9:07 pm - 04/14/2007

Bump on clitoris

I have checked through all of the memories on bumps, lumps, etc and I have been unable to find any information on the lump I have discovered. It is on the left side of my clit about the size of a piece of rice. It is pink the same as the rest of my vajayjay when I look at it. And it really hurts. I can't have sex because it hurts so much to touch. Does anyone know what this is? How can I get rid of it?

I don't believe it is a cyst, genital herpes or a genital wart. I have searched all of them extensively and it looks nothing like any of them.
jen_jen_75 15th-Apr-2007 02:13 am (UTC)
Regardless of what you may have read, it sounds to me exactly like you have a genital wart. I've seen photos of them, too, and they don't look that at all. All they look like are raised, irregular areas that are tender to touch. And the more...sensitive the area, the more tender. (It could just be a blister, but I assume that you would recognize a blister.)Don't spaz - it's not necessarily evidence of anyone being unfaithful - the virus can lie dormant for years. Men, especially, can have them for a long time and not know it. In order to tell if a man has them, you have to run a rubbing-alcohol soaked cotton ball along his shaft. If any little white dots appear, that's genital warts.

Your GYN can remove it pretty painlessly. Just leaving it alone will only let it get worse. If it is a wart, then that also increases your risk for cervical cancer. You need a pap smear now and you will need to be screened more frequently in the future than average.
changingtide 15th-Apr-2007 03:51 am (UTC)
I just had a pap smear less than a month ago that came back negative for hpv. I was recently sexually assaulted though, could it show up in a short time frame? I have had it for 2ish weeks and was assaulted 4 weeks ago. I am getting a full battery of std tests done soon (at the six week mark) but now I am super freaked that it is genital warts. Can you be clear of it one day and just have it show up the next?
frolicnaked 15th-Apr-2007 04:53 am (UTC)
I just had a pap smear less than a month ago that came back negative for hpv.

While a Pap smear is often thought of as an "HPV test," it doesn't directly test for HPV. According to the American Social Health Association:
" The Pap test finds changes in the cells of the cervix (the mouth of the womb) that are not normal. The test involves taking a small sample of cells from the cervix, usually during a routine pelvic exam."
In other words, a Pap smear is only going to show up as "abnormal" if HPV is actually causing abnormal cells to develop on the cervix at that time. (Aside from some other things that can interfere with the validity of the smear itself.) If you have HPV in your system but no abnormal cervical cells, a Pap won't detect the HPV. Additionally, since the strains of HPV that cause cervical changes are separate from the strains that cause genital warts, a Pap test wouldn't have detected those -- if they were present -- at all.

I'm not saying you have genital warts. Since I'm not a medical professional and since I can't even visually see the bump, that's something I just can't know. But since a Pap doesn't check for genital warts, and since the virus can remain latent for weeks or years before an outbreak, a recent normal Pap smear doesn't actually rule out this possibility.

However -- and here comes the good news! -- both the ASHA and VP's Vulvapedia mention that genital warts are usually painless. This would seem to speak against your bump being a wart, yes? I think it can be really difficult for us to give you great advice over the Internet, but you might want to read through the Vulvapedia entry on Vulvar Bumps & Cysts to see if anything sounds like it matches.

Hope everything works out well for you!
changingtide 15th-Apr-2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
Wow. Thank you very much for this extensive reply. I had no idea that pap smears only checked for irregularities before. I thought they were a sure fire way that you knew you had hpv. Again, thanks for taking the time for this extensive reply.
kymberly316 16th-Apr-2007 01:48 am (UTC)
Actually, some offices are doing a HPV test on all paps of women of a certain age. Doesn't mean yours did, doesn't mean they didn't.
changingtide 16th-Apr-2007 01:53 am (UTC)
I will have to call and find out. Thanks for the information.
frolicnaked 16th-Apr-2007 03:38 am (UTC)
No problem. And on the plus side, having HPV, especially sans cervical dysplasia, is generally not a major thing. Like the ASHA mentions, "In almost all cases, the immune system will keep the virus (including the cancer-related HPV types) under control or get rid of it completely." So if your pap came back normal, it's definitely a good sign. :)
frolicnaked 15th-Apr-2007 04:36 am (UTC)
"If it is a wart, then that also increases your risk for cervical cancer."

Can you tell me where you got this information? It conflicts with what I've read.

According to both VP's Vulvapedia entry on HPV and the American Social Health Association, the strains of HPV that cause genital warts are separate from the strains that cause cervical dysplasia (and therefore cervical cancer, should things develop that far). Nothing in ASHA's treatment section suggests that more frequent pap smears are necessary for women with genital warts.
jen_jen_75 15th-Apr-2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
I got the info from two different GYN's. As lovely as it is to say so in such a public place, I was diagnosed several years ago while my GYN was in the midst of retiring. That's why I was treated by two different doctors. It has been my experience that when you are diagnosed with genital warts your GYN ups your pap smears. Perhaps it has something to do with risk factoring. I didn't follow medical advice, and when it had been a year and a few months since my last pap, my doctor got rather purple in the face about it. Turns out he was right. I ended up having to have little sections of my cervix removed by laser. And through out the process, I was told several times that having genital warts ups your risk for abnormal pap smears.

I have heard and read what you mentioned as well. My only guess is that, perhaps, while the most common virus that causes cervical cancer does not cause the wart, it may not be an exclusive relationship. There may be strains that cause both. That was the conclusion I reached during the process, anyway. When diagnosed, I had been married for years and had little...experience before that. I thought it unlikely ('course "unlikely" doesn't mean "impossible") that I had been exposed to two different sexually transmitted viruses.

