Worried about my HPV diagnosis

I was having a read-up on some of the articles on Jo’s about HPV etc, and I’m still kind of quite concerned regarding my HPV positive diagnosis that I received last year. As someone who had not had any sexual contact in like four years, maybe longer, I’m wondering if it’s possible I had HPV for this long?! Or even prior to it?! Does it really just lie dormant sometimes until your immune system sometimes takes a hit? If I’ve had it for years does this mean it’s likely to develop into something?

I had no abnormal cell changes on my previous smear test, as mentioned, but I still worry that it’s been sitting in my system for this long which could just as easily mean I will end up with it developing into something bad? Some of the articles said that if HPV returns after lying dormant this could be because it’s changing into something sinister?

Also the one thing that concerned me a little was that I got this HPV positive result from the smear not long after having my covid vaccination booster last year. As my immune system has been quite weak on and off due to various problems I’m wondering whether the covid vaccine could have also had an effect on the HPV virus reappearing. What is the possibility of this being the case?

Hopefully someone will be able to ease my mind a little. I’m still waiting for my hormonal bleeding from the mini-pill to completely stop so I still can’t get my next smear test (as it’s been a year since my last one that was HPV positive) until then.

Hi Lu,

I’m in a similar boat - have recently had my second HPV positive test for the second year in a row. I know my previous smears weren’t tested for HPV (as HPV primary testing hadn’t been rolled out in my area at that time) and I estimate I must have had the virus - dormant or active - for 8 years minimum as my partner and I have been monogamous all this time.

It is a worry and sometimes scrolling through all the information available online can be overwhelming and send you down rabbit holes!! Do not panic - you have a really common virus, loads of people have it, yes we hear the statistic that most people clear the virus within 2 years, but plenty of people don’t, and the great thing about regular smear testing is that you can be monitored and stay on top of it. I would advise asking your GP for some more information - I had a call with my GP the other day about it and she actually told me she was reassured by the fact my body has had HPV for a relatively long time and it has not turned into anything more sinister in all that time - so that’s another spin on things!

I’m focusing on boosting my immunity and trying to fight off the virus that way before my next smear next year. I’m taking lots of supplements, AHCC (the mushroom supplement that seems to have had good results in small-scale trials with persistent HPV), cut back on alcohol, trying to reduce stress and exercise regularly etc. Are there a few steps you could take that might help you feel a bit more in control of things? I’ve definitely found putting a plan in place to boost my immunity helpful - feeling calmer today than I felt a few days ago when the smear result came in!

Wishing you all the best,

1 Like

Thanks for replying!! Oh it must be a nightmare to be told it’s positive for the second year in a row, it does seem to be quite a common thing as you say! I guess it’s only recently they did start testing for HPV so it could have been dormant (or active) for a long time before.

Hopefully with regular testing we’ll be able to keep on top of things. My only concern is that I can’t get my smear test until my abnormal bleeding stops now, which is super frustrating. On the one hand I’m paranoid the bleeding is significant of something bad, but I know logically this bleeding only started because I started the mini-pill for a week and a bit (and then stopped it). So I think my hormones are a mess as it is.
I definitely should try and talk to the GP about it a bit more, I feel like they didn’t really speak to me much about it so I was kind of left to google things mainly. I do feel that, as you say, the fact that it’s not turned sinister in so long must be a good sign! Let’s hope our bodies will clear this.

I don’t drink alcohol, but I’ve not really tried a great deal to try and help boost my immunity other than taking probiotics. I have other health conditions so I tend to get overly stressed with it all, which doesn’t help. I did read about the mushroom supplements, but it sounds really expensive. Which other supplements have you been taking?

Thanks for the positive words though :slight_smile: Hopefully next time will be clear for the both of us!

Hi Lu,

Yes don’t panic - as you say, the bleeding is more than likely due to the pill and we know that means it will settle down soon (I’ve been there! :slight_smile: ). You’ll be able to get in for your smear soon I’m sure - keep us posted on how you get on!

So I downloaded a book called Painting A Target on HPV by an American doctor called Nick LeRoy. He focuses on natural / non-surgical means to clear abnormal cells and underlying HPV infection and claims to have had a great success rate. The book talks about the escharotic treatment he uses with clients (not available outside USA so not relevant to me in UK) but the other big part of his method is supplements/diet. So I raided Holland and Barrett recently and am taking a bunch of supplements he mentions:

  • AHCC (bought these from Time Health)
  • Green tea extract
  • Vitamin C and quercetin
  • Astragalus
  • Ashwagandha
  • Resveratrol
  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • A multivitamin
  • A probiotic

I’m thinking of adding turmeric/curcumin and DIM which he also talks about but those were a bit expensive, and I read DIM has quite an impact on your oestrogen levels so I’m not sure if I want to try that as I don’t think I necessarily have an overproduction of oestrogen (he talks in the book about this being a risk factor for HPV turning into something more sinister).

Anyway… I feel like I’m taking so many pills a day now but I figure I’ll try this for 3 months or so and maybe pay for a private smear, if not too expensive, to see how things have gone. My husband and I really want to start trying for a baby but I am desperate to clear this infection first so have postponed that plan for 3 months while I take all these supplements and see if I can fight this off finally!

Hope that helps - would be great to hear how your smear test goes for you. Crossing my fingers for clear results for us both!!