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Sunday, October 09, 2005

If I have HPV, does it mean my husband cheated?

I'm 40 and for the first time after 20 years of normal paps. Mine comes back abnormal. Dr. said that it was most likely caused by the HPV virus. Only have had 2 partners and the 1st was only once and my husband of 15 years. The doctor said that it looked as though I had it for 3 mo. 3 mo. ago I had a miscarriage and serious uti. She said because of the HPV one of us must have cheated in the last 3 mo. I was appalled!! We been together 15 years and we have 3 boys, and I would never and my husband never ever cheated.

Could the recent miscarriage and uti cause a few cells to be abnormal? The 1st partner I was with the one time was 17 years ago. Can the virus lay dormant that long?

Mr. dr. kept me waiting 3 hrs even when I had an appt. and then bec. she was running late, wouldn't asnwer any of my questions or even take another exam. She said I need the coloscopy and biopsy and that's final.

Thank you for your concern.

LD

Dear LD,

An abnormal Pap smear is NOT a sign of infidelity! It was very irresponsible (not to mention wrong) for the doctor to suggest this.

First of all, a Pap smear is a screening test. It identifies women who MIGHT have abnormal cervical cells. Therefore, we don't yet know if you have abnormal cells. Second, a Pap smear is not a test for HPV. There is a specific test for HPV so you can ask for that test to see if you really do have HPV.

Colposcopy and biopsies is the only way to actually diagnose abnormal cells. Any woman who has had an abnormal Pap smear should have a colposcopy and biopsies. Many women will find that they don't have a problem.

If it turns out that you do indeed have HPV, it could have been dormant in your body for years, perhaps even decades. You could have got it from your first boyfriend, or you could have gotten it from your husband, unless he was a virgin before he met you. Men usually have no symptoms of HPV, so he would never know that he has it.

Sincerely,
Amy

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