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Canker sores or genital herpes?
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Canker sores or genital herpes?

Throughout my teenager years and adulthood, I used to have canker sores in my mouth relatively frequently, though only to a limited extent that did not require any special treatment, for neither the number of ulcers nor their size was excessive. Last summer it occurred for the first time that a few lesions appeared on my penis, mostly on the inner or outer side of the foreskin, and once on the side of the penis. Their cycle of recurrence was a few weeks; their simultaneous number did not exceed two or three. Their appearance was similar to the oral canker sores I knew, but I have never seen genital herpes, and hence would be unable to recognize the difference. I currently have a few such lesions. My impression is that I have not had oral and genital ulcers simultaneously, or at least not in the last months. Many common causes of canker sores (fatigue, vitamine deficiency, lack of sleep, and stress) were certainly very applicable to the period when these lesions appeared and persisted, and are still partly applicable (the temporary disappearance of the lesions in January may have been caused either by their natural cycle or by my taking of B12 vitamine). In addition, I have sexual relationship only with a single partner ever since 2005, and to my best knowledge, my partner is also monogamous. She did not complain of similar symptoms, nor did I notice anything similar on her, but I know that herpes may occur without these visible symptoms. I intend to undergo a herpes test, but before doing so, it would be useful for me to know whether my symptoms could have been caused by canker sores or they are likely to indicate genital herpes. I am ready to answer questions if further details are needed. Since canker sores are not infectious but genital herpes is, the fact that I may have the second would necessitate to question my partner about her medical situation, and of course I do not want to imply that she may have contracted herpes somehow if this may later prove unfounded, and I actually have only canker sores.
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101028_tn?1348750963
The canker sores in your mouth, won't appear on your genital area. Canker sores on the genitals don't just happen like they do in the mouth.

You need to be seen and get some basic testing done starting with a type specific herpes igg blood test to see what your hsv1 and hsv2 status is. Your partner should also consider testing for herpes since odds are neither of you have ever been tested for it before. Also get your current symptoms looked at for a visual diagnosis.  Whatever is going on, it needs proper medical attention at this point since it's been going on for a bit now.

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks a lot for your comment! I will definitely follow your advice with regard to testing, but let me have a few more questions. First, I wonder whether the aforesaid symptoms could have been caused by some kind of bacteriological, that is, non-viral and non-STD infection. Second, I have thought over the patterns of recurrence of the symptoms, and now it seems to me that the cycles were less clear-cut as I thought first. There was indeed a symptom-free period in January (when I took a substantial amount of vitamines, some anti-virus/anti-bacterial medicine, and had more time to sleep than before or after), but during the five or six months before, the symptoms, though with varying intensity, were practically constantly present. Third, I recently got a tablet aimed at alleviating the symptoms of canker sores, and it did greatly reduce the swelling within two days. I do not know its name, for it is not in English, but the method of applying it is to keep the tablet on the lesion for 15 minutes. I wonder whether a medicine designed to treat the symptoms of canker sores would produce any effect on herpes. Since it was supposedly designed to have an effect only on the symptoms, which are similar in both cases, this may not reveal anything about the nature of the illness, but I found it advisable to add this information. Fourth, I wonder how I could have contracted herpes if it is really so. Does it necessarily indicate that my partner had intimate relations with someone else in recent times, or are there other explanations as well?  
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Avatar_m_tn
One more question: If my partner does have symptom-free genital herpes (as I could not have contracted it from anyone else), would it also have caused me oral lesions as a consequence of oral sexual intercourse? I read that in some cases, genital herpes may cause oral herpes (and vice versa), but I do not know whether this regularly happens or not.
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101028_tn?1348750963
you need to get some basic testing done and go from there.  try to be seen when you have symptoms.

grace
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