If you’ve been reading the last few posts, it comes as no surprise that as of lately, I’ve been in a pissy mood. So instead of going on again about my love life, or lack thereof, I’ll write about some womanly health issues. My personal issues. The word vagina or vaginal will probably appear, so if you’re disturbed by such unholiness, I suggest you turn back.
My first time at the gyno was a year ago. I know, I’ve been having sex a lot longer and should have gone *much* earlier. My ex-boyfriend called me a year ago, almost in tears, saying he had Condyloma, and that I should get tested for it. That’s why we women should have a Pap test. The results came back abnormal.
I was sent to a second exam, called a Colposcopy in which the gyno examines the cervix for suspicious cells. He said he can’t see any evidence of pre-cancerous cells and that my cervix looks fine *sigh of relief*. But I do have some genital warts on my inner vaginal lips – I would have never been able to see them myself, I even tried inspecting the area with a mirror – didn’t see anything either. No symptoms.
So it’s not life threatening. good. I have a laser appointment next month which should rid me of these things. I also have to get a Pap smear every 6 months until I get a negative result.
At first I felt, “how could this happen to me? I’m a good girl and I’m always careful”. After reading more about HPV I understood that some things are beyond my control (oh, how I hate that).
Apparently, most women don’t have symptoms. Most women don’t know they have HPV. A lot of women don’t know it can lead to cervical cancer, and that it can be avoided (generally speaking).
It’s crazy to think I would have never known unless my ex called me. Everything worked as it should have, I’m not on the pill so I had no reason to go to the gyno. Maybe an important factor was that my mother never suggested I should go when I was younger, so I never felt like I should, unless I had a reason.
No one really talks about these things because they’re embarrassing and very personal. You might be labeled as someone who sleeps around, because our society still has some serious hangups about sex. Knowledge is power – talking about these things can save lives.
There’s a reason it’s called the “common cold of the sexually active world”. Condoms don’t guarantee you won’t get it. You can get a vaccine which protects you from certain species of HPV, but there are hundreds. I don’t want to come off as preachy, but get tested.
So here’s some more info from the National Cancer Institute about HPV and Cancer. Read up.