SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

August 2, 2013

Dr. Prusak: What women should know about HPV

When I graduated from my surgical fellowship, I had the misconception that because I was trained to do the fancy, lifesaving procedures like on “Grey’s Anatomy,” that it was what I would be doing in my practice. What I found was that gynecology is not like the sexy brain surgeries performed by “Dr. McDreamy,” but it is about helping women with their everyday sexual and gynecologic questions, problems, desires and concerns.

I hear similar questions from my patients every day, ranging from: Why do I have pain with sex? Am I already going through menopause? I just found out I am Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) positive, did my boyfriend cheat on me? You’re not alone. To encourage others to speak up, I’m sharing and answering some of the common misperceptions women have, starting with an issue that continues to spark national debate — HPV.

I recently found out that I tested positive for HPV. What does this mean?

HPV is one of the most common reasons women come to see me in the office. It is true that HPV is a sexually transmitted virus, not a sexually transmitted disease. It is acquired through skin to skin sexual contact. It can be transmitted from man to woman or woman to woman. Like any virus, it can lay in a dormant “sleeping” state for many years. At any point in a woman’s life — and especially during stress — the virus can reactivate and a woman can test positive for HPV. A positive HPV test means at some point a woman acquired the virus — and it could be from her very first sexual encounter right up until her most recent; therefore, making it impossible to pinpoint the exact person who’s responsible.

I have an abnormal pap with a positive HPV test. I’m extremely worried that I may have cervical cancer. What should I do?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Poundstone2 Wait, wait ... it's Paula Paula Poundstone often makes fun of her own awkward appearance, which she emphasizes by wearing men's ties and wide-lapel suits. "Is it me, or do I have the worst posture in the history of the world?" she asks in one routine. "I hope to eventually go

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • mainstage 'Servant of Two Masters' designed to keep you laughing The Mainstage Theatre at Salem State, which will shut its doors in June, opened 30 years ago to the sound of laughter. With performances this weekend and next of Carlo Goldoni's "The Servant of Two Masters," it's going to close that way, as well. "

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fishes North Shore Entertainment Calendar Music MUSIC AT GULU-GULU. Shows are at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted, at Gulu-Gulu Cafe, 247 Essex St., Salem. Thursday, April 17, David Simmons Annual Theme Night, a Simon and Garfunkel Tribute; Friday, April 18, Lowman, alternative; Saturday, April

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140415_SN_HAND_READERSEYE The reader's eye Name: Corey Kramer Hometown: Beverly Description: "I pass by this view every day on my way to school. This photo was taken at Endicott Beach. I enjoy taking photos of nature, which does not require human recognition to show its beauty. I have done ve

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • riverhouse Good cause Cheer on the Red Sox, support the River House Everyone is invited to watch the Red Sox game at the second annual Danvers Community Lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of Maple Street Congregational Church, 90 Maple St. Cheer on the Sox as they play the Baltimore Orioles and pa

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Father of four is selfish to put health at risk Dear Abby: I am a 34-year-old wife and mother of four. I'm concerned about my husband. He is 44 and drinks at home every evening after work. I don't mind him having a few cans of beer, but he drinks between six and 12 a day. He refuses to see a doct

    April 17, 2014

  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, April 17

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Cellphone snoop discovers boyfriend is cheating

    Dear Abby: I have been in a long-distance relationship with "Victor" for several years. Recently, I began to suspect he was cheating. What raised my suspicion was that I suddenly couldn't reach him on the weekends. Usually, we would Skype -- Sunday n

    April 16, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, April 16

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Signs of an abuser apply to women as well as men Dear Abby: I read your Jan. 8 column about the warning signs of an abuser. Would you use your influence to say that men are also victims of abuse? My son was in a three-year relationship with a woman who scored 15 out of 15 on your list. We knew it

    April 15, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker