Jamie Otis Reveals HPV Diagnosis After Discovering 'Abnormal' Cells
By Paige Gawley
Jamie Otis is HPV+. The 34-year-old Married at First Sight alum took to Instagram on Wednesday to reveal her diagnosis, which was discovered during a pap smear early in her pregnancy. Otis and her husband, Doug Hehner, welcomed their son, Hendrix, in May. They also share a 2-year-old daughter, Henley.
"I have HPV. I found out when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and had an 'abnormal' pap.🤰🏼They told me I’d have to wait until my six-week checkup after delivery to investigate further so I didn’t risk losing my baby.👶🏼💙," she captioned a video of herself at the doctor's office, which was set to Gloria Gaynor's 1978 track, "I Will Survive."
"I have two friends who told me they were diagnosed with HPV during pregnancy too," she wrote of the infection, which can cause cancer.
While Otis wrote that she was "hoping" the HPV, which is often transmitted sexually or through other skin-to-skin contact, would go away after giving birth, her six-week post-pregnancy checkup "came back abnormal with 'high risk' cells."
"Sooo yesterday I had a colposcopy. When she finished the biopsy of my cervix she said that it’s likely I’ll need the LEEP procedure because she could see the high risk, abnormal tissues," Otis explained of a cervical examination she had done and the procedure -- one that removes abnormal cells from the cervix and vagina -- that she'll need to undergo.
"I am so fortunate to have caught this early," she wrote. "These 'abnormal' cells are what turn into full-blown cancer. Luckily for me, I got pregnant and they made me have a pap. Otherwise who knows when I would’ve had one."
"I didn’t always get my routine checkups because I was so 'busy,'" she continued." Don’t let life get too 'busy' to get your checkups."
While Otis wrote that she believes she'll be "perfectly fine," she is thankful her pregnancy led to a diagnosis.
"To think if I hadn’t gotten pregnant these high-risk cells would just be hanging out spreading inside me and I wouldn’t know any better because there are no signs or symptoms," she wrote. "Sooo, yeah, if you are due for your checkup go get your pap!🙃💗"
When ET's Kevin Frazier spoke to Otis and Hehner following the arrival of their son, the couple opened up about why they opted for a home birth this time around.
"Having a baby in the hospital turned out to be way more risky than having a baby at home," Hehner said in reference to the coronavirus pandemic. "If it is safe to have a home birth for us, why would we want to take up a bed where somebody that may be sick should be there. No nurse should have to waste their protective gear on us."
For Otis, a home birth meant foregoing an epidural, an experience she admits was "very, very painful."
"I was like, 'Women have been doing this for years! This is going to be fun, this is going to be OK,'" she said. "...To be able to feel every little bit of him you know moving inside me still kicking as he's coming out like, I mean I could feel everything. Then, when, I held him and it was just the most amazing feeling, like we really bonded. Not gonna lie though, it was very, very painful."