Post Menopause and HPV

Hi All,
Ive been lurking and reading so many posts on here, so glad I found this forum with you amazing ladies!

I am 58 married 28 years and last 3 years completely celibate. Always attended my smear checks last one being 5 years ago and from what I can gather pre HPV screening. Never had an abnormal result.

Just had results from my smear a couple of weeks ago and am hpv positive with normal cells.

I knew nothing of hpv and so for the past 4 days have googled the hell out of it.

Lots of concerns but most pressing are the fact I have not been screened for this before, how long has it been active? Ive read that after 3 years a colposcopy will be carried out, but what if I have had it for 3 years already! Anyone pushed for colposcopy before its been suggested?

Also being older will it be harder to get rid of?

Thanks in advance for any advice :kissing_heart:

Hi Tracey

Didn’t want to read and run notwithstanding I don’t have any experience.

If you’re worried I’d make my concerns known and push for referrals.

Worse case you can pay for it privately. Anywhere between 500 to 1,000. I know a few ladies monitor their HPV via the Superdrug testing kits.

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Thanks so much for your reply.

I only found out Thursday, so am still all consumed with finding out more. This is just something Ive bever heard of before!

I have sent an email to the experts on the main web page and am going to try and get an appointment with my GP to discuss. There is history in my family for cervical and ovarian cancer, so am hoping she may suggest a colposcopy rather than waotibg a year.

I am also considering going private also for further tests (will have to work some overtime :sweat_smile:).

Thank you again and I hope you yourself are in a good place.

Hi @Tracey

I competely understand your fears, i had the same ones as my backstory is a little similar… my smear before i tested positive didnt have abnormalities so i wasnt tested for it then (i hadnt been sexually active for a few months before this) 3 years later after indroducing HPV testing i tested positive for HR HPV with borderline changes (still no sexual activity), so i know it was there, its just not entirely clear if it was active at that point

The colposcopy referal with no abnormalities is when we have had 3 HPV positives in row as that is when they class us as having a peristent infection regardless of how long we may have had the virus for and is done just a precaution mainly incase they missed something (covering their own backs in other words) its not likely they will refer you further just yet (screening is every 3-5 years depending on location with HPV testing being brought in in 2019, if a colposcopy was necassary for this type of situation everybody who had a smear after protocols changed and returned a positive HPV test would be refered straight to colposcopy regardless of what the smear stated as it would be unclear how long it was active in them for)

Although an active virus is very important, what really matters is if the virus has caused cell changes… as the virus has been identified however no cell changes have been detected, a colposcopy isnt needed as of yet… cell changes often take years to progress through its grades (10-11% of cases can have “fast” CIN progression where either low grade can progress to a high grade within the year or high grade can appear as a lesion on its own/present without first being detected as a lower grade, im part of that percentage) as they know how cell changes can behave, its CIN3 the precurser of CC that generally takes 3-15 year to become cancerous rather than starting from the two lower grades… given that no cell changes of any kind have been detected, its been deemed safe for you to be on a yearly follow up rather than a colposcopy (doing it this way identifies who needs a colposcopy and who doesnt, reducing the amount of unnecassary examinations)

Its not that its harder to get rid of the older we get, immune supression doesnt properly slow down until age 65+, its just more important to identify it in those over 30 as it could be more likely to persist past the timeframe of clearance

If your not comfortable with the screening guidelines and need that peace of mind/can afford it, as @Justpeachythanks mentioned, going private is always an option xx

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Thanks so much for your explanation :blush:
I know Im just panicking and my GP probably wont be able to do much. Im just scared after reading some of the stories that there may be cell changes which have been missed. This is probably irrational fear.

My mother was told for a couple of years she had fibroids, eventually they gave her a hysterectomy and found she actually had ovarian cancer, sadly she passed away 6 months later at the age of 41, her sister had died 8 years before this at the young age of 28 of cervical cancer. This obviously was many years ago and medicine has progressed so much since then, but has definitely left me with a fear.

I hope you are in a good place. I really appreciate your help, thank you for commenting :heart:

If you’re still waiting to speak to a GP, my advice would be to speak to the person who took your smear, probably the practice nurse? GP’s tend not to be smear takers, and will likely not be as up to date with screening guidelines as the practice nurse/ smear taker.

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Thanks Elizabeth. Yes I spoke to practuce nurse, who told me not to worry basically.