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Could it not be herpes?
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Could it not be herpes?

Hi. I'm a 22 year old female. I have had only 4 sexual partners in my life, all of which have been long term relationships. I have always been very careful, using protection and asking about past history before doing anything physical. I have yearly pap tests and have always been std free. I have now been with my current boyfriend(fiance) for almost two years. We are monogamous and were both tested and free of stds at the beginning of our relationship, and I've also had pap tests done since then. Last month I had a bad yeast infection that was followed by really tiny sores on my perineum. I went to the doctor(female) and she looked and said I had nothing to worry about. I was still paranoid so went to the walkin clinic the following week. The sores were already gone, they only lasted about 2-3 days, they were not painful, not itchy, didn't scab over, no discharge, nothing. The nurse practitioner that I talked to at the clinic said I had nothing to worry about but I got blood tests done anyway. I have not gotten these results back yet but my boyfriend had blood work done about a week before and his came back normal, no indication of any antibodies or anything and he's also never had any type of sore or infection on his genitals. Now a month later these tiny sores have come back, I went to emergency at the hospital and the doctor(male) couldn't even see them, I had to point them out. He was not a very nice man but said they may be herpes. I understand that this infection can be dormant but if I am infected it would have had to been a long time ago and I also understand that women are more likely to show symptoms shortly after being exposed. So since my timeline does not fit together and my fiancé whom I've been having unprotected sex with for two years shows no signs in his blood work, how could this be herpes? And if it isn't, what is it?
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101028_tn?1348750963
you and your partner will both need to check to make sure that herpes was included in your std testing. it's not a part of routine std testing.

also pap tests, don't test for std's either.  just a fyi.

yeast infections can cause rashes.  no real reason to think this is herpes. if the provider in the ER could barely see these, odds are they weren't herpes either ( never go to the ER for things like this - it's not their specialty and you won't get good advice there the majority of the time ).  did they retest you for vaginal infections when you were seen at least?

grace
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Avatar_f_tn
The blood tests were for herpes, as I said my boyfriends results were normal, no signs of any antibodies present. He also got a second blood test, and still waiting for those results. Mine have not come back yet either. The NP at the clinic did take swabs for vaginal infections(gonorrhea, chlamydia, etc.), these came back negative, swabs were also taken in the ER. The first doctor that looked at the Health Unit(doc that does my regular pap), saw the sores before they "burst", at that point they were whitish skin colored bumps, and again they were so small that I had to show her where they were, and she told me not to worry. The only reason I'm really worrying is because they have come back, and now this male doctor is telling me that this swab will be positive and that I have herpes. I'm just trying to get peace of mind, because like I said, my timeline also doesn't add up and I'm just getting anxiety over this.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi again. Sorry to keep posting. I have just noticed that I have a thick cottage cheese like discharge coming out of my vagina,though i know this is commonly associated with a yeast infection, there isn't any itching. Is this or can this be related to the sores in any way? The sores have been there for three days and though they seemed to be starting to heal already when i went into the ER last night, I'm assuming that when he did the viral culture swab he may have agitated the area? He was pretty rough when doing the swab. This discharge has now started on the third day, no odor whatsoever and still no itching.Can this still be herpes?!?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, sorry I forget to mention that the ER doctor also put me on a prescription for Valtrex, 1000mg a day for 5 days. I dont know if this helps with anything. I did tell the doctor in the ER that I didnt have any discharge at the time, which I didnt, and he said that discharge isnt associated with herpes. My lymph nodes also are not swollen at all.
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101028_tn?1348750963
wait for your test results but sounds like the ER doc scared you needlessly.

if the ER doc didn't test you for yeast and bacterial infections vaginally, return to your regular provider this week for testing for them.  don't guess and self treat.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was just told from the nurse practitioner that my blood test came back positive for antibodies. My boyfriends results were negative. She said it is still completely possible for my swab to come back negative. Is this true? If it is then how could I have antibodies? Im really confused and nervous.
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101028_tn?1348750963
I can best help you with blood test results if you get them to post here - e.g. hsv1 igg 4.3 and hsv2 igg 2.3 or whatever they are.
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Avatar_f_tn
could you ask the nurse for your blood test results and post them on here?
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Avatar_f_tn
When I looked at the blood test sheet all I saw was that antibodies were present, it wasn't  type specific if that's what you mean? But I will double check and post back. Thank you so much by the way for posting back so quickly. I have been going over and over everything in my mind and it's not adding up. Especially since my boyfriends results all came back negative. I mean even if I've been dormant for the past two years that we've been having unprotected sex, you'd think he still woul have been exposed and would have antibodies?? I'm really confused, but will find out about the results and post back. Thank you again :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I had just gotten off the phone with the nurse and she said there would be no point in me getting my results printed out since the NP had already explained that I could just have the antibodies from exposure to a cold sore in the past. I asked if the tests was igg or igm and she said she wasn't sure, but when I first read the results I don't remember seeing anything numerical to indicate that it was an igg and I know the test wasn't type specific, all I remember it saying was that there were antibodies detected. The NP also said that when she gets cold sores and takes valtrex that they're gone in 24hrs. I've been on valtrex that the ER doc gave me for almost 4 days and it never increased healing like it says it should, even though they were almost healed already. I have also had a yeast infection both times with this, significant?? I'm confused and she made an appointment with both my bf and I for the 16th once my swab comes back to help explain things I guess.
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101028_tn?1348750963
valtrex doesn't work fast enough to heal herpes lesions in a day or so.  all it does is decrease shedding of the virus and you have to wait for your body to finish healing the actual lesion which can take more than 4 days.

