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Waiting for Colposcopy Results & Scared


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Dear Waiting: I too have spent the last couple years with weird PAP results - I also am almost 42, two children (teens), one partner my entire life, etc. I am not certain what your Pap smears indicated. Mine were at first ASCUS (basically, not normal, but not definable either), then LSIL (mild dysplasia). This is most commonly caused by the HPV (human papilloma virus) which is considered a sexually transmitted disease, and also causes genital warts. Don't ask me how I got this, since I have been monogamous, and I am 100% sure my partner has as well. Anyway, I also had colposcopy (2, in fact), and the area of concern was still there. Since this is viral, many (up to 80%) of these areas, or lesions, do go away on their own. This can also develop into cancer, tho', if your particular strain of HPV (there are many) is a high risk strain for developing cancer. There is a new test that can tell you which strain you have, but basic treatment remains the same, and even if you should have a high or low risk strain, you can still develop cancer. The test has not been encouraged or readily available in my rural area, so I have not had it. I chose, after my first colposcopy didn't show anything, but the Pap smear 6 mos later still was abnormal, to have a LEEP procedure. Basically, the doctor will numb your cervix in the office, and use a small, electrified metal loop to shave away the lesion. They stop the bleeding with cautery or a paste, and you go home, with 3 weeks of no baths, sex, or tampons. I actually had no trouble with the procedure, think I felt one needle poke, that's it - and spent the rest of the day at a picnic. Felt fine (took advil before procedure) and wore a pad for two weeks (you shed the paste and scab material for a few weeks). What I liked was the feeling that I had had the lesion removed, and the tissue was then sent to the lab for examination. It showed nothing serious. A year later, same thing again. Had another colposcopy, also ok, then a good Pap 6 mos later. Am approaching my 6 mo. check date, so we will see. This virus can and does cause recurrences, so it is kind of frustrating, but I no longer feel like I will get cancer and die tomorrow. It's more like a maintenance plan. I chose LEEP over cryosurgery because with cryosurgery, no tissue is left to examine. I also have a veterinarian husband who performs cryo, and I hated the way that healing looks - weepy, sore, messy. Several friends had commented that their cryo was very painful, and that they had had 4-6 weeks of an odorous discharge. I am very happy with my choice and would do it again, but cryo also has a good cure rate. Have read various things on whether a body ever "clears" this virus for good. My gyno recommended 5 mg/day of folic acid. That is LOTS - you havae to buy 1 mg or even 800microgram tablets ( most vitamins contain about 400 micrograms). I buy 800's and take 5-6/day. However, this seems to have helped me get a good result so far. Look online and in the library for more info - it is a complicated subject, just to learn what the pap smear results mean. I wish you luck!!! Jenni


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