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Could this be herpes? Terrified
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Could this be herpes? Terrified

Hi, I'm going to give you the whole story so you can get a good picture of what's happening. I've had sex with two guys.  The first was my boyfriend at the time, and we took each other's virginity. I'm sure he couldn't have had anything, as he had never even had so much as a blow job before me. The second guy, I'm not dating, but have known for about two years. We've had sex three times. The first two were protected. The third time, we were drunk and he put his penis on my vagina unprotected for a little while. We put on a condom when we got to full-on sex. This was 11 days ago.

Remembering that we nearly had unprotected sex and knowing that he's had sex with other women, I asked him if he was clean and if he had been tested. He said that he had been tested 2 months ago and was clean. I asked him if he's had unprotected sex since, and he said no. I do believe him in that, as he was always the first to reach for a condom when we started to get into sex. Today, I had walked around in the heat all day and when I got home at night, I looked around my pubic area and found two clusters of red dots, one on each side of my pelvic area. They are both at the very top of my bikini line. They hurt when walking around with underwear on, but don't hurt when I press on them and don't itch.

I put a mirror in between my legs and checked my vagina lips and all around that area, and there was nothing near the actual vaginal entrance. I feel fine otherwise. I'm just terrified that this could be herpes. I did shave my entire vagina region yesterday, so it could also be razor burn, which I do get frequency and this looks like razor burn, but I read that herpes can often be mistaken for that. My thighs also rub together, and I haven't worn the underwear I had been wearing very much, so it could also be from the new underwear rubbing against my skin all day in the hot weather, as it is only on my underwear line. However, I am still extremely scared.

I want to get tested, but I'm only 19, still on my parent's insurance and don't want them to know, and have no car to get to a clinic. I'm hoping to go to a Planned Parenthood or other clinic when I move out of the house in a couple of weeks- the anticipation is just stressing me out beyond belief, so any info would be much appreciated. For example, is it odd that they are both at the very top of my bikini line, far away from the vagina, or could this still be herpes? Sorry for the long story, but any help would be much appreciated!
25 Comments Post a Comment
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101028_tn?1348750963
these don't really sound like herpes going on. see your regular provider to find out what the rash is caused by.

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Grace, thanks for the response. I woke up this morning and a lot of the dots were gone and they don't hurt anymore, so I think you were right and it was just a rash. However, it's still driving me a little crazy, so I reallllly did a self-examination on my vagina just now. This might be TMI, but I really stretched out the skin near the lips, and found some white bumps near the lips. It was redder on one side of the lips than the other. The bumps don't hurt or itch at all, even when I press down on them, and I would have never noticed them had I not been so worried, but I'm still scared. Is it normal to have some spots on a healthy vagina? Am I just being a hypochondriac, or should I be worried?
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101028_tn?1348750963
poking and prodding yourself isn't the best way to handle this dear- go and be seen.

you are over 14 so you are allowed medical privacy. you can call your insurance and talk to them so that any paper work your parents receive on your visit , won't reflect std testing.  you can also just give your folks a head up - tell them you had a rash and thought you had a yeast infection and had to be seen too :)  that's a common girl thing so that they know you were seen and hopefully don't ask more questions.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah, I'll set up a doctor's appointment tomorrow. Regardless, even if it's the worst case scenario and I do have herpes, it's better than obsessing and thinking any little skin imperfection is herpes- I really can't live like this anymore.

