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What to do after HPV diagnosis?

By July 20, 2011 - 11:27am
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I was just told after my annual gyno visit that I was HPV positive and had a normal pap. I was told by the nurse that I don't have to do anything and next year if I'm positive again then they will do more tests. At first I was not concerned, knowing it is a very common virus, but now after doing research I am starting to freak out. I have never had any "symptoms" of HPV nor do I now. I have had two pregnancies in the last 8 years through IVF and my husband and I went through rigorous testing and no signs of HPV. My questions are, should I be doing something further, or just sit an wait and see what happens next year? Will I know develop genital warts??? Can I prevent this? And if my husband and I are passing this back and forth to each other, when does it end?? What other concerns should I have? Thank you for your time!

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Kim1229

Thanks for your post and congratulations on your children!

With regard to HPV and warts - only certain strains cause warts so you need to know what strains you have- and yes, it's possible that your husband has HPV too. He may have given it to you - men who have it show symptoms less than women. There is no current test for men so you won't be able to know who had it first or whether he has it at all.

Since your pap is normal (did you have the HPV test?) then you'll likely do "watchful waiting" which will mean a pap test at least once a year to make sure your cervix is staying healthy. The good news is that for the vast majority of women who have HPV - watching waiting ensures that they will not advance to actual cervical cancer. If your cells continue to be healthy - then there is nothing that needs to be done other than monitoring.

For more information, read our great HPV/Cervical Cancer page which is full of facts, articles and the stories of other women: http://www.empowher.com/condition/cervical-cancer

And for more on genital warts, click here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/genital-warts

I hope this helps and thanks for writing!

July 20, 2011 - 12:15pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

Thank you very much Susan for the information and timely response!
I did have both the HPV and pap done, so I should be able to find out the strain. This was helpful and makes me a lot better!

July 20, 2011 - 12:41pm
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