I’m 51 and had a routine smear last week, and was advised about testing for HPV to which I agreed and thought nothing of it having got to this age, 2 kids and healthy smear tests. Now, correct me if I’m wrong would this have been the first time I was tested for HPV? I’ve been told I’m positive, not to worry and come back in 12 months. Me and my partner have separated, do I tell him? What does he do with info? There is no test for men, what do I do now moving forward? I’ve googled everything and my head is in a spin. I mean this is surely better than being told your cells are abnormal but on the other hand I feel I have some dirty sti that I can’t get rid of and have to wait for my immune system to do the work and won’t know for another 12 mths !! Any new partner will run a mile.
Surely I’m not alone in thinking this am I??
I’m thinking now if I didn’t consent to testing for hpv would they have just checked for abnormal cells and I wouldn’t be worrying myself to death.
Help please someone
The way screening has done has changed so if you didn’t consent to hpv screening, you essentially wouldn’t have had a smear. They don’t test now for abnormal cells as they did in the past. The idea is to monitor people before abnormalities may develop. The plus side is you have more information and more choices that way, the downside as you know is the worry that comes with the uncertainty and knowing you have a virus. I think lots of people feel upset about that but it’s such a common virus, I would really try to keep perspective on that. There’s no shame in it, with any STI infact. This is the only one I’ve ever had but the alternative - having no sexual contact ever wasn’t really an option I am not meaning to be glib, it took me a while to process it all. It’s just bad luck to have the virus but knowledge is power and you’ll progress now with knowledge. In terms of advising partners and past partners, I am not sure what the current advice is - perhaps someone at Jo’s Trust could advise if you call them. Just stay positive and know you are not alone in dealing with this. X
I had an extremely hard time with finding out I have HPV. I felt so dirty and embarrassed. But it’s been nine months and I don’t care anymore really, except for the problems that it can cause. I guess I don’t feel gross but I do feel worried as I had CIN 3 which is one step away from cancer. I think the shock will wear off and it will feel normal for you soon. The virus can go dormant anytime, but people who smoke or are generally unhealthy or have a compromised immune system have a harder time getting the virus suppressed so if you smoke you might want to quit. Once suppressed the virus can pop back up again in times of high stress or poor health. As far as telling new partners, most doctors I’ve heard talk about it say there’s no need to disclose that information. I think it’s up to you. There are so many strains of HPV and 4 out of 5 people will have caught at least one strain by the time they are 50. It’s almost inevitable. Even virgins have somehow gotten it. You could tell people if you want, but chances are, if they’re sexually active they’ve already had it or are going to have it at some point anyway. It’s spread so easily but most people’s immune systems can suppress it fairly quickly, the people who don’t get it suppressed can go on to have issues. I’d look at it more like you’re one of the people who’s immune systems is down a bit so the HPV has lingered, you’re not diseased. Not anymore than anyone else is! Your body can overcome this at any time. Hang in there sister! Don’t be hard on yourself.
Thank you so much for your comments.
So my original feelings were all due to the local practitioner calling me to say I would receive a letter. This was on Thursday of last week. She explained about HPV. She talked about genital warts, but I was not at risk. She talked about telling partners which at present, I don’t have one. She called me because she didn’t want me to receive the letter and be worried.!! This is where it all went wrong! Because I am a worrypot so I googled it , hence I found this forum and said how angry I was. I’ve told my kids, I have told my family and my last partner, thinking that I would have to abstain for the next 12 months. Now I have read other peoples comments on here and it is sad to see that marriages are at risk of breaking down because of something that we have no idea about , the stigma of an STI and infidelities.
I received my cervical screening letter from the NHS on Saturday, which clearly said that I had a HPV virus nothing more than a common cold. My cells were normal and I would be recalled in 12 months time . Tell me, in what part of that letter gave me any form to worry ? I would’ve read it and thought I get checked in 12mths .
I do believe that the medical industry have to really think about how they go about informing women (because we’re the only ones that will ever find out) as there is no testing for men. HPV can cause cervical cancer that I understand and I’m glad that we have a screening to protect us as for the rest of it, It is what it is, and there is no reason for us to be worried if our immune system Fights it. for three days, I was in turmoil for not having that knowledge.
So to finish, I will say, please don’t worry if you have abnormal cells you will get called in straight away, if you have a HPV, your immune system should clear it up, and they will recheck you in 12 months. That’s all we need to know.