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Itchy Painful Bumps on Vaginal Lips -- Herpes? HPV?
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Itchy Painful Bumps on Vaginal Lips -- Herpes? HPV?

Hi.  I have been going out of my mind with nervousness over the past few weeks and think that I have herpes or HPV (genital warts).  

I had skin-to-skin genital contact and had oral sex performed on me (but no vaginal intercourse) with a guy exactly 4 weeks ago (on Aug. 13th).  

9 days later (Aug. 22nd), I first started feeling extremely itchy on my vaginal lips and around the entrance to my anus.  This itchiness increased to the point that it was unbearable.  During that time, I tried taking yeast infection meds, but that didn't work.  

7 days after that (Aug. 29th), I noticed 2 large bumps under the skin near my anus.  They were not itching, but were painful only when I pressed on them.  

2 days later (Aug. 31st), I saw an OB/GYN.  She wasn't sure what it was, but she took a culture for yeast and did a test for STDs.  Both came back negative, BUT the STD test would have been done too soon to detect herpes -- it takes around 3 months for the body to make antibodies that would appear in a blood test.  Prior to Aug. 13th, the last time I had had sex with someone was 8 months ago, and the last time I fooled around with a guy (with skin-to-skin contact) was 3 ½ months ago, so I am pretty sure that these tests are accurate up until this encounter.  Over the next few days, the itchiness got even worse on both my vaginal lips, near my clitoris, and around the entrance to my anus.

5 days later (September 5th), I noticed 2 large lumps on my outer vaginal lips that looked like they were under the skin.  Also, the lips in general looked lumpy/droopy/ripply.  Finally, there were also smaller red dots (almost like pimples) on the lips and above the vagina (under the pubic hair) that hurt if I pressed down on them.  Also, I noticed 3 or 4 smaller bumps around my anus that could either be hemorrhoids or something else.  

2 days later (September 7th), I returned to the OBGYN, and she did a culture and found bacterial vaginosis (BV).  She also took a biopsy of one of the small bumps at the entrance of my anus to test it for herpes.  She said that she was unable to test the larger 2 lumps on my vaginal lips and the 2 lumps near my anus because they were all under the skin.  

2 days later (September 9th), the lumps on my vaginal lips look larger and are now hurting without even pressing on them.  The itching has actually decreased, but now my lips are painful.  The lumps are actually somewhat difficult see except that they are making the lips droop and crinkle in a weird way.  When I run my finger down the lips, I feel them easily, and they are painful when I press on them (and painful when I don't now too).  They seem most like a large pimple that is under the skin.  

Today, 1 day later (September 10th), I noticed that the bumps on my vaginal lips look like they have risen more to the surface, and resemble large pimples.  They are also more sore than they had been, although less itchy.  I also continue to feel a tingling/tickly sensation under the skin on my vaginal lips.  This sensation is different from the itchiness that I was describing, which felt like it was more on the surface and was much more severe of a feeling.  While the itchiness has gotten better, the tingling has not.  

I know that I will probably find out in a couple of days what this is, but I am FREAKING out.  I haven't been able to sleep at all, and I am just so nervous that this is herpes (which I am pretty convinced that it is).  I'm also so upset, because I have never had sex with someone whom I haven't first asked to be tested, and I am generally so careful.  I didn't even have sex this time, we just fooled around.  I mistakenly thought that that was safer than just having sex with a condom.  Now I know that I was wrong.

I really just want a professional medical opinion of what you think this is.  I'm driving myself crazy with constantly Googling pictures of herpes to try to figure out if that is what I have, and I'm getting nowhere (except going nuts).  Thank you very much in advance for your help.
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101028_tn?1348750963
this could be herpes but odds are it's something else going on.    Herpes never presents are bumps under the skin.

what treatments have they given you so far?  

I'd certainly try warm compresses to the area and/or soaking in the tub with some epsom salts thrown in too over the weekend.  

give the clinic a call monday to see if any of your test results are back yet too.

you can contract hsv1 from oral sex but the risk of such is low. as I said, it certainly sounds like something non-herpes going on at this point.

