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Treatment Options for HPV/Genital warts

By February 1, 2015 - 8:24pm
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I was diagnosed with HPV/Genital warts in September 2014. It has taken a serious toll on me, both mentally and physically. I have gone through 2 months of treatment with Aldara with no improvement, one application of TCA, with little to no improvement, and one round of cryotherapy which left me in debilitating pain for days. I feel as though I have nowhere else to turn. This disfiguring disease has made me feel like I am less of a woman, put me through bouts of depression and heightened anxiety (I have already been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety).

My warts are extensive with both clusters and individual warts. One gynecologist suggested laser therapy which is both out of my price range (parents are not willing to help in covering treatment costs and very high deductible to meet) and seems to require a lengthy, painful recovery.

Is there any treatment option for HPV that doesn't seem like it falls into the category of genital mutilation? I feel as though I am doomed. I feel as though something needs to be done due to my level of discomfort (very severe and embarrassing itching).

Also, is the level of pain I experienced during and after cryotherapy normal? It was nonstop pain for over 4 hours that left me nauseated and in tears. I could hardly walk, sitting was painful, laying was painful, everything was painful. The only way I could "manage" the pain was by taking Mobic and using EMLA cream to numb the area. Urination was unbearable, which caused great anxiety and reduced beverage consumption to avoid it at any cost. I have a job that requires me to be active (bending, squatting, etc.), and this treatment made that extremely difficult. 2 weeks later, I still have red irritated skin surrounding some of the warts. I did notice that small parts of the warts broke off following cryotherapy, but I am FAR from being clear.

Any suggestions on your part would be greatly appreciated. I don't know how much longer I can go on like this.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi kristinnoelle

Thanks for your post and I'm sorry that this medication isn't working for you. Medications are usually very effective in removing warts but if you have a poor immune system, they may not work as well or your warts may return. 

There is one option that you may try and that is Interferon therapy. Interferon is a kind of protein that is injected into the body to cause the immune system to go into overdrive - allowing them to fight against several kinds of viruses - the HPV virus being one of them. 

Ask your doctor if this is a possibility for you. 

You may need several weeks of TCA applications rather than one. 

Cryotherapy should not cause pain - at least not cause more than a day's discomfort. I wonder if your doctor caused damage to other areas of the skin - although it sounds like you have so many warts, extra pain may be normal. 

Do you know what kind of strain you have, that is causing such resistance to treatment? 

Let me know what you think and do ask your doctor about Interferon - it has worked for many who have had this to deal with.



February 2, 2015 - 6:18am
(reply to Susan Cody)

Thank you so much for your response!

I think that interferon treatment might be a good option for me. This past year, I have had an especially low immune system resulting in mono, pneumonia, and strep throat. Getting sick that often isn't normal for me. My gynecologist did mention that my anxiety could be interfering with my immune system as well since I have quite high anxiety every day.

I have never been told which strain of HPV I have. Is there a way to test for this?

When she did the cryotherapy, she did not use a tip on the spray bottle. I wonder if this attributed to it. I think it is very likely that she hit unaffected skin (the dry, red area of skin on the outside of one of the warts she treated makes me think this). I think I need to talk to her about perhaps doing smaller sections over a more frequent interval if possible.

Is doing interferon treatment in conjunction with cryotherapy a possibility?

February 2, 2015 - 5:49pm
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