So I posted in this forum last year regarding a possible herpes exposure from protected sex, and unprotected oral sex (me receiving) which i forgot to mention previously. I have had no signs of typical herpes outbreaks, ie not a single blister/sore/ulcer and absolutely no pain in the vaginal area whatsoever aside from when I have been poking around and examining myself! I mentioned some burning sensations early on after the exposure however I believe this was nothing to be concerned about as it was only very brief and mild and went away following anti fungal treatment. I have also never had a history of coldsores. HOWEVER what I have had constantly (I feel it at least several times every day since the encounter beginning of October) is this on and off tingling feeling all over my labia on both sides and around the vaginal opening making it a total of 5 months now. I have seen 3 doctors during this and all have told me that this is not a herpes issue, however they would not run any tests as they did not see the point. In addition everything I have read on here from the experts states that herpes would not cause this diffuse tingling for so long without any outbreaks! If I did want to get the blood testing done it would cost me around £150, and I do not have that sort of money (I'm a 19 year old university student!)
I think I'm going to put this down to a lot of anxiety which could be causing this tingling sensation, as it really only manifests when I am worrying. But I am just so confused! Any insights would be so appreciated!
Oh also I have been tested for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV and all came back negative.
I've told her about the tingling but she believes it's either in my head or nothing to be concerned about, she says herpes wouldn't behave like this, especially as a haven't had any typical outbreak at all and will not test me for it. What do you think?
I second your OBGYN's opinion. It would be extremely unusual for herpes to behave this way and for you to not experience an outbreak of some sort especially if you're negative for HSV-1. When one is negative for both types, the symptoms are almost always evident and extreme.
Hi, thanks for your opinion, I haven't actually ever been tested for either type of HSV however I'm 100% sure I have never experienced a coldsore or anything unusual around the lip area, I asked my parents about whether they ever remember be having one when i was much younger and both of them said no, neither of them have ever had a coldsore either, and i have no recollection of ever actually seeing anyone with a coldsore within my family and friends who I could have had close contact with! My OBGYN said she would not recommend me seeking a blood test as she felt it would be a waste of time and money as she was certain this is not a herpes issue.
I'd also like to add that since December I am now back with my boyfriend/bestfriend whom I was with for 3 years prior to the questionable encounter with the other man (we had broken up in June), and have had protected sex with him several times despite the tingling. He has never had any other sexual partners at all besides me and has not shown any signs of having caught anything from me. He has been absolutely brilliant throughtout this and knows all about my concerns regarding herpes and also believes its in my head but is not afraid of the possibility of me having it as we're planning to be together for the longterm. This has helped me greatly. But I guess what I'm saying is that if this tingling was a symptom of herpes being active or whatever, he would have caught it surely? He's never had coldsores either.
I had swabs taken for yeast several times and everything came back normal, not sure if I was tested for bacterial infections though. I don't have any of symptoms though, no unusual discharge or itching or anything, just this tingling. I think the reason my obgyn thinks its in my head is because I really only feel it when I'm stressed or worried. Do you think it sounds at all suspicious for herpes?
Also when I do feel the tingling, it only last for a few seconds and then goes away and will then come back when I'm next feeling anxious. If I apply pressure when I feel the tingling or adjust how I am standing or sitting then it stops immediately. I never feel it when I'm moving around.
Thanks Grace. In terms of herpes outbreaks, is it the immune system that controls them? So say if someone had a naturally strong immune system would they possibly get fewer outbreaks? Because i have always had a weak immune system since I was a child, I am always getting bad coughs and colds and have recently just got over both which lasted just over a month as I am not too good at fighting these things. Since I have a fairly poor immune system I would have thought if I had become infected with herpes I would have had some sort of noticeable outbreak or reccurence as I would not be able to supress it, especially during the last month when I was quite ill and on top of that have been very stressed out in general and i know that stress can bring on an outbreak. Is that right or have I got it all wrong?
actually your immune system has little to do with herpes. if you have hsv1 prior to contracting hsv2 genitally, the initial ob tends to be milder. how often you have ob's actually has more to do with your gene's than it does anything else though of course it is pretty common to have a recurrence of hsv2 when sick.
Ohh okay, thanks for clearing that up! But still, you don't think my tingling is indicative of herpes? I'm trying so hard to put this behind me! If I keep myself busy I feel nothing at all down there. I was worried that herpes could have damaged my nerves or something, but even if that was the case I don't understand why it would only be felt for brief moments when I'm feeling scared or whatever.
Back again. Hi Grace, hope you're well!
So I thought I'd managed to put this whole thing behind me over the last few months, however now I feel like I'm back at square one. This time last week my boyfriend used a flavoured lube on me (something I've never used before) and almost straight afterwards (perhaps half an hour) it began to itch and burn down there, exactly in the spot where he'd placed the lube. The skin on either side of my vaginal entrance turned red and I tried to just sleep on it for the night hoping it would go down. Next day it's still there so I applied antihistamine for allergic reactions which contained hydrocortisone, and straight away the itching and burning went away and eventually over the next day or so so did the redness so I stopped using the cream thinking it had worked. However when I stopped using it the symmetrical rash on each side came back in a day so once again started using the cream again and away the rash went again. Kept this up for a few more days with the rash having practically gone until yesterday when I stopped again and now today it is back and is like little red bumps on the hair follicles but not itchy. Going to my gyn tomorrow as I was on holiday when this was all happening and couldn't be seen. Do you think this is anything to worry about? This would be a reoccurrence for me IF it is herpes and I thought a recurrence wouldn't be bilateral and so symmetrically placed. The rash practically mirrors itself on each side of my labia.
best to avoid flavored lubes and any "special" lubes ( like the ones they show commercials for on tv where the couple looks like they just came out of a wind tunnel of pleasure after using them for sex...lol ). they contain extra chemicals which many of us are overly sensitive to. sounds like you either have a contact dermatitis from this which just a plain barrier cream like a&d, desitin , aquaphor etc would be helpful for or even you've developed a yeast infection from it. going to be seen tomorrow is the best thing :)
most of the topical antihistamine creams aren't meant for the genital area. the steroids in most of them are too high for the sensitive genital skin too. usually best to just keep to diaper rash type creams for genital rashes.
see what happens when you try to have fun instead of doing boring things like painting like I do? he he he
Thank you for your reply! It's calmed me down a lot, so its probably safe to say herpes wouldn't behave in this way? I've never experienced contact dermatitis down there before as far as I'm aware so I wasn't really sure how to handle the situation haha. Is it usual for it to seem to be getting better but then keep flaring up?
Gyn said rash is nothing to worry about and it does not suggest herpes in the slightest. She suggested it may be a form of eczema as it is symmetrical on each side, and gave me some Aqueous cream to help it so hopefully that will work!
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.