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Sorry, I've just bombarded you with questions.
http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au/services/s ... Guide.html
CIN1 = Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
Basically you don't have to worry for now. You just need pap smears every 12 months instead of every two years. If they decide you are in a higher risk category (eg you've had more than one positive pap smear) they will probably make you have a pap smear every 6 months.
Unless it progresses to CIN2 or CIN3, there is nothing to worry about. Most cases of CIN1 go away in time. And of those that don't, most don't progress to CIN2 or CIN3 or to cancer (the stage after CIN3).
To answer your questions about what caused it, YES it is caused by an STI. It is caused by HPV. The HPV vaccine does not prevent you from catching HPV if you've already been exposed before you have the vaccine. It only protects you from being exposed after the vaccine. Also, it only protects you from 4 types of HPV (two types that cause warts and two types that cause cervical cancer). They are the four main strains (depending on the survey, it's something like 3/4 of cases of HPV or higher - but that will change as more people get the vaccine and those strains die out), there are dozens more less common strains (that will become more common as the vaccinated ones die out).
You could either have caught HPV before getting the vaccine (it only takes having sex once) or you could be one of the unlucky people who have one of the uncommon strains that causes HPV that the vaccine does not protect against.
Either way, the HPV vaccine isn't a reason to stop using protection. Unless you're in a long term monogamous relationship where both of you have been tested, you need to be using protection (and be aware that even condoms don't protect against everything). You can also catch HPV in your throat (if you know what I'm talking about) and other "parts", which is why rates of things like throat cancer have rapidly risen in the last few decades.
You've definitely been exposed to HPV. The good news is even though you carried the virus long enough to cause changes to the cells of your cervix, you may not still carry the virus itself. However you do need to get tested for HPV. It is not done on a standard STI screen - if you go to a doctor and ask to get tested for "everything" they still don't usually test for HPV. It is not usually free if done through a GP or sexual health clinic.
I got mine done for free through a specialist at a public hospital.
Unless you have only ever had one sex partner in your entire life, you can't be sure where you got from. I was sure because my exhusband was the only man I had been with ever, and I know it was from cheating on me because he was tested for it before we got married. But as I said, it only takes having sex once to catch it, so if you've had sex even once with another man, you can't be sure who gave it to you.
Yes you should contact him, but be prepared for him to ignore you. My ex did, and so did the skanks he was cheating on me with (found out he was having unprotected sex with up to three women in the same day - each of them knew and none of them cared).
Despite the fact I was halfway through my training as a nurse and I have a science degree in biological sciences, my ex still tried to tell me that it couldn't be caused by an STI because he'd never cheat. Then again, even after I read the emails in his email account discussing his cheating on me with one of his mistresses, he still tried denying it. Some guys are just douchebags.
Anyway... for now, don't panic. Don't go into hyperdrive searching for a relationship. All that really means is lowering your standards and trust me, it's better to wait and take your chances than having a kid with another douchebag. Keep your eye out for another relationship, be open, but don't rush into it.
Even if progresses to CIN2 or CIN3, it doesn't stop you from having kids. Read further down the bottom o f the article where it talks about LLETZ and LEEP and ablative therapies. Basically it's just fancy ways of saying they either burn off the cells around the affected area of the cervix or cut them out. Cutting them out is more invasive. Depending on how much they cut off, will be how badly your ability to have children.
They wanted to cut out my cells - I said absolutely not at just CIN1 because my second husband and I really want children so they did the burning off of the top layers of my cervical cells. The normally wouldn't do that for CIN1 but I have problems with my immune system and was also bleeding constantly for around 6 months and suffering severe abdominal pain for ten years so they needed to do a hysteroscope (a camera put all the way up into the uterus) anyway so they did the cell burning off while they were in there.
Before you get that far though... have a look through the flow diagrams on the website. You'll have to have a second abnormal papsmear (if you haven't already), and then you'll be referred to a specialist who will do a colposcopy (camera up inside to look at your cervix) and if they see something that worries them, they'll do a biopsy on the same day to confirm if it's definitely CIN1 or progressed further.
if it hasn't progressed further, they'll just go back to doing a pap smear every 12 months and depending on your specialist, they'll do another colposcopy if your next pap smear is abnormal, or they'll wait for two abnormal ones again before another colposcopy - and keep doing that until it goes away or there is a medical reason to stop or keep doing it for the rest of your life (they tend to stop when you get really old, like they stop breast cancer screening because they figure old age will kill you before cancer would).
A hysterectomy really isn't relevant because it won't stop cervical cancer from developing if you've been exposed already. A hysterectomy only removes your uterus - it doesn't remove your cervix (unless your doctor takes out both at the same time). They usually leave your cervix when doing a hysterectomy unless they a reason to take it out. Also, if you do have one and they don't take out your cervix, you can still get cervical cancer if you've been exposed already.
How treatment of cervical cancer and it's precancerous stages
effects fertility is the destruction of the cervix itself. If they cut out huge chunks of the cervix or cut off the cervix altogether, a few things can happen - a whole bunch of scar tissue can form around your cervix and sperm can't then get through so you don't get pregnant in the first place, or if you're not too scarred for sperm to get through, then when the sperm and egg meet in the uterus, you have an extremely high risk of "cervical incompetence". Which basically means what's left of your cervix is too weak to hold a baby in and you miscarry.
Which is why I said no to having a LLETZ or a LEEP despite what the doctor wanted. they even tried to talk me into five minutes before the surgery.
My case is unusual - because of the bleeding and pain and other gynocological issues, they are taking the risk of cancer a lot higher than is normal for CIN1. It's been 7 months since I had the ablation done and I have my review appointment next month (was supposed to only be 6 months but they kept pushing it back due to large public hospital waiting lists - I also waited 10 months for the ablation and hysteroscope despite being listed as semi urgent which is supposed to be a max of 3 month wait). The original plan was another hysteroscope but due to moving I'm going to a different hospital and different specialist so they may just do another pap smear and wait for it's results before doing another colposcopy.
You don't sound pathetic at all. When I was first told I had CIN1 I had no idea at all. I wasn't even 100% sure it was caused by an STI even though I was half way through my training. But I did have all my uni resources to research it so that made a difference.
All I can say is this - find a good doctor who is willing to explain the standard procedure where you live (each state in australia has a standard guide like the nsw one I linked you to - Qld's is nearly identical). Follow the procedure your doctor recommends (colposcopies are no worse than pap smears, they just take a little longer). Try not to feel like anything is hanging over your head - every day we are alive, we're another day closer to death. If we all though constantly about things that were a real risk but extremely unlikely to happen, we'd all go insane very quick. Yes it progressing to cervical cancer is possible, but the risk is very very small, especially with 12 monthly pap smears, and even if it progresses at all, they will catch itbefore it turns cancerous. the fact it hasn't turned cancerous already (ie it's not a fast developing case) is a good sign it will never get worse at all. You can't live on "what ifs" - the chance of it becoming cancerous is really small. You DO need to keep getting pap smears regularly, really important that it's every 12 months, but if you do that, they'll catch it if things progress before they get to the stage of cancer.
And finally... if you do meet someone, practice sex as safely as possible. Make sure the relationship is monogamous and use condoms until you've both been tested for everything. You need to find out if you still carry HPV and you should get any future partner to get tested for it (in addition to the standard STI tests) as you can still catch a strain that the vaccine doesn't prevent.
I'm off to bed, but if there is anything else you want to know, feel free to ask and I'll try my best. I tell my daughter I know everything, but I don't quite know everything yet...