Ask a Doc

Ask a question | Browse | Most recent

Questions from March 2010

clnchr Asks:

i was just dx with hpv...dr. told me it is one of the types that are high risk for cancer. she couldnt tell me what type for some reason..but my pap was normal. what can i do besides my annual pap (that i will never forget to do every year),to make sure i do not get abnormal cells?? ty

HPV is a really common virus. Nearly 80% of all women will have an HPV infection during their lifetime.  Our knowledge of how HPV acts in your body is not yet entirely clear.  It can clear up and not show up again. It can clear up and then return. And it can just hang around as a persistent infection.  In any of these cases, your best bet for reducing your risk of having the HPV infection grow into cancer are similar.  You can reduce your risk by practicing healthy lifestyle habits like eating well, exercising and not smoking. If you smoke, quit.  Smoking has been shown to significantly increase the likelihood of a persistent HPV infection turning into cancer. And make sure you follow your doctor's advice and have regular check ups. 

josie Asks:

i was told i had HPV when i was 19, had cancerous cells, it was removed and was doing fine. a couple years later i had no signs of HPV at all. My Doc said that my immune system could fight it off. i am 25 now, and have had no symptoms since. does that mean i do not have HP any longer?

HPV can lay dormant in your body for a long time. We really do not know how long it can be there without showing any symptoms. So it's not possible to tell whether your HPV infection is no totally gone or if it was just fought and surpressed by your immune system. The best protection you can provide yourself is to follow steps to keep yourself healthy:  eat well, exercise, don't smoke and limit your sexual partners.  Be well.

donna Asks:

Ive been married for 16 years and recently found out that I have a high risk hpv. Can the virus lay dormant for all these years or did my husband fool around on me???

HPV can lay dormant in your body once you have it for a very long time. Researchers are looking at this question but do not yet fully understand how long it can hang around in your body.  Your high risk HPV could have been laying dormant for all the time you've been married. There is no way to know. So don't go jumping to conclusions and blame your husband.  Make sure that you get regular check ups with your doctor and follow her advice. 

Iris Asks:

My boyfriend has HPV, I think he exposed me to it, yet i dont have it,and have been talking about having sex again. I am just afraid of getting the actual disease this time. Even though we have decided to use condoms,is there something he can take to get rid of it, or how do i avoid not getting it

HPV is a virus that we don't yet have a cure for. So there is no medicine to take to get rid of it once you have it.  I'm glad you're thinking about how to protect yourself and reduce your risk of getting HPV. You can get vaccinated to protect you from getting HPV if you are a female between the ages of 9 and 26. Condoms are another good method of protection, although they do not cover every area that may potentially be exposed to this virus.  Other ways to limit your risk of getting HPV are to limit the number of sexual partners you have, eat well and exercise and don't smoke. HPV is a virus that can cause a lot of problems. Once you have it, it can stay in your body a long time. Please do everything you can to protect yourself.  

return to top of page return to top of page