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Herpes
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Herpes

Doctor,

When I was 18 I was date rapped. After having visited a clinic for tests, I was told that I contracted gonorreaha and genital warts. I went through several tests, weeks of efudex treatments and laser surgery to remove the warts. I don't recall ever having an outbreak that looked like warts. What I do recall is having a outbreak of painful blisters the first month after the rape. The clinic wanted me to keep coming back for treatments but I couldn't afford it and after the second laser surgery performed I felt it was best to find a primary Gynecologist.

It has been 11 years and occasionally I get one blister that pops up when I menstruate. Blisters do not appear any other time. I have gone through 4 different Gynecologists for tests to see if I actually have herpes. Each doctor told me there is no sign of it. I am now married and have been with my husband for 7 years. Prior to him I had one other steady partner. Neither of them have contracted anything. My last gynecological visit (my fifth doctor) revealed an abnormal result. My doctor told me it shows some type of exposure to herpes. I'm going back in for antother test.

My question is how can I find out if I definitly have herpes? I would like to be more sexually active with my husband but I'm afraid of infecting him. I am always getting canker sores in my mouth so we have stopped having oral sex because of this fear. Frankly, having sex with condoms is no fun for either of us and has dampered our intimacy. I am ready to have children as well and now I'm having second thoughts because I don't want to jepordize my newborns health. Where can I go to get an accurate result and more information on prevention if I truly have it? I am willing to be a volunteer for tests.

Please help!

Thank you.

Jordan
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Jordan:

You are clearly in serious need of better information.  First, canker sores inside the mouth are not herpes.  Second, I do not know what results your latest gynecologist could have found to be compatible with "some kind of herpes."  This requires calrification, and most likely another opinion.

The world is full of couples, one or both of whom have had herpes for sure (and I would say that in your case, there is certainly room for plenty of doubt that you even ever had it.)  They have intimacy and they have children, and you deserve both.  Even with definite herpes, the risk of transmission is mainly when there is active disease, and you have never been shown to have this.  And even if there were a theoretical risk of infecting your husband, it makes no sense to go through the rest of your lives wearing condoms to minimize this low risk. The same is true for childbirth; the risk is low and worth taking (and again, we don't even know for sure you have any risk.)

Do both of yourselves (and your yet-to-be-born children) a favor and get a thorough exam from a sensible gynecologist and'or infectious disease expert so you can put the risk, if there is any, in perspective, and get this concern behind you once and for all.

Good luck!

Dr. Rockoff
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