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Can someone in the know talk to me about HPV please?

(7 Posts)
Forboo Fri 09-Feb-18 17:06:44

Got my smear results today, positive for hpv. That’s an STD right? Does all HPV mean genital warts? I’ve never had any...

Been with DP for 6 years, neither of us has had another partner in that time. This is my second smear since we’ve been together, the previous one was normal.

Should we be using condoms?

We have been TTC sad Does this mean we can’t?

Had a missed miscarriage last year. Could that have been caused by the HPV?

Obviously I am concerned about the increased risk of cervical cancer too.

In a bit of a state right now so any answers would be gratefully received

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Fri 09-Feb-18 17:13:51

HPV is the virus that is linked to cervical cancer. It is quite common in the pre-vaccination age groups so your DP probably has it already. In most people it should clear by itself and cause no further problems but in some women it leads to pre-cancerous changes. I’m not up to date on the current protocols but I think they will just recall you more often to check for pre-cancerous changes to your cervix until it has cleared. I don’t think it will impact on TTC at all unless you later need to have treatment which causes damage to your cervix. If you are worried then arrange to talk to your GP to get up to date information, but essentially these tests have been introduced so they can identify women at greater risk and make sure anything is caught at a stage when it’s very treatable. Hope everything goes well flowers

Forboo Fri 09-Feb-18 17:49:21

Thank you so much for your speedy reply

dirtybadger Fri 09-Feb-18 18:12:19

According to this HPV is a label for multiple viruses. One (or maybe more than one?) of which causes genital warts. But being positive for HPV doesnt mean you will have genital warts.

I was the right age for the vaccine when they first started them (and were offering them to sixth formers). We were actually told not to have them if we had already had sex, presumably because it was so likely we would already have the virus anyway (??). I got the impression that the virus affects a lot of people/is very common. Obviously this will be different for people younger than me who have now had the vaccine.

tribpot Fri 09-Feb-18 18:33:44

HPV is a very common infection.

Your previous smear was probably not tested for HPV - in most areas even now they are only testing samples for HPV if they appear abnormal under the microscope, and 6 years ago very few places were testing for HPV first. So it's possible you were infected at that point and didn't know.

There's loads of information about HPV on the Jo's Trust website - it is a cervical cancer charity but rest assured the information should put your mind at rest; it starts with 'HPV is an extremely common virus'.

My understanding is that you would only be sent for further investigation if you test positive for HPV and there are changes in the cervical cells that can be seen under the microscope. If it's the former only, I think Slightly is right and they may recall you more frequently. What does your letter say? I think there should have been an information leaflet in with it to explain things more clearly.

My intention if I ever test positive for HPV (in my area this hasn't been rolled out yet) is to have a private test done to ascertain the strain type before I consider next steps. Some of the HPV strains are low risk and some are high. You could check with your GP to see if the lab report included the strain type. It would put your mind at rest as well with regards to your query about miscarriage, which I'm very sorry to read about. From Googling, I can't see any link between the two - a study has also ruled out a link between miscarriage and the HPV vaccine.

chocolateorangeowls Fri 09-Feb-18 18:43:32

I'm sure I read somewhere that 75% of people have it without knowing.

tribpot Fri 09-Feb-18 20:35:43

I forgot to say, there's a leaflet about HPV testing mentioned on this Jo's Trust page which you can download for more info.

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