But back to the original topic, Changingtide, I can't say for sure what your problem is, of course. It just sounded very familiar to me. If it's hurting you, then I would see your GYN, regardless of what it may be. That's the only place you'd get a definitive answer, anyway. And who wants to keep hurting, especially there? I'm not sure how quickly the warts can show up - but my impression is that it takes at least a matter of weeks. If it does end up being a wart, try not to be too upset about it. It's THE most common form of STD. (Just that term - STD - is enough to creep out your stomach, I know) A lot more people have had them that you would ever think.
prefaced 15th-Apr-2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
is it possible that you had more than one strain of HPV?
or that you just had a growth of warts on/near your cervix?

because my gyn was the one who told me that my warts were not associated with cancer... this is was a couple of years ago though, so maybe the info has changed.
jen_jen_75 15th-Apr-2007 09:34 pm (UTC)
That's basically what I was wondering, too - if there was more than one strain involved. Hard to imagine that being the case, but it was hard to imagine having one! (and it was pre-pre-cancerous cells I had removed. There is a more precise term than that, of course, it's just been lost somewhere in the tangle of my mental files.) That's what I meant about the risk-factor. Because my doctor wanted me to have more frequent pap smears when I was diagnosed, before there were any odd results on any past paps, that I wonder, if the HPV that caused my symptoms couldn't cause cervical anomalies, why the extra precaution? Could it be something along the lines of if you have been exposed to one strain, your chances are higher of having been exposed to another? Or does having one make you more susceptible to the other? Then there's always the catch when dealing with medical issues - perhaps different doctors simply think different things. My case was also a few years ago, so I have to add the disclaimer that I may have outdated info, too.

Here's another question to throw out there. I had my wart removed, but that was it. That was the end of the treatment. If it's caused by a virus, and we know it is, why don't I get more?
jennifer0246 15th-Apr-2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
It sounds like your doctor was wanting to increase your pap smears and watch your cervix closely for changes because you'd recently been diagnosed with one infection, and in the eyes of some medical professionals that means that you could well have been exposed to others. I'm very glad to hear that your doctor kept on top of your health and that you're now well :)

HPV is a virus, and can well still be living in your body, or your immune system can clear it. It's not well known whether it completely leaves your body, whether you just don't have any outbreaks, or what specifically happens, but its often the case that HPV (both external warts and cell changes on the cervix) goes into hiding.
prefaced 16th-Apr-2007 01:26 am (UTC)
it's odd, since Ive had the warts removed, they've never reappeared.
I'm under the assumption that it is lying dormant, but i've heard that it isn't too uncommon for our bodies to clear the virus.

kinda off topic but also related in a way,
i was also diagnosed with HSV2 within the same year, and had non-stop problems with it for about 6 months or so - went on medication - went off medication, and i haven't had a *known* HSV outbreak in 2 years ( 6 months of that was on meds though)

Bodies are strange and complex!
I kinda wish that the HSV thing was similar to HPV in that it can also clear after a while, but alas..that is not the case.

being diagnosed with both though, did make me challenge stereotypes more than i had before, as i was surprised when they cropped up as well. at the time of HSV, I had been with 2 people. and only 3 after diagnosed with HPV. luck of the draw i suppose!
jen_jen_75 16th-Apr-2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean! When my doctor explained that I had warts, I turned immediately to look at my (now ex) husband. Even after the doctor explained how long they could lie dormant, I was still sure that he had to have been the one to expose me. We did the testing thing with the alcohol and he was clear. It wasn't until I had seen the stats that it made any sense to me at all how I could have gotten them with such little experience. I've forgotten the statistic - do you remember it? - but it's something awful like one in three people who have it. And when you consider that men, especially, can have it and never know it, I guess that makes sense. Just another weight on the scale of how unfairly Nature handles us women!
frolicnaked 15th-Apr-2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
I've been doing some further research and found something pretty interesting. According to the American Cancer Society, some of the wart-causing strains can also cause low-grade cervical changes but not the kind that develop into cancer. In practice, this would mean that having one of these strains could increase the likelihood of having an abnormal pap result but it would not actually put the person at increased risk for cervical cancer.

Hold on, wait: there's a picture:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
jen_jen_75 15th-Apr-2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
Well, that explains it, I guess. I did not have cancerous cells.
changingtide 15th-Apr-2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this. It is very informative and puts my mind at ease a little.
prefaced 15th-Apr-2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
genital warts are not associated with cervical cancer.
the HPV strains that -do not- produce symptoms such as warts (and thus often go undetected) are.
teknoferit 15th-Apr-2007 02:18 am (UTC)
I don't know if this helps, but once I got a random bump on my inner lips. I don't know what it was from, but it stuck out a little and chafed on my underwear for a whole week so it became pretty sore and painful to touch. then I stopped wearing underwear for another week and it cleared up by itself. Could your problem be similar-- maybe you had a bump that got chafed up?
changingtide 15th-Apr-2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Perhaps it is my panties. I will have to pay attention to whether or not they are chafing that area.
sandi1743 15th-Apr-2007 04:21 am (UTC)
best best is to go to get it checked out. all of these things do not have just one "look" about them - common looks but there are always out odd ball ones that just do not look like the common examples - also the internet can have lots of pics of the worse case situation.
good luck.
changingtide 15th-Apr-2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I am getting checked out I was just wishing that someone had similar experiences and could shed light on my current experience.
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