Husband concern

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you don’t mind me messaging but I feel I need something to be able to give support/ some comfort to my wife. Forgive me for my terminology as I’m a simple man…

We had started IVF in June having completed the egg collection with 5 healthy embryos.

My wife experienced overstimulation of the ovaries and taking on water following the procedure. She was in hospital over night and took a good 2 weeks to start returning to normal. Those were already 2 traumatic weeks.

She wanted to make a few checks whilst visiting family in Italy of the abdomen/ liver and also a Smear Test (in Italy you check every year as opposed to 3 in UK) before moving to consider the implantation.

To our horror and complete shock, the smear test came positive for HPV and I ‘think CGIN2’ the doctor said lots of abnormal cells of medium to high risk.

She has had a colposcopy but because it is Summer in Italy, the laboratories are closed so she hasn’t been able to do the biopsy. She has spoken to another IVF consultant that we know in Rome who will do again the Colposcopy and Biopsy at the end of the month. We are naturally very worried about the prospect of cancer and the possibility of the impact this will have on the implantation to have a baby. My wife is absolutely destroyed after such a stressful year. We needed to postpone and then decided to cancel our wedding due to Covid and to focus on the IVF.

The idea is to do the Coloscopy / biopsy in Italy and then return home to the UK.

Any thoughts, comments, advice very much welcome.

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You sound like a very caring husband and I’m glad your wife has support. Waiting for biopsy’s and results are testing times, especially when you’re also going through IVF. I have also recently been told I have CGIN and CIN 3 high grade. It’s worrying having abnormal cells but it’s not cancer. I wish you the very best of luck on your journey. I don’t know what the outcome will be for your wife but they will definitely do their best to ensure that she’s given the best chance to have a child.

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Thank you very much Lynnie. Really appreciate your kind words.

I sincerely hope you are given the care that you need and also that my wife comes out of this without needing to suffer further. She needs a break.

We are genuinely baffled at how she has contracted HPV. I feel terrible at the thought it somehow could have been me but we really are both loyal to each other.

I am aware it can lay dormant for a period of time but prior to our relationship yes I did have unprotected intercourse (again in a longterm relationship) but it definitely was around 2 years (or more) prior to meeting my wife… I’m a simple traditional guy… (incase someone asks we married with a civil ceremony in UK but cancelled the church ceremony and reception in Italy)

Are there other ways of contracting HPV? And are there ways that I could be tested to ensure I am clear now?

In terms of my wife - I hope we are making the right decision to continue waiting for the biopsy in Italy at the end of the month instead of her coming home to the UK.

Am I correct that it wouldn’t be a quick process to gain access to a colposcopy/biopsy? She does have AXA private medical insurance via her employer but whether that would make any difference I don’t know.

Lynnie

I hope you don’t mind me asking but what options are available for you now that you have your diagnosis?

I was also pretty shocked to find out I had HPV. It was the month before I turned 42 and I’d been with my husband for over 20 years. He is my only sexual partner. I was terrified that I had potentially carried this virus unknowingly for decades. It apparently can lie dormant for many many years and become active again especially when your immune system is low. I lost my Dad 18 months ago so it’s been a pretty devastating time. I suspect that had played a part in my HPV becoming active so to speak but I guess I’ll never know that for sure. I have also never had an abnormal smear until this year.
I am a very anxious person so I was finding the NHS waiting time too much to bear. I used my private health insurance and things have thankfully moved very quickly for me. I had a colposcopy on the 15th July a biopsy was taken which came back CGIN changes. I waited two weeks for the results. It possibly would have been slightly sooner but my consultant was on holiday. Basically you can have two types of cell changes. CGIN are glandular changes in the womb lining and CIN changes are on the surface of the cervix. Due to the CGIN changes my consultant wanted me to have a hysteroscopy to take a further biopsy and give me a LLetz treatment for the abnormal cells. This took place on the 9th August and I had a general. I just got the results back yesterday and the biopsy results confirmed the CGIN and it also identified an area of CIN 3. My last smear was normal. I have an appointment next Tuesday to discuss my results and decide on a plan going forward. CGIN changes are a little more complicated as they are higher up the cervix. My has consultant has indicated from the brief conversations we’ve had that he would be recommending a hysterectomy. Please don’t panic about this though as my circumstances are different to your wife. I’m 42 and I have two beautiful children 10 and 5. His his exact words were if you were in your 20’s or 30’s and hadn’t had kids I would be telling you to go off and have your babies but as you’re in your forties with children it’s something to discuss. I will be able to give you a bit more information on my other options after my appointment next week. If you search CGIN changes in the search bar you will see other woman who have been offered further LLetz treatments and close monitoring of their cell changes. I’m confident that if I was in a position where I wanted to preserve my fertility then they would work out a plan for me.

