What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not all that familiar with how my vagina looks. I know roughly how it feels and that’s enough for me. A gyno once told me I have a textbook vagina, which is easily the weirdest compliment I’ve ever had, but I’ll take it anyway.
I’d been getting sore after peeing, for no good reason. While in the shower I’d felt a little lump, so decided to check it out. Out came the mirror and in I went for an inspection. Straight away I saw it. Just inside the entrance, it was small and pale and I knew what it was; a wart.
My genital wart looked EXACTLY like this.
All the websites say they’re meant to be HUGE and look like a cauliflower, but mine looked more like a tiny iceberg and felt rough, like a verruca.
Shit. Why me? I’d only slept with three men, one was a virgin at the time, and I’ve always been a good girl, careful, etc, etc. This was really not fair. My first thought was that I was going to be plagued by growths for the rest of my life. My lovely, textbook vagina would no doubt soon be riddled with fat, ugly warts, spreading beyond control.
I’d never be able to have sex with anyone ever again. I’d probably never be able to have kids!
I imagined whispers around the table at family dinners of the future, amongst the couples and nieces and nephews: "Wonder why she never married, maybe she just didn’t find anyone? Maybe she’s too demanding? Is she secretly a lesbian?" And all the while, I’d shamefully know I’m an old spinster because I’m infested with an STD.
First, I called the boyfriend. I’ve never asked how many girls he's slept with because I don’t want to know, but I suspect he’s had his fair share of action.
"Have you ever had an STI?" I blurt out. This was followed by a stunned silence.
"OK, do you have genital warts? Because I have one. And it definitely wasn’t there before I met you, and that’s kind of suspicious, right? It’s also appeared at the same time that the NHS Direct website says they normally appear after the initial infection, which is three months. I’ve been sleeping with you for three months, so all the signs point to, um, you…"