A strange subject: whether there is a virus or not!

Research in preparation for IVF. The story of how I turned half my head grey and took a full panel of high-carcinogenic risk.

Today, my post focuses on one controversial analysis—the study on the human papillomavirus (HPV) variants. Why controversial? Doctors emphasize the importance of conducting this CA125 and HPV analysis. Because 9 out of 10 people have been infected with the papillomavirus. Still, even after passing the HPV test, we are determining if we are carriers. Everyone hears the word papilloma. These are small translucent growths on the human body. The presence of these indicates infection. For example, I have papillomas on my skin, but for a long time, it was enough for me that they were benign, did not tend to degenerate into a “bad” word, and did not cause discomfort. Back then, I didn’t know that small papillomas often equal big problems… and I also didn’t even hear that the virus is based THERE—until a certain moment.

So, my story and the results

When we began collecting documents for IVF, I learned about the variety of papillomavirus variants. PCR tests required women to undergo HPV screening for variants 16 and 18.

Then, for me, these were simply incomprehensible designations. Still, now I know that these are some of the most aggressive variants of viruses that can provoke cervical diseases: severe forms of dysplasia and even cancer.

While I was receiving and transferring my quota and retaking tests to enter the IVF protocol, I seemed to have had to undergo an examination three times—and the results were always negative. Variants 16 and 18, for which my “biomaterial” was studied, were absent in the body.

How is the analysis taken?

For analysis, women are scraped from the cervical canal and studied using PCR.

Of course, to take a smear, you need not be having your period at the moment – for obvious reasons).

As far as I know, men have fewer preparation requirements, but collecting material could be more pleasant. My husband always left the office looking pale green.

Also, before taking a smear, you need to refrain from sexual activity, lubricants, suppositories and taking antiviral drugs.

The collection of material is painless! It happens literally in a minute on our usual gynaecological chair. When I took the test in a paid laboratory, the nurse spent a long time scraping around inside, trying to get as much as possible, and doing everything more carefully than in a tannery.

Well, about the results… 

At the end of the summer, my husband and I passed everything possible at the skin and venereal disease clinic, and a week later, we came for the results in absolute confidence that everything was clear for us.

You know, probably, in institutions of this variant, the phrase “And you were found…” sounds especially ominous. It was just a bolt from the blue: they discovered HPV (high cancer risk, in other words, oncogenic).

True, the most aggressive variants – 16,18 and 45 – were absent from my smear, which could not but rejoice.

The doctor who issued the conclusion noted that some high-risk variants of HPV are present in the body, and IVF is postponed for now, but there are no worse variants of HPV. It is necessary to undergo treatment.

Moreover, the viral load, according to the results of this analysis, was decent—4.66 x10 5 cells. This number is deemed significant, almost reaching the upper limit of average values.

They prescribed treatment and sent me to combat the virus independently, with a follow-up test scheduled three months after therapy completion.

I didn’t calm down on this but went for a consultation with the head of the department, who has been dealing with all my dermatological problems for 15 years. She reassured me, affirming that they hadn’t identified the most insidious HPV genotypes yet; while others were less dangerous, they still required treatment, and IVF should be postponed until cured.

However, instead of tablet therapy, they offered me injections with the more powerful modern drug, Allokin Alpha.

Colposcopy

Since the human papillomavirus poses a danger to the cervix, I decided to undergo colposcopy again.

The results were disappointing: besides the cysts on the cervix and the iodine-negative area, they also detected white epithelium (areas that lighten under vinegar solution). Typically, this symptom suggests HPV in the body.

The diagnosis is an abnormal colposcopic picture of the 1st degree (it’s good that it’s the mildest; according to the doctor, the damage is insignificant).

The most amazing!

The CA125 Doctor who performed the colposcopy ordered me to take the entire high-risk HPV panel: it was necessary to determine who exactly had settled in my body.

We need to pass – we pass!
The next morning’s results were encouraging and shocking: they didn’t find a single genotype! I removed the photo and put it in quotes.

When the first manifestations of joy subsided, I again rushed to my doctors to a) find out whether I needed to take any therapy (I hadn’t taken anything yet) and b) find out what it was all about.

Both doctors were genuinely surprised!

Unanswered Questions

If the answer to the first question is obvious—do not accept anything for now—the second remains rhetorical. No one can answer what happened: Was it a mistake by the skin and venereal disease CA125 clinic or a paid Laboratory? Did the body cope with the virus alone, or was that bastard lurking? In general, Mercury is in the wrong house, and this explains everything!

I will retake the CA125 test at the skin department again. According to the gynaecologist, such a viral load could not disappear so quickly even when taking pills (and I did not start taking them). Therefore, her assumption is a mistake; there was no virus. Let’s see which version is correct.

Why am I telling all this in such detail? Never before have I felt so uncertain and incomplete after any examination. It turns out that even a negative result does not give reason to consider oneself not infected. So, for now, 4* from me. And be healthy!