I also want to say thanks for being so active on this forum, Grace. This is the scariest thing I've ever gone through, so I'm sure it's like that for everyone else who comes here, too. Thanks for devoting so much time here and being a good, educated voice of reason, even when it's not fully appreciated!
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101028_tn?1348750963
make sure they do properly test you for yeast and bacterial infections vaginally when you are there. you can also get tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea and trich now from your last partner too.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Isn't there a pretty big window period as far as herpes go, though? I talked to my mom and we're going to the doctor tomorrow, but as my incident was only about two weeks ago, how are they going to be able to test me?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there, the best is to always get tested... That's all it takes is that one occasion of unprotected... However, don't stress too much because if you are shaving it could very well be razor burned which when your hair grow out eventually  turn into ingrown hair, usually heals on their own within a few days or less. Blades that need to be replaced usually cause ingrowns or anyone with thick hair growth.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah, I'm starting to think it is herpes, despite the guy swearing that he's clean. The bumps are starting to itch as well- don't know if it's me thinking too much into it or getting it right. However, I don't know until I see a doctor. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
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101028_tn?1348750963
many things cause bumps and rashes in the genital area which is why being seen is important. screen for the infections I mentioned too. if they suspect that these are herpes related, they can do a lesion culture and typing now.  

to properly screen from unprotected sex, you would need to wait until 6 weeks post encounter for syphilis testing and 3 months for herpes, hiv and hepatitis blood testing.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, I haven't slept all night, and the guy I thought I might have herpes from called me at 6 a.m. (after I texted him all night) and did his best to reassure me. He said that he had all the proper testing and didn't have any unprotected intercourse, including oral, in the three months prior to the test and after the test. He swears that he's clean, and that all my symptoms are psychological.

It made me feel a little better, but he did go down on me unprotected, and I didn't think to ask if he had gone down on anyone else. If he did have in his mouth, what would be my chances of contracting it genitally? Are they low, especially since I've made out with him a lot, and have no symptoms in my mouth?

Also, I'm starting to think this might be a yeast infection. However, what threw me off is what I thought looked like blisters and redness on my labia, though I could be wrong and it could just be inflammation. Can this happen in yeast infections, too? I also had some white, odorless discharge from my vagina today. Is that a sign of herpes, yeast infection, or both?

Sorry for all the bothering- it's just that my doctor's appointment isn't until much later today, and I have to spend a whole day at a brand new job until then, so some sort of peace of mind is nice!
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, bad news. I went to the doctor, and they basically told me to pee in a cup and get out, because my mom told them I just wanted to get my vagina checked out- which is what I wanted, for someone to look around down there. I peed in a cup, it was fine for bacteria and all that, and told the doctor my concerns about herpes in private. She said I could come back for a full pap smear, but the earliest I could make an appointment is nearly two weeks from now.

I asked her if it might be a yeast infection, and she said it might, though yeast infections are usually "messy and gross." No one could even look to see if it looked normal. She said she could do cultures in my pap smear, but I'm afraid the bumps might be gone by then if it is indeed herpes. My vagina has felt dirty all day, like there's sand in it, and it's just this constant irritation. Even my butt has started to irritate a little bit.

This is starting to sound more and more like herpes, and not knowing is driving me crazy. I can't go another two weeks living like this. I can't eat or sleep not knowing. I just started a second job- I can't go about life like this! Does anyone know of anything I should look out for in the meantime? Right now, both sides of my labia minora are red, one more than the other, and there's some bumps on them. They don't really hurt, just itch, but not enough to have to scratch. Also, if anyone can answer the question about the chances of catching genital herpes orally when you've made out with the person a lot and haven't seen any symptoms around the mouth, and while the person insists that they've been tested and are clean.
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Avatar_m_tn
Calm down honey. I think you're over-reacting...usually with a first infection you are down and out with fever, flu-like symptoms and insufferable burning and itching. What you are describing doesn't sound like it to me, and I have had it since 1989. :) I think they would have tested you on the spot if they thought you had it. Don't obsess, you're probably fine!
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101028_tn?1348750963
it's unfortunate that you went somewhere where they didn't do a proper exam :(  

you've convinced yourself you have genital herpes but your symptoms really sound like vaginitis.  Find somewhere else where you can be seen sooner and follow up on this further.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, I ended up crying on the phone to my actual doctor, and she said I could come in today. She didn't do a full papsmear, but looked around down there and took cultures of my bumps. She says it doesn't sound like herpes from my story, but I don't think I'll be at ease until I get the results. Does anyone know how long a culture test takes to get results?
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101028_tn?1348750963
depends on what type of culture they did and what lab they use.

did they also test for yeast and bacterial infections vaginally and std's?
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't know the test or lab, she just took a swab and said they'd send in for testing. I actually called the office today though, and she said it would probably in a couple of days.

