Ask a Doc

Ask a question | Browse | Most recent

Debra asks:

I am trying to find out how long high risk HPV can stay dormant?  If you had cervical dysplasia 14 years ago (removed it with a LEEP procedure) and have not had signs of HPV or abnormal Pap smears for the next 14 years, could you have the same HPV strain reoccur and cause cervical cancer?

There is no definitive answer to your question as to how long high risk HPV infections can remain dormant. It varies greatly from person to person. High risk HPV infections can remain dormant for many years. Removing the abnormal cells in your cervix with a LEEP or Cone procedure will not eliminate HPV. It is thought, though, that after such a procedure, your body will mount an effectivie immune response to assist in clearing the virus. That is why these procedures are so effective. But this does not happen in all women and it is impossible, at this time, to predict who will have a persistent HPV infection which may lead to a recurrence of abnormal cells. That is why you need to talk about your concerns with your provider and continue to take good care of yourself and get regular checkups and Pap tests, especially if you have had a procedure for abnormal cervical cells.

Post a comment:



return to top of page return to top of page