I should add that apparently you can contract HPV without having had full sex. I would try not to focus so much on how your wife has got it. It won’t help or change matters. It’s very common and over 80% of the population have it at some point but it’s just unfortunate that some people don’t manage to clear it.
It’s my understanding that there isn’t a test for men, at the moment, but then I saw another post suggesting there might be but I don’t think it was in the U.K.

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Hey, I just wanted to ask if you know how long you’ll wait for biopsy results in Italy as for me that would be a factor in deciding on waiting in Italy or returning to the U.K. With covid NHS waiting times are long at the moment (I am in Scotland), in fact considering all I’ve had done in the last month I wouldn’t have even had my colposcopy yet on the NHS. If you have private healthcare though it will be done much faster. I don’t know what area you live in but it might be worth contacting your GP and asking for a private referral letter. You don’t have to use it but it will set the ball rolling. I would then contact your healthcare insurance provider and check what you’re covered for and what hospitals would be available to you. At that stage you can either ask them to recommend a consultant or you can google gynaecologists that work for the hospital (you just need to confirm with your insurance provider that they are on their list). They usually have profiles with a mini bio of their experience and the procedures they provide. I hope this helps.

Hi Lynnie,

We live in Hertfordshire. I imagine it would be the Spire Hospital group that we could attend.

With Italy we were told it should be 2 weeks for the test results to come in. We don’t have an exact date for the coloscopy/biopsy but should be around 28th which means should have the results around 13th September. My wife thinks she feels more comfortable being seen in Italy as its someone that her sisters have used and also naturally speaking her mother tongue I suppose helps.

In Italy she has the consultant on Whatsapp to talk directly with.

It’s just that niggling thought in the back of my mind whether she could be seen quicker somewhere else.

That idea about getting a referral might be an idea though. At least it could be recorded on her medical file then.

I can understand that and if your wife feels more comfortable then that’s very important. To be honest by time you fly back, book a private appointment and get your biopsy results you’re probably looking at very similar timescales so I don’t think it will make a difference. Plus, even going private you wouldn’t have access to your consultant via WhatsApp. If you’re returning to the U.K. after biopsy results, if sounds like you’re wife is not planning on having treatment in Italy though. Treatment is required for CGIN…usually a LLetz to start with. If that’s the expected outcome it would be worth setting the wheels in motion now for when your return.

Hi Lynnie,

Just wanted to wish you all the best for your own journey and thank you greatly for your support. It has definitely calmed me a little and hopefully in turn helped my wife even if she isn’t reading herself. I wish my wife would feel comfortable talking on here but she is a very sensitive soul so reading everyone else’s story might be too much for her.

Fortunately this weekend she spent some quality time with some friends she hasn’t seen in a while which has boosted her mood a little.

My wife is waiting to hear for the appointment / biopsy (probably 30th August) as people are starting to come back from the Summer holiday.

Have a great week ahead.

Thank you.

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Hello

My wife had her biopsy today! It seems we can be a little bit relieved. Yes she has cells, yes she will need surgery in a couple of weeks to remove all the cells but the Doctor was confident that it wouldn’t interfere with our desire to have Children. I guess the results of the biopsy will give a clearer picture ( said to be within 2 weeks time)

The Doctor also strongly recommended the HPV vaccine for both of us.

I did see that “Bettertoknow” offer a male HPV test which I was curious of.
My wife’s Doctor however said that the Male HPV test is not 100% reliable. I as far as I am aware do not have any obvious signs/symptoms of HPV. I would be curious to know your thoughts if any of your partners have had a test.

Hope you are all having a great Saturday!

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That’s great news, I’m glad the biopsy is over with and I hope you get the results soon.

I didn’t realise there was a test available in the U.K. I will look into it for my husband too. Regarding signs/symptoms, I think most people with HPV don’t realise they have it until they get a test.

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So glad to hear your wife’s results are not as bad as they could have been, and they will most certainly be able to treat the abnormal cells - and - the most important thing - when it’s done you will be able to continue your progress towards having a child. The treatment for abnormal cells is not the most pleasant thing, and it takes a while to recover, but some ladies have had more than one of the same procedures in the past and are still in good working order!

You will get through this together.

X

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Erm… so the biopsy results have arrived… not good at all. CIN3. She will be having urgent surgery next Thursday in Italy.

