Abnormal Vaginal Culture

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2006
Abnormal Vaginal Culture
12
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 6:35pm

I am officially freaking out! My doctor's appt was last Monday, on the 6th and I got a pap smear and a vaginal culture done. Well, instead of calling all the patients with abnormal issues, they give you a little card and then you call this number after a few days to get your results. If they are abnormal, they tell you to call the office.

Well, I totally forgot to call the stupid number and randomly remembered today, thank god. So, I call and my pap is good, but my vaginal culture is abnormal, which more than likely means I have some sort of infection. I'm freaking out cause I haven't had any symptoms at all, and I don't know how long I've had it, and I'm scared to death it isn't good for the baby.

I have to call them tomorrow because they're closed for today. I'm thinking it may be bacterial vaginosis because (guessing from what I read online) I'm symptomless. I've never had that before in my life, and read in the What to Expect book that it can cause complications, like pre-term labor and miscarriage. I'm trying to not panic before tomorrow morning. Anyway, anyone else had anything like this so far?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-19-2009
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 7:09pm
This is hard for me to say because I am not too open about this but my pap came back abnormal and it turns out I have HPV. HPV either gives you no symptoms and only when you become pregnant does it make your cells abnormal. OR you get genital warts from it. I am one of those who didn't get any symptoms from it. The doctor said more then half of the worlds sexually active population has an HPV strand (there are over 30). Good news is it won't do anything and in some cases your immune system even completely gets rid of it after a few years. My doctor told me odds were that me and Rob both had it before we ever got pregnant just on the fact that we weren't both virgins upon being with eachother. She said it is so common and there is no test for it, you only know you have it when you get symptoms. So that's definitely something you should do some research on.






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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2006
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 7:14pm

Thanks, I'll check it out :)

Just edited to say, thank you too for sharing with me, I'm googling as I speak :)




Edited 7/15/2009 7:17 pm ET by charlobarlo
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2005
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 8:38pm

If your pap is normal, it's NOT HPV. HPV is a virus (which I've had in the past, but now cleared thankfully), but a vaginal culture would be looking for growth of bacteria or yeast. Your most likely option is actually a false positive - you'll get sent for a confirmatory test, most likely. Other options are a yeast infection (not dangerous), Strep B (common, and not dangerous as long as you get antibiotics during labor), or something else like what you've read about. Basically, it could be anything, and the fact you've got no symptoms suggests it's more likely to be something that's not dangerous to baby. If it were dangerous to baby, they'd do more than wait for you to eventually call in - they'd be calling you on every available number, repeatedly!!

Hugs,
Rebecca

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2009
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 8:49pm

There IS a test for HPV.

Tessa


Mom to 6 kids and 3 angels!



iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2006
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 9:35pm
No, they don't send the card in the mail, they gave it to me at the appt. I'm just forgetful, and completely forgot to call in. The phone number or website gives you the test results if they are normal but tells you to call in if there is a problem. I also doubt its HPV too, only because (this is embarrassing) I've only ever been with my DH. We got together when I was 15, so he is my one and only. Unless he's found some magical time (we're always together) to get it from someone, there's no way I could have that. I'm hoping it's nothing major. I will be calling at 8:30 in the morning, that's when they open. You guys made me feel better, as always :)
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2005
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 10:05pm

I'm not sure if you were directing your post at me - I certainly wasn't saying that there isn't a test for HPV. HPV, a virus, is detected through diagnosis of abnormal cervical cells and subsequent PCR testing. Vagnial cultures are just that, a culture to see what will grow in the test tube or on a petri dish - viruses will not multiply under those conditions. Bacteria and yeast can and will grow in culture.

:)
Rebecca (a molecular biologist)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2009
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 11:30pm
Nah, I wasn't directing it at you!

Tessa


Mom to 6 kids and 3 angels!



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-19-2009
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 11:38pm
My doctor told me there is no test for HPV, just that if it causes abnormal cells then they can detect it. She said I could have gotten it the first time I slept with a guy who wasn't a virgin and I have had 2 previous paps that didn't catch it. She said pregnancy causes the cells to become abnormal when you have HPV and that's how they find it. But until that happens there is no test (yet). Unless of course you get the vaginal warts, or like my friend due two weeks before me, it gives you cancer. She told me that most likely my cells will go back to normal after I give birth making it impossible for someone who doesn't know I have HPV to tell if I have it. Thats why she says its one of those things that so many people have because it doesn't often give any symptoms.






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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2006
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 9:54am
Ok, yay, just a bacterial infection, take four pills and I'm good :) The nurse says no harm to baby, it's super common, so thank god.
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Jan EC,Jan EC 2010,January EC,January EC 2010

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2006
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 10:08am
I had vb with my last pregnancy. They gave me a prescription vaginal cream to clear it up. It was a mess and caused a yeast infection, might want to keep an eye out for that if they didn't warn you;) Good luck.



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