In the future, if you have vaginal itching but not thick, white chunky discharge, don't self treat for yeast. You certainly did yourself a disfavor doing so this time and you don't want to make that mistake again :(

grace
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Thank you SO much, Grace, for your reply.  You have no idea how crazy I've made myself with this.  

I was very relieved by that you wrote that herpes never presents as bumps under the skin, but I have seen other people write that sometimes it takes time for the blister to "rise" from under the skin.  Is that true or were those people misguided?  The reason that I'm asking is because by last night, the two lumps that I described had risen to the surface, and they now resemble circular blister protruding out from the skin.  They are also more painful -- I could hardly walk today with jeans on; I had to switch to pants that were looser.  So now I am thinking that maybe it IS herpes again?  Does this change your opinion?

I also have noticed some white crusty substance on my inner lips; however, maybe this is due to the BV?  I started the antibiotics on Wed, so now I have taken it for 4 days (out of the 7 prescribed).

The doctor has not given me any treatments so far other than suggesting that I soak in a bath of colloidal oatmeal for the itchiness, and prescribing me the antibiotics for the BV.  At the point that I had seen her, my biggest issue was 1) the extreme itchiness (which now has largely dissipated), and 2) the bumps that were under the skin (at the time -- like I said, now they are more on the surface).  The bumps near my anus have remained under the skin's surface, but those hurt as well when I press on them.  

One other question -- can BV cause itchiness, or just burning?  I am wondering if the itchiness was due to the BV, or something else.

I think I've read up on every single possible infection or disease at this point involving bumps that hurt and severe itchiness, and I cannot find anything that resembles my symptoms at all (except for herpes).  That's why I've been convinced that that was what it was.  However, obviously, my Googling is no substitute for a medical degree.  So in your professional opinion, what could this possibly be, other than herpes?  I know that you would be speculating, and do not have a picture of what it looks like, but just so my mind is a little bit more at ease -- is there anything else you can think of that would present like this?

As for self-diagnosing -- you are absolutely right.  I have definitely learned my lesson, never again!!

I am going to run out now to buy the epsom salts and see if that helps the pain/pressure of the bumps.  I will also call the doctor on Monday to see if the results came back (although she told me that they wouldn't be back until Tues at the earliest...)

Thank you again for your insight into this; I really (REALLY!) appreciate it.
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Also, Grace, one other question:  How long in a typical initial outbreak would it take for a blister to form from the encounter?  Or from the first signs of itchiness?  

In my case, the itchiness began 9 days after the encounter, I first saw a bump under the skin on my vaginal lips 14 days after the itchiness, and then the bumps turned into blisters on the surface 5 days later.  So the bumps didn't appear like blisters until 4 weeks after the encounter.

In your opinion, does that present like a herpes initial outbreak?

Again, thank you so much for your time and help with this.
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101028_tn?1348750963
bv can cause an itch to drive you insane!!  I hate bv more than I could ever hate my herpes!!

Definitely be seen again monday. You also should ask them to check one of your new blisters for MRSA and other bacterial skin infections too.  Those are more typical with the "rising to the skin" than herpes is.
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Okay thanks so much, Grace.  I will ask her to check for other infections too.

I was also wondering your opinion about my last questions posted above -- about how long it typically takes a herpes blister to form from the encounter in an initial outbreak? And how long from the first signs of itchiness?  Also, once formed, how long does it take them to burst?

