed on via sex – apparently close contact is enough.
I tortured myself thinking about it and going through every ‘encounter’ I’ve had in the past few years. My last clear smear was in 2009 – but hey, maybe I contracted HPV before then and it could have been lying dormant! I’ve also been worried that I got it off my current partner or that I’ve give it to him. However, from what I can understand just because you get HPV, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it will affect you in anyway – and this is true for the vast majority. And you shouldn’t feel dirty, just unlucky! You could only sleep with one person just the once and still get HPV. But then that’s the same for every STD, I suppose.
All I can say is, nobody has a clear explanation. I really want someone to say to me ‘do this and it will go away’ but that’s not possible. I’m just trying not to let it stress me out and am getting on with my life. I’ll keep on being healthy and hopefully the HPV will just bugger off on its own. Fingers crossed!
I hope that helps in some small way! There will be ladies on this site who know more than me – and check out the HPV section if you haven’t done so already, it’s helpful.