Tag Archives: HPV

All adventurous women do

14 Aug

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Anyone who watches Girls will know exactly what this post is about.

I’ve ummed and ummed some more over whether to post about this at all. Does it cross a line into the too-much-information zone? But it’s certainly been on my mind for the last 24 hours. And frankly the more people who know about this stuff the better. Also, I think I might have jumped over that too-much-information line some time ago.

So. Yesterday I was off work with a migraine. Sick. Sore. Dosed up on painkillers. The whole works.

I went downstairs to get some fresh air and checked my mail. And there were the results of my smear test. I started opening them there and then, fully expecting them to say that everything was normal.

In fact, they were “abnormal”.

That’s quite a scary moment.

When I finally sat down and read everything in full I was less scared, but still worried. Here’s the deal: my results are borderline abnormal, so they tested for HPV and it came back as positive for high-risk HPV. I didn’t know what this meant and was too migrainey to Google anything so I read all the pamphlets the good old NHS had sent through.

For anyone who doesn’t know, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection around. 75% of us will get it at some point in our lives. There’s no test for it in men, and no symptoms. With women, certain strains will show up in a smear test. While the HPV itself is not cancer, it is linked to nearly all cervical cancers. Here’s the kicker: condoms cannot fully protect against it. You can read more here.

So what happens now? I wait eight weeks for another letter, which will give me an appointment to go for a colposcopy. Then they’ll decide if I need treatment.

No big deal, really. And great that it’s all been identified and there’s a course of action to sort things out. But – yes – unknown and a bit of a worry.

Also, it’s not a great feeling lying on your sofa in so much pain that you are struggling not to be sick, wondering what on earth HPV is and why you have it (and – let’s face it – whether my ex gave it to me), and having nobody there to tell you it’s going to be OK or to give you a cuddle.

But all adventurous women do.