HPV, Pap Smears, etc.

Discussion in 'Women's Issues' started by Symphonic, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Symphonic

    Gold Member

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    Just had a scare for my girl dealing with HPV and I was wondering if you've ever had scares with cancers or HPV or anything like that, what you did, etc.

    How often are you supposed to get tested for this stuff btw? Do you get tested? Does it run in your family?

    I know it's a kind of private and serious issue but I'm just curious what women face.
     
  2. spidergrrrl

    spidergrrrl New Member

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    HPV doesn't "run in the family" - it's a virus transmitted via skin to skin contact, and my understanding is that in most cases, cervical cancer is a direct result of being infected by one of several high-risk strains of HPV.

    The bad news: it's *very* common, and easily spread. Even condoms don't always stop it, and a lot of people never realize they have it because they don't develop symptoms.

    The good news: even the high-risk strains don't typically lead to cervical cancer, although they can lead to warts. And most in most people with a healthy immune system, it doesn't become a problem.

    The best thing to do, get regular checkups! That way, any abnormalities can be caught quickly, when things are easily taken care of.

    You might want to read this article for more info.
     
  3. Rommette

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    I actually had a pap smear today....wasnt that bad. Its my 2nd of the yr but they recommend once a yr. If there's a family history of cancer it is recomended you should get checked out around that area 10 yrs ahead of time. Ex...Breast cancer in family means you should get checked 10 yrs before that person was diagnosed; cervical cancer you should get checked 10 yrs before your family had it or had abnormal cells. If theres no family history just follow the normal guidelines unless your doctor's advice doesnt work and you are concerned. I had tenderness in my breast and they insisted i get a mamogram. It was nothing. Now they have the shot that prevents almost all types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer but are only recommended for young people.


    Guys have it sooo easy i swear
     
  4. D_Sherian_LaNeige

    D_Sherian_LaNeige Account Disabled

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    Last time I had a cervical screening (I hate the word smear haha) the nurse told me I had a "shy cervix" ...which was her excuse to gouge around inside me for several minutes looking for it... I usually get a little bit of pain afterwards but after that visit I was curled up on the sofa for two days and even had bleeding! What a cow. At least it was clear though!
     
  5. D_Sherian_LaNeige

    D_Sherian_LaNeige Account Disabled

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    Oh, and in this country you're meant to get tested every three years once you start having sex.
     
  6. D_Doewell Dadong

    D_Doewell Dadong New Member

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  7. strutter2

    strutter2 New Member

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    I've been infected by high risk HPV and I have just finished some treatment for moderately abnormal cervical cells - it's called Letz Loop Diathermy where they numb the cervix and shave off the layer of dodgy cells with a heated wire -it really isn't that bad though girls! The injection didn't hurt that much at all as the cervix doesn't have that many nerve endings in it. Unfortunately my follow up smear has shown I still have some mildly abnormal cells there and have to go for a repeat smear in a year's time to check on there progress. Sometimes they spontaneously disappear, but sometimes they get worse and can lead to cervical cancer. Either way I've always had very regular smears - here in the UK they only offer routine every 3 years, but I know in Australia and Germany girls and women get them every year which i think is by far the best option.
    Symphonic - HPV is definitely not genetic, it's sexually transmitted wart virus with many different types - the high risk ones are responsible for around 99% of all cell changes seen on cervical smears and subsequent cancers. The virus is so rife in the sexual population that it is very difficult to avoid it. It is also linked to cancer of the throat via oral sex and can also cause anal cancer if you indulge in that - I'm not sure if it is linked to penile cancer, but I think it wreaks more havoc on mucous membrance type tissues. The virus works by getting into the nuclei of your cells and changing the DNA in it thereby causing abnormal cell growth and cancer. You are right to ask about it because it is a huge problem.
    I got tested initially in Australia where they actually test you for the HPV virus if your smear is abnormal - that's why I know which strain I have. They don't do that in the UK unfortunately - however an abnormal smear pretty much points to HPV involvement anyway so maybe that's why they don't bother. If your girlfriend has it she should really get checked up at least once a year, and if anything abnormal comes up get followed up by gynaecology - the procedures done seem worse than they are really, and any discomfort experienced is much better than dying from cancer or having to have a hysterectomy.
    Blunderwoman - my cervix sometimes hides - often just adjustment of my position can make it pop into view - no need for them to rummage around like they are looking for gold!!! Ha ha
    The good news is though that they have developed a HPV vaccine which is available. Unfortunately for us ladies who are already sexually active it won't work for us, but for any daughters we might have that aren't already sexually active it will work and might just save their lives. It's available to all school girls in the UK - I urge everybody to let their daughters have it if you can.
    As for us older ladies the best policy is regular smears.
     
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