non-type specific herpes igg blood testing is a waste of time and money :(  sounds like the clinic isn't all that up to date on herpes testing :(
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi. I'm sorry, could u explain why this test is a waste of time?? I've been trying to read up on it but I really don't know the differences between blood tests? :S thank you.
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101028_tn?1348750963
non-type specific tests have a high false positive rate due to other infections. they also don't differentiate between hsv1 and hsv2 so it's really of no use to get a + result . type specific herpes igg blood testing gives you a result for hsv1 and hsv2 both. It's of no use to just know you might have herpes, you need to know if you have hsv1, hsv2 or both.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi thank you for explaining. But even if I don't know my level of antibodies, if it came back that they're detected does that not mean that I do have the virus? I've read some articles and I'm trying to learn more but I'm confused cause I've read that this is what it means and have also read that this doesnt mean anything, and then the NP is telling me that it doesn't necessarily mean that I have it. I have so much confusion and anxiety trying to understand.
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101028_tn?1348750963
as I already said, the non- type specific tests have a high false positive rate.

once you get type specific testing done, feel free to post the results here for more help with them. really nothing else I can add at this point until you get better testing done.
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay, thank you. I really appreciate all the help. I'll post again when I know more in a few weeks.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just found out yesterday that my culture swab came back positive for type 2, and that my boyfriend actually never did get a blood test for herpes like he was led to believe. I know it's pretty much impossible to find out where this came from, just really hard to accept. Now my bf and I have been talking and I understand that these rashes can appear anywhere around the genital area, and he has had blister type rashes on on his pelvic area and lower abdomen but when he got the ones on his lower abdomen looked at the NP said it was just something from the laundry detergent, even tho we have been using the same kind for a very long time. So I guess my question is that could these be herpes on him and we just never thought anything of it cause it never actually showed up right on his penis? He is still going to get blood work done even though we know it will only show antibodies. He's now thinking that he was the one that gave them to me if what these blister type rashes are is herpes?
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101028_tn?1348750963
they could be. him getting tested is the best way to find out if he has it or not.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello again. I am unfortunately going through my third outbreak, it has been one every month for the past three months now. Luckily they only come in one or two extremely small sores and don't last long, can't even see them without looking really hard.  I'm having a very hard time accepting everything, and my bf and I are still waiting for his blood results. The NP told me that the average for first year breakouts is 4-6. I'm still confused how I've could have even gotten this, not that it matters anymore, but is this going to reoccur every month!? Every month they seem to come at some point the week before my period, even tho I'm on bc and therefore don't go through the same hormonal changes that a woman not on the pill does right? I'm sorry, like I said, I'm having a hard time with everything.
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101028_tn?1348750963
go and be seen every single time you have symptoms to try to get better answers. It's a pain I know but it's the best thing to do.
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101028_tn?1348750963
also make sure that they are properly testing you for bv too - it doesn't always present with obvious symptoms and can make herpes more active.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks Grace. I do have a doc appoint already for this Monday, if my other obs are anything to go by they should be gone by then, but I'll get him to do some swabs and ask more questions. As far as medicating this current ob, I noticed it late Saturday night and wasn't able to get to pharmacy until today when I came into work, is it worth going to get the prescription filled if they've already been active for a a couple days? Would the meds still help?
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101028_tn?1348750963
if it's already healing, no reason to treat it.

have you thought about daily suppressive therapy instead too?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Grace, yes I think they are already starting to heal, though it's hard to tell because they are so small and I can't see them, I kind of have to go by touch and sensation, like  kind of a numbing feeling in my left thigh and bum area ( the side the ob is on), but I don't know if it's because of it or not.  The NP said something about suppression therapy but I will talk about it with my doctor on Monday, I would like to see how often these will come before paying for the pill everyday as I'm not sure about my prescription coverage right now. Thanks for getting back to me, I guess I won't bother with filling the prescription this time if its not going to help or if it's too late to be effective.
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101028_tn?1348750963
these are the same symptoms as your culture previously?

definitely follow up for better answers and get tested properly for bv. if they balk at testing you for bv due to lack of symptoms, nicely ask them to do it to make you happy.

even without insurance, in the US you can get daily suppressive therapy with acyclovir for under $20/month.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think it's the same, like there are only two this time and again are so small and not red at all that if I didn't notice the "bump" on Saturday night, I may not have even noticed at all. I just looked and they are definitely less noticeable than before so I'm assuming its healing and will prob be gone in a day or two. I live in Canada and am normally covered under my fathers plan until I'm 25 I think but that's why I need to double check.  I will definitely get swabs for bv done and ask my doc a lot of questions!
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101028_tn?1348750963
acyclovir seems to cost more in canada - no idea why since usually it's the opposite!
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