hrHPV & changes to cells - awaiting colposcopy - scared to be intimate with long term partner

Hello, I’m new here. Just had results from my smear test on 12 Jan, which showed hrHPV with some cell changes. I’m 61, currently awaiting colposcopy appointment, all my other smears have been clear, but they probably didn’t also check for HPV in my last smear, taken 5 years ago…? We’re missing being intimate in all ways, and wonder what’s still safe, till I know that it’s gone? Also have seen mention of throat and head cancer in men, possibly from oral sex? This all sounds awful. My partner also has an auto immune condition, which complicates/worries. My local hospital says that their current waiting time for colposcapy is 14 wks. Apart from being worried about the cell changes, the thought of no intimacy at all, apart from kissing and hugging, is a wee bit sad. I did think about buying an HPV ‘self test’ now-ish, from somewhere/Superdrug etc, to at least indicate if the HPV has cleared. Early research seems to show that they’re pretty accurate, having been sent by NHS to some London (?) patients for self-testing during lockdown. Does anyone have any experience/recommendations/links for any specific brandt/type, and experience with accuracy?

Sorry, thats a lot of questions! Even if some of you lovely folks can answer wee bits, that would be really helpful. Hugs, X

Hi Haze
Sorry you have not had any replies, I think this part of the forum is not as busy as you have to scroll down!

Regarding your partner, if you have been together for any length of time you likely share the same strain of HPV but I can understand your worries if he has health issues.

I don’t have the numbers but male cancer from HPV is much more rare than cervical cancer. HPV seems to ‘prefer’ cervical cells. But head and neck cancer case are rising which is a concern.

Because you likely share an infection there is probably not much point in being celibate until your next test, but there may be an argument that it would reduce your viral load between you to be celibate or take precautions such as condoms. Depending on your dental care arrangements could your partner schedule in a check up to check his mouth health if head and neck cancer is a worry?

With HPV self tests there are a number of companies offering them. On the boards here Superdrug seems to be the most popular. Most people are reassured by them but there have been a few ladies who have had discrepancies between their NHS test and their home test which has made them feel worried x

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Hi cloverradio, thanks so much for your reply!

I did order a Superdrug test, and just got my results back - which show that I’m still positive for HPV - HPV18, specifically, and negative for the many other types that they test for.

On going down another rabbit hole, it’s HPV16 seems to be responsible for 70% of head and neck cancer. Which I don’t have. And I’ve never even known anyone to have head or neck cancer…so my worries are diminishing, but I will remind him about a checkup at the dentist, next time he’s there.

I’ve no idea when my colposcopy appointment will be, but I’ve managed to just let go of my worries for now, under the heading of ‘just a more detailed smear test’, so that I can get on with life in the meantime.

Thank you so much for putting things into perspective for me, and wishing you all the best, in your own journey.

HUgs X[quote=“Haze, post:1, topic:60353, full:true”]
Hello, I’m new here. Just had results from my smear test on 12 Jan, which showed hrHPV with some cell changes. I’m 61, currently awaiting colposcopy appointment, all my other smears have been clear, but they probably didn’t also check for HPV in my last smear, taken 5 years ago…? We’re missing being intimate in all ways, and wonder what’s still safe, till I know that it’s gone? Also have seen mention of throat and head cancer in men, possibly from oral sex? This all sounds awful. My partner also has an auto immune condition, which complicates/worries. My local hospital says that their current waiting time for colposcapy is 14 wks. Apart from being worried about the cell changes, the thought of no intimacy at all, apart from kissing and hugging, is a wee bit sad. I did think about buying an HPV ‘self test’ now-ish, from somewhere/Superdrug etc, to at least indicate if the HPV has cleared. Early research seems to show that they’re pretty accurate, having been sent by NHS to some London (?) patients for self-testing during lockdown. Does anyone have any experience/recommendations/links for any specific brandt/type, and experience with accuracy?

Sorry, thats a lot of questions! Even if some of you lovely folks can answer wee bits, that would be really helpful. Hugs, X
[/quote]

woops, apologies for corrupted text, my reply got stuck in ‘edit’ mode and I couldnt exit it! x

Hi Haze
Good to hear from you. Sorry to hear the test confirmed HPV 18 but I’m pleased you have eased your worries about the colposcopy and the head and neck cancer. That must be a good relief for you and your partner

If you search ‘toolkit’ here on the forum some of us ladies have been posting about the supplements we have been taking to try and clear HPV. Papilocare vaginal gel is quite highly thought of but it is expensive, it may not be something everyone can get but there are also lots of other suggestions for vitamins etc so check it out

Best wishes x

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Awwwh, thanks Clover radio, I’ll go and look at the ‘toolkit’ now. Also, on calling my Dr’s surgery to ask about a cytology report, they told me that l had ‘low grade dyskariosis’. Having researched that, probably equating to CIN1, I’ve further dialled down my initial panic. But hell yeah to anything that might help with the HPV. I’m just about rattling with the supplements I’m taking at the moment. :sweat_smile:. Sending hugs x

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Think lots of us are rattling with all the supplements Haze! Yes do check it out it will hopefully have some useful information for you. I’m happy to hear your anxiety is dialling down a little x

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