STDiaries: What It’s Like To Be 23 And Living With HPV
Freaking out about those test results? Not sure you understand what those symptoms really mean on WebMD? Wondering how you’re going tell your dude that you have an STD? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. “STDiaries” is our original series where young women who currently have or previously had an STD answer a set of honest questions about what it’s like to live with one.
Occupation: Sales Rep.
What STD do you have?
I have genital warts caused by HPV.
What are the symptoms of the STD?
I have warts that grow in clusters on my vagina. They can be super uncomfortable and itchy.
Is there medication for it/is it curable?
There are topical creams that can be used if I’m in too much pain that help clear them away. Surgery is also an option if I get large warts that don’t respond to creams.
When were you diagnosed?
About a year ago.
Where you already experiencing symptoms when you were diagnosed?
I noticed a bump on my vagina and I freaked out thinking it was herpes. I went in to my gyno to have it checked out. Thankfully it wasn’t herpes, but genital warts aren’t exactly what you want to hear either.
Do you know how you contracted the STD?
My boyfriend at the time. I wasn’t having sex without a condom with anyone else, so it must have been him.
How has having this STD affected your life?
I get really upset about it sometimes. It’s not the worst thing that can happen to me and if I really want I can have surgery to remove them, but it’s still shitty to know I contracted a disease and that it shows up on my vagina to other people. I feel gross.
On a daily basis?
It can cause serious discomfort on a day to day basis if I don’t have the creams.
Your love/sex life (relationship with partner if you have one)?
My boyfriend at the time and I broke up. I have been dating a bit, but Have sex with the warts has caused them to bleed and it really hurts. Plus I haven’t really mastered how to tell my partners what’s going on down there.
Do you need to take medications? Are there side effects?
I do sometimes if it gets bad, but there aren’t any side effects