Thank you again for your (very quick!) responses!
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101028_tn?1348750963
you will get a prodrome feeling a day or two before obvious lesions on the skin with herpes but if you are describing what I think you are, that's not herpes related.
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I'm so sorry to belabor the point, but just to be clear -- can the prodome take longer than a couple of days in the first outbreak?  Because I did have the classic itchiness and tingling for 2 weeks prior to seeing the bumps under the skin, and then blisters formed 5 days later (which would be 19 days after the itchiness/tingling began and 4 wks after the encounter).  Also, I am still experiencing the tingling and some slight itchiness.  Nothing that I read about any other skin condition has a symptom of tingling, so I'm still kind of freaking out!
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101028_tn?1348750963
prodrome won't last that long before causing obvious lesions.  sounds more like that is bv related.
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Okay thanks Grace.  I'm still VERY nervous, but i do feel slightly better.

Thanks again for all of your time, Grace.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.  I will repost after I see the OBGYN to let you know what she says.
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Omg now the blister popped and is oozing red blood!  It definitely is herpes now, right?  It can't be anything else!  My doctor's office isn't open yet.  I will call as soon as they open.  I am sooooo upset and scared!!!
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Do herpes blisters bleed?  I am trying to look it up, but I'm seeing conflicting information.  I'm so confused!!  And SO scared!!!  I called and emailed my dr, I wish she would just get back to me!
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herpes lesions usually do not bleed.
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Thank you so much for writing!  I have been refreshing this page every half hour to see if you had written back (I was holding myself back from doing it more frequently) :-/.  

You used the word "usually," so does that mean that you have seen instances where they have, in fact, bled?  If it is a herpes blister, would there be anything visible coming out that I could identify (besides the blood)?  And would I have other symptoms at this point?  I don't feel sick or anything, and the other "blisters" are still under the skin, but I fear that they will soon rise to the top also.  The blister that opened bled, and now looks less like a blister and more like a smaller bump with a red tip.  I am going out of my mind with worry, I haven't been able to eat since cereal yesterday morning and have hardly slept; I'm so scared about this!!  I have Googled every single skin condition and not one seems like this other than herpes!

I have an appt for 3:30 (EST), but my dr said she will let me know if she can squeeze me in earlier.  I hope she can because I'm going nuts!  She also said that the swab test that she took last Wed is not back yet.  I was really hoping that it would be back so I could just know already.  Although, that test may not even be accurate because at the time, my bumps were mostly under the skin so it was hard to swab.
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So I just came back from seeing my OBGYN.  Basically, she said everything that you said (and you haven't even seen anything in person!).  

She said that this is not presenting like a typical herpes outbreak, or even any atypical herpes outbreak that she's seen (which usually involves cuts that do not look like typical lesions).  She has never seen a herpes outbreak that presents as a bump under the skin that becomes a large blood-filled blister.  Also, there are still two more large "bumps" under the skin -- one above the burst blister on the left outer vaginal lip, and one below the burst blister, in between where the lip ends and the perineum begins, also on the left.  That was how the burst blister started out -- as a large bump under the skin.  It slowly rose to the surface and became a bubble-shaped red blister sitting atop the skin, and eventually burst this morning (oozing blood).  In addition, there are smaller skin tag-looking bumps around the opening of the anus.  Those look completely different from the 3 bumps on the vaginal lips.  She said that they look like hemorrhoids, but she is not sure.  I had had extreme itchiness around the opening of the anus as well, that has since ended.  So that may be a sign that it is herpes.  She had taken a swab of the hemorrhoid-looking bumps last Wed, so she said the results should be back by tomorrow or Wed. at the latest.

She also said that it is unusual that the three bumps (one of which became a blister) are all on the left side only.  She said normally in a primary outbreak, the outbreaks occur all over.  Do you agree?

The thing that makes me (and her) think that it may be herpes is that I had extreme unbearable itchiness all around the vaginal area and anus opening for around a week before the "bumps" formed under the skin.  And I have felt that classic tingling under the skin.  So those two symptoms are more typical of herpes.

Basically, she said that although herpes is at the top of the list of possibilities, she really isn't convinced.  She did 2 swabs of the broken blister -- one for a viral culture for herpes, and one for a bacterial culture for MRSA.  She said that she cannot think of anything that would present this way, but she is going to "brush up" on her knowledge of possibilities and get back to me.  She also is going to call her friend who is a dermatologist to ask her opinion.

