Let’s talk about HPV

Let’s talk about HPV

 

Thursday, 7:20 am. The bright light is blinding my sleepy eyes and I’m preparing myself for the pain to come. For me, a complete morning muffle, it is far too early anyway, but that’s the only appointment left before I have to go to work after. And one thing is clear, I will never give my “diagnosis” more space in my life than it has to be. I mean seriously, more than 80% of people are affected by HPV at any point in their lives anyway. So no need to worry! At least that’s what I keep saying to myself.

But right now I’m cursing those little deformed cells that set up their home inside of me. Small cells that have not only affected my uterus – but much more my thoughts. Okay, that sounds a bit theatrical now. But every three months I’m going to the gynecologist now, in between I may even go back there to never changing test results – oh and now I even have to go to the hospital from time to time for an additional examination. An examination that may be easy for some – but I do not like to be told “and now cough so you do not feel the pain of the cut too much.” I also do not find it funny when I have to wear an “old granny” sanitary pad for the rest of the day, so I  won’t bleed my pants in the office thanks because of said cut. Without even being on my period.

So now it’s out, it’s not exactly pretty – and for all the guys who made it this far: I’m deeply sorry for being so frank, but unfortunately this is reality for some women (but here it comes: we can all do something about it!)

But stop, back to the beginning: Because if you are like me, before I got my diagnosis and pretty much everyone I’ve shared this message with, you either have A: no idea what I’m talking about (or maybe believe it was a typo, no, I really meant HPV) or B: are already busy juggling various prejudices back and forth. So let’s talk briefly about HPV itself (even though you will find the super scientific and full definition somewhere else).

HPV, or human papillomaviruses, are mutated cells that can be transmitted via sexual intercourse (but not only!), And in some forms (over 100 different strands in total) can lead to genital herpes and cervical cancer.

And there we already have two prejudices included. For those, who already believe I have herpes. I’m sorry to disappoint you, unfortunately my viruses falls under the cancer pathogen category. Let’s get to Prejudice Number 2. If you have HPV, you certainly had your fair share of unprotected sex. And again I’m sorry, but while I had to listen to this statement regularly, my answer was always the same: If I have always taken care of something in my life, then it is a sufficient contraception! (Thanks to Professor Hajek and the most disturbing sex education ever …)

Where were we? Oh, I almost forgot another prejudice or a line of thought now. Because even if I am allowed to deal with the dreaded c-word much too early, I am definitely not a deadly case. Because here it comes: The most important thing that you have to know about HPV is that it will only become dangerous if you do nothing!

First and foremost, each and every one of us can get vaccinated today. Fortunately, students already get it automatically, but even “older” people can catch up with vaccination at any time. It does not protect us from HPV viruses that we may already have in us, but definitely from getting infected with new ones (however they find their way to us!). The only drawback: unfortunately it is not cheap. But honestly, investing in our health is still the best asset that each of us has to choose from. And for all our female readers: GO REGULARLY TO YOUR GYNOCOLOGIST! Because only he can determine with the help of the cancer or PAP smear, if you are affected by HPV and whether further steps must be taken. Attention: The virus can remain undetected for years until it becomes active – so there is no getting around the annual doctor’s visit …

And how is my story to continue? According to my gynecologist, I will go through this gauntlet between the doctor and the hospital until either, as in many cases, these altered cells simply regress on their own. Or after a worse or an unaltered finding after two years, I have to surgically remove part of my cervix. But until then I am going to volunteer to pay my doctor three additional visits to I get something, which fortunately every child is already getting today: the vaccine!

 

 

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