I wish I had some words something anything to calm my wife to convince her there is life after this. She is convinced that this is the end. After the last 2 years we have had with the wedding not happening, with the IVF and overstimulation- she is really tired.

Sorry to hear your wife is so exhausted by everything - although I’m not surprised. The important thing to tell her is that CIN3, as scary as it sounds, is not cancer. It is treatable. And, of course, that you love her, whatever happens. IF this has an impact on your ability to have a family - well there are other ways to have a family. The important thing is that the two of you are good - and that you’ve got a future together. You will find the medical team will discuss all options with you, but the important thing is that this is not the ‘end’ - nowhere near it. It’s just another step in life’s journey - not one you wanted to take, but you can get past this.

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This is a very draining process and I really feel for you both. As @Jacks133 says CIN 3 isn’t cancer although having recently been told I have CIN 3 and CGIN changes I know how upsetting this news can be. The good news is this has been found before it turns cancerous. I would speak to the doctors regarding your wife’s fertility. Doctors will always do their upmost to preserve a woman’s fertility if she wants children. I hope the surgery goes well and you get the results soon. I know this is an extremely anxious time and probably even more so since you are so desperate to have a family.

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My wife has told me she is bleeding… is this normal so long after the biopsy? She had it on 4th Sept.

Yes, some people do. If it’s particularly heavy and she’s worried then get it checked.

Hello. First of all, I’m sorry to hear what your wife has been through. I’ve recently gone through a similar journey and trust me when I say I wish the both of us hadn’t had to endure this! Especially this year of all years. I have been with my husband for nearly 13 years and had clear smears until this year. HPV is a persistent thing that can get into our systems easily and lay dormant for ages. It’s nothing you or your wife have done wrong. I’ve had the same conversations with my husband when he thought it was his fault. Even if he was the one who passed it on to me (I doubt it if I’m honest), I don’t care. It’s just one of those things.

The post-biopsy bleeding is one of those things where every woman is different I’m afraid. In July I had nothing for a couple of days after mine, then a little bit for two days and then nothing again so I assumed I was clear. I then had blood when I wiped about 10 days after the biopsy. Not a lot but it was enough to make me notice it.

If she’s soaking through pads or even if she’s bleeding more than she feels comfortable with, please go get it checked out. They tell you to do that so you’ll 100% not be doing anything you haven’t been advised to do. Rather that and it turns out to be nothing than risk an infection developing by just leaving it and hoping for the best.

Best of luck to you and your wife with everything, especially your hopes for adding to your family. For what it’s worth, despite all the anguish this has caused you’re obviously trying your best and it sounds like she’s lucky to have you fighting her corner.

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Morning

Hope you are all doing ok.

So my wife has had the cone operation which in theory went ok and is now waiting for the biopsy results to know if she needs another surgery.

Just wondered what people have heard or experienced regarding stitching up the uterus or any other techniques to prevent any premature birth etc?

Hello,

I read through the posts and wanted to respond to this. It’s a long story and the key message is: hold your nerve!

I had already had two miscarriages when I was told that I had a severely abnormal smear. I had 3 LLETZ operations in total which left me with a cervix measuring 1.5cm. I was told that I needed a hysterectomy but (after some tears and a bit of a fight) I found a consultant who told me that cervical cancer was really slow growing and he was happy to support our attempts to have a family. I was monitored every six months. That was back in 2017.

My husband and I decided to go straight to IVF (privately). After two failed attempts, we were delighted when our third and final try resulted in a positive pregnancy test. I had been told that I could have a stitch placed at Week 14. My cervix naturally grew to 2.5cm. However, when I went in for the stitch, the surgeon could not perform the procedure due to the amount/location of removed cervix. I was told to remain on progesterone suppositories until Week 36 with regular monitoring of my cervical length until Week 28.

My cervical length did not change for the duration. My consultant said that it is pretty common for women who have had cervical surgery to have a lot of scar tissue which can hold everything together. In the end, I had to be induced at 40 weeks, and gave birth to my darling little boy in 2020.

I hope that helps you? It was an anxiety provoking 4 years. I recently had my hysterectomy and the results showed Stage 1a1 cervical cancer (really early). My consultant said to me ‘Well, your gamble paid off: you have your family and there is little chance of reoccurrence’

There are other things that can be done (e.g. an abdominal stitch before your wife gets pregnant) so it’s worth checking all the options. There is a Facebook group called ‘Incompetent Cervix UK’ which is pretty active- I learned lots from that.

Good luck!

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