HPV questions

  • 1 reply
  • 27 subscribers

Hi everyone

i am 4 weeks post op for radical hysterectomy. I had hpv which caused my cancer. I have so many questions about it all but my surgeon isn’t gonna be the guy to ask and going private for my op in the end means I don’t have an oncology nurse to call. I’m so worried that me and my husband will never get back to how we were. I feel like he just sees me as someone he has to look after now and we won’t ever get back our intimate side of our marriage. I mentioned something earlier just joking about and he just said “you know there’s no test for hpv for men”. I know I’m only 4 weeks post op but it’s worrying me that his worries will mean the end of that part of us. 
we have been together over 20 years and there’s no question of cheating here at all just to clear that up. That’s not what I’m worried about. 
I’ve been told I can’t get pregnant anymore so we no longer need to use contraception but how will I then not just get the hpv virus again if I passed it to him or he passed it to me to begin with? I had no signs of hpv, I was shocked to see I had it and he has no signs either but obviously still could have it. This whole thing has made me feel awful and just gross, and I’m worried that’s how he sees me now too.  Don’t help that I’m tired and emotional either.

I have read loads on different sites but just can’t find the answers.

I’m also waiting to hear if need to start a course of chemo as my histology was borderline for me needing it. So stress levels are up again. 
I hope you’re all ok as can be 

xxx xx x 

  • Hi  

    It seems like there’s a lot going on in your mind and you’ll be emotional after your surgery anyway, so it’s early days in your recovery. Are you feeling physically ok in your recovery? There should be no reason not to be able to get back to things as they were, but the issue of the hpv virus shouldn’t  have to come between you.

    I’m really sorry to hear having hpv makes you feel gross-that makes me feel sad for you because you have done nothing to deserve this. But hpv is something that can’t be “cured”, so it’s something that will always be there, but hopefully not active or causing any problems. There’s no point in speculating who gave it to who, or how you got it because there are no answers and you could drive yourselves mad wondering for ever for no point.

    Your husband could well have the virus, but as he said there’s no test for men. As you’ve been partners for such a long time he could have had the virus and his immune system could have cleared it-made it dormant. People, both men and women can have the virus and never know about it because it doesn’t cause symptoms until cells become abnormal and changes are picked up on cervical screening for women. Men would likely not know about it unless they developed an hpv related cancer- such as anal, penile, throat cancer etc. Only a small minority of people overall of either sex would ever develop a hpv related cancer, despite the millions of people who have come in contact with the virus. But it absolutely doesn’t mean to say you cant ever be intimate again. 

    There is a lot still not known about hpv and how it works, even among medical professionals and researchers so it can be a difficult topic even for couples to talk about. 

    If you feel happier using condoms as a barrier when you resume intimacy that might make you feel better psychologically? I feel you might spend a lot of time worrying unnecessarily about hpv-please don’t let it consume you.

    Obviously I had cancer caused by the hpv virus, but to be honest I felt I had bigger things to deal with than a virus in terms of getting through my cancer treatment. I don’t dwell on it, ever think about it or worry about it, and I don’t blame myself for having it. I can’t change it so I don’t let it bother me. 

    You have a lot to deal with right now, getting fully recovered, and maybe even contemplating chemo so that’s a lot to have on your plate right now. I would try if you can not to be thinking about hpv and concentrate on being well again. I think what you mentioned about being tired and emotional right now will be having a big bearing on your mental state, so I don’t think it’s helpful for you to be worrying about hpv for now. A radical hysterectomy is a big deal-give yourself time,p.

    Sarah xx

    Community Champion Badge

    Cervical Cancer Forum

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm