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Positive HPV Test, Negative Pap

By Anonymous December 13, 2011 - 9:15pm
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I had mild dysplasia for about a year, then the abnormal cells went away. However, the HPV Test was positive even though my Pap was normal. I went in for another HPV Test and Pap 6 months later, and I have the same result - HPV Test shows I have HPV, but the Pap is normal. My doctor wants to ablate the surface cells when I go back to his office, but is this really necessary at this stage? I have been told in the past that doctors treat cell changes, not the viral infection itself, and that unnecessary treatment can cause damage to the cervix or scar tissue that can prevent accurate testing in the future. I've also been told that your immune system can clear HPV on its own. I want to go in for further testing, but I'm afraid to have an unnecessary and invasive procedure done when I probably don't even have abnormal cells. Is my doctor right or should I go see someone else?

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I had mild dysplasia 20 years ago. My pap (every 6 months) have been clear since I had the cryo to remove bad cells. My GYN recently told me that the new pap may show HPV is present while the pap is clear. She said not to worry, that the virus stays in the body but as long as pap is clear, all is well. I'm not a med professional, just a patient who is relaying what my dr told me.

December 14, 2011 - 6:02am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anon,

Welcome to EmpowHER. HPV can cause normal cells on infected skin to turn abnormal. Most of the time, you cannot see or feel these cell changes. In most cases, the body fights off HPV naturally and the infected cells then go back to normal. But in cases when the body does not fight off HPV, HPV can cause visible changes in the form of genital warts or cancer. Warts can appear within weeks or months after getting HPV. Cancer often takes years to develop after getting HPV. He might want to ablate the cells to make sure of there not being any cancerous cell. But if you are not sure, it's best to get a second opinion.

Here's a link where you will find information on HPV





December 14, 2011 - 5:11am
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