11:16 pm - 07/27/2008

White Blood Cells and Exam

I had my first Gyno visit the other day and upon exam the nurse said that my cervix looked a little "off" and swabbed it to look under the microscope (along with swabs for a routine STI testing and pap). The swab showed increased white blood cells and she said that it could either be syphillis or microplasm? (something with a similar name). I was very surprised by this beause I have only recently lost my virginity and always use condoms. The lab results will be back this week and she gave me a one dose liquid antibotic. 

I was frustrated that she wasn't direct in answering my question, hence why I'm turning to my lovely superstars. Couldn't white blood cells mean some sort of infection? I havent noticed any symptoms...just some soreness during sex. I have to do a "warmup" with the boyfriend where we work it in slowly... (plenty of foreplay, lube etc)  Does anybody else have to warm up? I know everybody is different but he said that past partners have not needed this type of warmup. Any similar experiences with syphillus? Sorry for the many questions...just lost in the process. Feel free to message me if it is too private of an answer... thanks so much.

ahistorybook 28th-Jul-2008 03:42 am (UTC)
I dunno about the white blood cells thing, but I think its normal to need foreplay/lube/slow entrance with sex. I couldnt imagine doing it any other way, would definetly hurt most people :o
chiyo_no_saru 28th-Jul-2008 03:47 am (UTC)
For real, especially if this is the first time you've had anything that big up there! As I'm fond of saying, the vagina isn't a slip-n-slide! You can't just plow on in and expect no resistance--it's a muscle. You have to warm-up, get lubed up, and then try.
chiyo_no_saru 28th-Jul-2008 03:43 am (UTC)
White blood cells do usually mean an infection of some kind, since they're what fights the infection. It's also possible to be asymptomatic, but if you're careful about condoms, syphilis doesn't seem very likely.

When I first started having sex, I needed to warm up--after having it regularly and getting used to it, it gets easier. If you've just started having vaginal intercourse, needing to warm-up is super common. Even if you continue to need it, it's possible that your muscles are just more thorough than others'!
evillittlekiwi 28th-Jul-2008 03:50 am (UTC)
i had a pap about 3 years ago that had increased white blood cells..never got tested for syphilis..but never had problems..(also had routine std screen)..my Dr. didn't seem too concerned...said it was most likely slight inflammation.(which can be caused by std's,vaginitis, and hormones..)( i am very prone to yeast infections..so maybe that's it)...and my paps since then have been fine.

Inflammation
If inflammation is present in the cells on the Pap smear, it means that some white blood cells were seen on your Pap smear. Inflammation of the cervix is very common and usually does not mean there is a problem. If the Pap smear showed the inflammation is severe, your doctor may want to find the cause, such as an infection. Your doctor may also recommend a repeat Pap smear to see if the inflammation has improved or cleared up completely.

http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/reproductive/gynecologic/223.html

i hope this helps. *hugs*

Edited at 2008-07-28 03:51 am (UTC)
svexsal 28th-Jul-2008 03:58 am (UTC)
I agree with chiyo_no_saru when she said that the vagina isn't a slip and slide. Take all the time you need before sex to 'warm up' down there. It'll just make everything better because you'll like it more and you'll also get to know what you like better.

I really wish that some health care professionals would work on their bedside manner. Scaring you into thinking that the presence of white blood cells might be something as serious as syphilis is just insensitive when it might only be a UTI/Yeast infection/Bacterial Vaginosis (all common even WITH the use of condoms). Yes, you need to be prepared for it all but I'm really sorry you had to go through that. I had something similar at my most recent annual exam this week and forced myself to go back again the next day for a repeat exam because I was not satisfied. Turned out I had a UTI and am now on antibiotics to treat it.

Above all else, you should be comfortable with your gyno. But I'm glad you have us to help you (even though I'm a noob)!!!!!

Edited at 2008-07-28 03:58 am (UTC)
shyshutterbug 28th-Jul-2008 04:06 am (UTC)
White blood cells do indicate an infection of some type, but that's certainly not limited to syphilis. Without actually knowing what she saw on your cervix that looked "a little off" (discharge? a lesion?), I'm not sure why your gyno's mind would automatically go there; with increased WBCs under the microscope, I'd be much more likely to suspect some type of vaginitis, and if we're looking at STIs specifically, chlamydia would be my first suspect, not syphilis. Regardless, if she gave you an antibiotic, take it exactly as prescribed, and wait to hear back from your doc. It may well be that you need a different type of antibiotic or a repeat test after the results come in.

As far as STIs go, syphilis is relatively uncommon. Is it a possibility? Sure. But with the information you're providing on your condom use, I think the odds that this is an STI are pretty unlikely.
queensugar 28th-Jul-2008 06:26 am (UTC)
I agree with this totally -- it's kind of a head-scratcher to me why the doctor would announce "syphilis," when a whole host of much more common infections can cause the same thing.
inmycrease 28th-Jul-2008 11:19 am (UTC)
Thanks so much everyone...
This was exactly the reassurace and guidance that I needed that the nurse couldn't quite give me.
You are all amazing :-)
southernmyst 28th-Jul-2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
Take all the warmup time that you need. You're still new to this, so yes, it's super-common. And it didn't go away so much as shift gears for me. If my boyfriend wants sex and I'm not in the mood at all, there's quite a bit of foreplay needed before my vagina becomes a slip'n'slide; if I'm already ragingly horny, I can work myself up with just my thoughts (without even needing to touch myself, I note). Either way, foreplay just adds to sex anyways, so it's never something to complain about!
rembrandtfan 28th-Jul-2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
I was told something similar once, too, years ago. The gyno said there were alot of white cells present, but she tested me for STD's and the results were negative, and I wasn't expecting to get any positive results. I am prone to YI's and every time I have taken an antibiotic, I end up getting BV, and I think that's what was going on at the time. Or as was mentioned, it could have been hormones, which I think cause my infections, and I also suspect are the culprit for my uterine fibroids. Most gynos just irk me, they see white blood cells or discharge and assume it's an STD. One male gyno even asked me, when I had some discharge, if I had a lot of boyfriends, which really ticked me off. I was married for 4 years and hadn't been with anyone else.
rembrandtfan 28th-Jul-2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
My other question is, if the gyno suspected you have an STD, why didn't she test you for it to rule it out? That really puzzles me.
inmycrease 29th-Jul-2008 11:10 am (UTC)
She did swabs for Gonhorreah,Syphillis and Chlamidia as a "standard procedure". After reading all these wonderful responses I'm thinking it might be BV because a little bit ago I was on antibiotics for an extended amount of time and in the process got a raging YI. Also BV might explain the little bit of pain I'm experiencing during sex. Lab results come back soon and I guess time will tell. Thanks again everybody.
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