As far as I know, she only tested for herpes. She said that it looked like some of it might have been a yeast infection, and that I could take some Monistat if I was concerned about it. They might have tested for other things, too. She did put some kind of clamp thing up my vagina- don't know if that is a part of regular herpes testing. Extremely uncomfortable, though.

She seemed kind of concerned, though, just by the way she was acting. She did said she doubted that it would show up in two weeks if it was herpes, but I've read in a thousand places that the average time for herpes showing up after contact was 2-20 days. I'm not sure if it could anything but herpes. The irritation really isn't there unless I'm wearing really tight pants, but the bumps kind of look white and blister-like. I'm keeping an eye on them over the weekend to see if they pop. Any idea how long it takes herpes blisters to pop?
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Avatar_m_tn
Also, is loss of appetite a common symptom? It's really concerning me, only because usually, I have an extremely healthy appetite! However, I could barely eat anything over the past few days. Whenever I do eat, I can only eat about half, I get full very fast and feel nauseous, no matter how little I've eaten that day. Is this part of the flu-like symptoms that come with the initial herpes outbreak? I know it could just be the anxiety, but I've never had this much trouble eating.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry for the millionth comment, but she did say that since the guy I think I might have contracted something from has been tested, shows no symptoms and did put on a condom at some point, she didn't think it was worth doing a blood test to test for other std's.
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101028_tn?1348750963
well the peeing in the cup at the other clinic hopefully was chlamydia and gonorrhea testing.

loss of appetite is because of your anxiety dear, not anything going on genitally.

call monday to see if they tested you for yeast and bacterial infections and if the results were back. meanwhile I'd try the 3 or 7 day vaginal otc yeast infections, don't use the 1 day one since she did see some yeast. since you are already so irritated, best to go with the 7 day since it's less irritating.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah, I'll try that and see if it helps. Actually, I barely feel any irritation at this point. I actually went to a party yesterday, which included a lot of physical activities, and completely forget about the potential herpes/yeast infection because there wasn't much irritation. I don't know if I'm seeing things, but the bumps seem to be getting better and going down. Don't know if that's a good or bad sign, but I'll still try the yeast infection treatment and call the place tomorrow.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, as it turns out, I got my results back today. They said they tested for everything. No herpes, just a vaginal strep infection that they said I don't need to worry about treating until I start having children, which won't be for a long time from now. I think most of my irritation was a mixture of psychology and from poking around down there so much.

I know this doesn't 100% mean I'm herpe-free, but I'll take it for now and get a blood test in a couple of months. But the symptoms I was so scared about turned out to be somewhat normal, so if nothing else, I'm extremely relieved, I've learned my lesson and I can go back to living my life.

Thanks for all your help along the way, Grace!
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101028_tn?1348750963
if you are symptomatic for vaginal strep then it does need treated now actually. we only don't treat them if you aren't having symptoms.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Really? Doc said I was fine, is this maybe because my only symptom is the bumps? The irritation is gone now, so I'm thinking that was all in my head. I don't plan on having kids for a long, long time, so this is something that would go untreated for a long time if I'm not treating it until I have kids. Should I ask the doctor about that, or see another one?
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101028_tn?1348750963
if the symptoms go away in the next week fine but otherwise follow up on it again.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello, I have had a few (outbreaks) I do shave and am sexually active and don't always use protection, yeah I know that's a dumb thing! But these (outbreaks) don't hurt nor itch, could this still be herpes? I get checked next Thursday I'm so scared!
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