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misty Asks:

Is there any way of knowing how long I've had HPV?

Once you get infected with HPV, the virus likely stays in your body either as an active infection or lays dormant and undetectable after the infection is cleared by your immune system. The HPV does not go away and may remain present in the cervical cells for years. Because it can last so long in your body before any cell changes occur, it is difficult to know who transmitted the HPV to you or how long you’ve had it. So the answer to your question, is ‘no.’

sophia Asks:

I have had my 3rd cervical cancer jab but I was on my period. Is that a problem?

The vaccines are given over 3 visits: the first visit, then in about 2 months, and the last one at 6 months from the first.  You can still safely get the shot when you are having your period.

Michelle Asks:

I was recently told I had HPV. Is it safe to still have sex? Ive been with my boyfriend for a couple of months and have not been using condoms. Should we start now? And also, should I think about getting the vaccine.

Chances are that your partner has the same HPV types that you have if you're in a long term, monogamous relationship. There's a lot we don't know about HPV, but most experts think that the same type of HPV virus doesn't 'ping-pong' back and forth between the same partners- it is likely present in both partners and can recur.   Condom usage can reduce your risk of HPV transmission. Please also raise these questions with your healthcare provider. He or she is in the best position to give you personal medical advice including whether or not you should get the vaccine.

Maria Asks:

Hi, I had the LEEP done 1 month ago. Is it adviceable to get the vaccination for HPV after the LEEP?

There are a number of factors that will help answer your question. First, your age. The vaccines are recommended in the US for women ages 9-26. Second, your sexual history.  The more sexual partners you’ve had and the earlier you initiated having sex, the more likely you are to have been exposed to the types of HPV that the vaccines protect against.  The vaccines prevent getting certain types of HPV. But if you already have the HPV, the vaccine does not clear the virus and getting the vaccine will not be very effective for you. Please talk to your healthcare provider about this question. Together you can decide whether getting vaccinated is right for you.

Sharon Asks:

Once the HPV is dormant in the body is there a high chance of passing on the virus to others?

If HPV is clinically not detectable (dormant), it is unlikely that you will pass it on to others.

Kimbo Asks:

I have precancerous cells caused by HPV & I have a appt. for LEEP Surgery in one month. Is it ok to have sex with my boyfriend before I have the LEEP? Will sex aggravate my HPV condition before the surgery? Are there negative consequences for my boyfriend for having sex with me before the surgery?

Chances are that your partner has the same HPV types that you have.  Most experts think that the HPV virus doesn't 'ping-pong' back and forth between the same partners, so you shouldn't make it worse by having sex before the LEEP procedure.  But please talk to your doctor about these questions and how you can reduce your risk of having the HPV infection return. 

Ericson Asks:

If you missed the exact schedule for the third dose of hpv vaccine like a week after or a month will it still be effective? And how long it must be to be reschedule?

You should try to do your best to get the shot on time.  However, if you do not get it on time, there does not appear to be a reduced response in those who get the 2nd and 3rd doses at a later time.  Call your doctor’s office to reschedule as soon as possible.

Confused Asks:

I was just told I have low grade HPV with precancerous cells. I have been with my husband for 11 years and I have gotten annual paps since then. Why is it showing up now??

HPV can lay dormant in your body for a very long time. We don’t fully understand the dormancy of HPV, but researchers now think that it is likely that once you have the HPV virus that it never goes away but is either active or lays dormant in your body. Your high risk HPV could have been lying dormant for all the time you've been married. There is no way to know. So don't blame your husband.  The reason it is showing up now is also unknown, but it is likely that your immune system for some reason didn’t fight it off. One of the biggest contributors to HPV infection is smoking. So if you smoke, do think about quitting.

April Asks:

Can the HPV DNA test detect dormant HPV? One year I was negative and the next year I was positive. Thanks

The change in your HPV diagnosis is likely due to one of two reasons.  Either you have a new HPV type, or there has been a reactivation of an HPV type that you had previously.  Non-specific HPV tests (the kind of HPV test you most likely had) cannot determine which HPV type you have; nor can your provider determine this.

J Asks:

Can smoking increase your chances of getting cervical cancer if you have hpv?

A woman who smokes has a higher chance of getting cervical cancer. Research has shown that the cervix is affected by the nicotine in cigarettes in much the same way as the lungs.  It is also known that cigarettes can impair the immune system’s ability to fight infection.  So if you have HPV, you should definitely think about quitting. It will help you prevent that HPV infection from developing to the stage of cancer.

linda Asks:

Is possible to get HPV from oral sex?

The answer to your question is currently unknown. While researchers are gathering new information about HPV every year, the question of whether or not oral sex transmits HPV is currently not very well-understood.

ali Asks:

If my body will clear the virus off in time, will all types of HPV go away, or are certain types more persistent than others?

Some types of HPV tend to be more persistent than others.  In particular, some of the cancer-causing types are less likely to be cleared naturally.  That is why you still need to get regular screening as recommended by your provider.  This is also one of the reasons why the vaccines are recommended, to prevent at least 2 of the types that tend to stick around, HPV types 16 and 18.

Koel Sen Asks:

Am 23 years old.Recently I developed Genital Warts that I am treating.My query is-since I have already got Genital Warts should I be taking a vaccine(Gardasil)against both, cancer and warts or Cervarix that prevents only cancer? Will a vaccine against some strains of warts prevent them from recurring?

There are two vaccines to prevent getting certain types of HPV.  Cervarix protects against two HPV types that prevent infection by 2 HPV strains that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases. Gardasil protects against 4 types of HPV including 2 strains that cause genital warts plus the same 2 strains that cause most of the cases of cervical cancer. But if you already have the HPV, the vaccine does not clear the virus and getting the vaccine will not be very effective for you. Please talk to your healthcare provider about this question. Together you can decide whether getting vaccinated is right for you and if so, which vaccine you should have.

Dr.Meenal Thakare Asks:

i have taken 3 doses of HPV vaccine at 0,1 and 6 months. how much should be the gap between my last vaccine dose and planning pregnancy. will the raised antibody titres affect my pregnancy outcome if i plan immidiately in the very next month of last vaccine dose?

Good for you for getting all three doses of the cervical cancer vaccine. It is extremely important to finish all three doses to obtain the maximum benefit.  Getting pregnant now after receiving the vaccine should not give you any concerns. The vaccine is considered a class B drug regarding teratogenicity (possibility of affecting a fetus).  This means it is very safe and in the clinical trial data and pregnancy registry since approval of Gardasil, it is clear this is a safe drug and likely does not affect a fetus.  So all of this equates to the conclusion that you do not have to wait to delay getting pregnant after the 3 dose series.

Confused Asks:

I was just diagnosed with mild dysplasia CIN I. I am engaged.  Is it ok to have unprotected sex and try getting pregnant?

An HPV infection rarely leads to cervical cancer. In most women infected with HPV, the cells in the cervix return to normal after the body’s immune system destroys the HPV infection. However, some HPV infections do not go away and may remain present in the cervical cells for years. It is the long-standing infection that can lead to changes in the cells that can progress to cancer. Getting pregnant when you have HPV is okay.  The HPV infection presents a very little risk to the infant.


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