Arm yourself with the facts about Human papillomavirus (HPV). Then create your unique plan to address both the virus and fertility.
Part 1 of Dr. Doni’s Series on HPV & Fertility
Many women who are ready to start a family contact me because they decide to have a pap smear before conceiving. Some of these women are surprised to receive a “positive” on their HPV, or Human papillomavirus test. Suddenly, their world is turned upside down. Of course, they want to start a family! At the same time, they want to address HPV, heal their cervix, and have a safe pregnancy.
If this describes you, don’t despair! Just because you have a positive HPV test result, doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant and have a healthy baby. What you need to do right now is get all the facts about Human papillomavirus. Then develop a plan that can address both the virus and your fertility.
If you have just received a diagnosis of HPV, you may be a little confused as to what it actually is. In a nutshell, HPV, or Human papillomavirus (of which there are over 100 types) is one of the most common STIs or sexually transmitted infections. While it is said that almost all of us will be exposed to HPV at some point in our lives, many women are left feeling alone dealing with this virus.
The truth is that HPV is serious because certain types can raise women’s risk of cervical cancer. A positive result means that the HPV virus is active in your body. When it is active is when abnormal cells can develop on your cervix (or other areas). In 50% of cases, the virus will clear within 8 months without any treatment. In 90%, it clears within 2 years. This is why many women are told to “watch and wait” to see if they are amongst the 10% of women where the virus causes abnormal cells. More and more women are simply not satisfied with that plan. They want to be proactive to do whatever they can to fend off the virus, especially when they are planning a pregnancy soon.
Conventional Procedures and Fertility
When you receive a positive test result for HPV, you will either get results showing that you have the virus with “normal cells” or it will report that some “abnormal” cells are present as well. Abnormal cells on the cervix are referred to as “cervical dysplasia”, which includes cells that are inflamed or mildly abnormal (ASCUS and CIN1), all the way to highly abnormal (CIN2, CIN3, and carcinoma-in-situ).
Depending on the severity of the dysplasia, your practitioner may recommend a biopsy of the cervix, called a “colposcopy.” The practitioner takes a small sample of tissue that will be examined in a lab. A colposcopy is considered to be a more sensitive way to pick up on abnormal cells.
If the results indicate moderate to severely abnormal cells, but not cancer, your practitioner may suggest a procedure to remove them, called a LEEP, or “loop electrosurgical excision procedure.” Using a specialized tool that contains a heated electric current, the doctor will remove the abnormal cells on your cervix. If the cells are more advanced, the doctor may recommend a “cone biopsy” to remove part of the cervix.
If your results show cancer cells, it is especially important that you work with your integrative oncology physician to develop a plan that is best for you. When cervical cancer is discovered early on, total recovery rates for cervical cancer tend to be high.
These procedures are the go-to’s for thousands of women, and they may even be your go-to as well. It’s important to know that removing the abnormal cells does NOT remove the virus, however. It is not uncommon for abnormal cells to recur, even within a year of completing one of these done.
If you are planning on getting pregnant, you should also know these procedures do come with some side effects and risks. The biggest risk to women who want to conceive is damage and scarring to the cervix. (Hint, there are other options to help you.)
A cohort study conducted through Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri monitored close to 600 women over the course of a decade who had had the LEEP procedure done. A study report, published in 2013, found a 6-fold increase in miscarriage in those women who had conceived within 12 months of LEEP.
A 2012 investigation published in the British Medical Journal also found a slightly higher risk of premature birth in those women who had gotten a colposcopy (cervical biopsy) sometime in the recent past.
Epigenetics and HPV
All of this would sound pretty hopeless if it weren’t for one thing—your body’s ability to heal. Viruses need an environment that allows them to replicate and spread. In the face of a strong immune system, HPV slips back into hiding and may eventually go away altogether. Even conventional medicine admits that the abnormal cells discovered with an HPV diagnosis often go away by themselves in healthy individuals.
So what determines the state of your immune system and other mechanisms that add to a strong defense against HPV? How can you be in the 10% of women where HPV leaves them alone? And how can you heal your cervix before it turns into cancer cells?
This is where “epigenetics” comes in. Researchers in this new scientific field examine how external factors can influence DNA. Think of it this way: we have all heard of how our genetic code is like a “blueprint” for our health. If that is the case, then epigenetics is similar to the contractors and designers that take that blueprint and build something tangible out of it.
In other words, it takes epigenetic factors to make a disease like HPV flourish in the body. Some examples of epigenetic factors that may lead to the expression of HPV include:
- poor diet
- lack of sleep
- too much alcohol or smoking
- exposure to toxins in the environment, which can lower immunity
- negative thoughts
- chronic stress
- systemic inflammation
- Leaky Gut or other gut-related conditions
Heal Naturally and Help Fertility Too
Stay tuned for Part II in Dr. Doni’s Series on HPV, where I will go into how diet, sleep, and stress affect HPV expression, and how making simple positive changes in these areas can help you heal HPV and increase fertility!
In the meantime, please remember that you do not have to feel unsupported, afraid, confused, or in the dark when it comes to HPV. And you don’t have to feel like your only options are the conventional ones. Many of the women I help to get HPV and abnormal cells to “negative” on their next pap smear, wind up conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy very soon after following my proven protocol. Here are some of their testimonials.
The reason for their success is simple: Once you put positive actions in place, your body gets back on track and simply begins to work better all around.
You absolutely can heal HPV, increase fertility, and feel great—and you don’t have to do it alone. My proven programs can be there for you every step of the way!
If you would like to know more about HPV and what you can do to heal it, join me for a FREE Masterclass on April 1st at 7 pm Eastern. It’s called What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You About Your Pap Results.
See you there—in person—at the Live Masterclass and wellness wishes to you, as always!
26th March 2021
- CDC – Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Statistics
- What Is LEEP?
- Cervical Dysplasia
- LEEP Linked to High Miscarriage Rate Within First Year
- Risk of preterm birth after treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia among women attending colposcopy in England: retrospective-prospective cohort study
- Cancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes
- The role of epigenetics and immunological imbalance in the etiopathogenesis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
- Epigenetics and lifestyle
- Mayo Clinic- Infertility
- Stress can make women infertile: study
- Male depression may lower pregnancy chances among infertile couples, NIH study suggests
- Can Stress Impact HPV?
- Sleep and immune function
- The Health Benefits of AHCC
- A nutritional supplement for improving fertility in women: a pilot study
- Understanding acute and chronic inflammation