The first swab that she took last week -- of a small hemorrhoid-looking bump at the entrance to the anus -- should be back this week, and the 2 swabs that she took this week of the burst blister should be back next week.  I'm going out of my mind with worry, but I guess that's all I can do.

I was just wondering if any of this sheds any light on what your thoughts are?  (Btw, thank you so much for even suggesting MRSA -- I hadn't thought of it, and it was because of you that I asked her to swab for it!...she completely agreed, so I wound up going back into the exam room so she could do a second swab for that).

Thank you again for all of your help and insight!!
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101028_tn?1348750963
hemorrhoids itch as do bv. really no need answers from before to be honest.

hopefully you get better answers soon so you can relax a little more about all of this :)
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Thanks so much -- I really hope so too.  I am going out of my mind, I can't think about anything else.

I knew that hemorrhoids itch, but I have had them before and this itch was like nothing I've ever felt.  Can BV cause an extreme (and I mean EXTREME) itch for days?  Also, can BV affect the anus, or just the vagina?  I meant to ask my dr those two questions and totally forgot.  (I am normally a very composed person, who can deal with issues calmly, but this has really thrown me.  I started crying in her office and kind of lost it...and forgot to ask some of my questions.)

The bump under the skin near the perineum has now, in the last few hours, gotten more swollen and painful.  It now hurts to sit.  Can you tell me if that type of pain is more symptomatic of herpes?

Also -- have you ever seen or heard of a primary outbreak of herpes only affecting one side of the vagina/anus or have you always seen it present bilaterally?

Thank you again for all of your help.  I really hope I get the swab test results back soon, I can't take much more of this!!
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Omg I just came across this blog, and apparently this person's herpes outbreaks starts as a lump under the skin and the pushes out -- EXACTLY what I have!  --

http://theherpesblog.com/herpes-blisters-herpes-sores/.  

This person's also -- http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_a_herpes_outbreak_look_like !!!
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Hi Grace.  So, I'm still waiting for my results, but this afternoon, something new popped up -- a small red bump on the right side of my vaginal lip this time.  This looks completely different from the other large inflamed lumps under the skin.  This is more pimple-sized, and it hurts when I press on it.  Is this more indicative of a typical herpes bump?  From what I've seen, I think it is, but I wanted your opinion.  Also, the post above -- theherpesblog.com/herpes-blisters-herpes-sores/ -- describes someone's experience with a herpes blister "pushing up" from beneath the skin.  That sounds exactly like what I have.  Does this change your opinion at all about what you think this is???

Also, I have been reading a lot about HSV and there is a lot of conflicting information out there.  I'm confused and I'd really appreciate it if you could clear some things up for me.

First, if this is herpes -- should I be careful not to touch the lump or blister (even one that hasn't popped yet) and then another part of my body?  Also, if I dry it off with a towel after the shower, and then the towel touches my eye or my lips, is it possible to spread it to those places?

Also -- I just saw your response to the other post that I wrote that I should continue in the original post (Sorry!!).  That post was about how HSV affects the elderly.  You answered the original poster, pangaea1440, that around 80% of people have HSV1, so it's not a problem.  What about HSV2 though?  Presuming that as a person gets older, his/her immune system deteriorates, does an elderly person have more outbreaks or more difficulty with the virus (either strain)?  Also, can HSV 1 or 2 ever affect the body's nervous system in other ways or develop more serious symptoms as a person becomes elderly and has a less efficient immune system?

Finally -- does the efficacy of Valtrex or Acyclovir decline over time?  And how common is it to experience alopecia from either one?

I know I included a ton of questions here -- thanks so much for your responses, I really appreciate it!
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no, you don't tend to get more ob's the older you get. 1 out of every 3 people over 50  has hsv2 - it's that common the older we get.

no, herpes antivirals don't work less over time either. hair loss also isn't common at all. most people who experience hair loss with herpes, experience it from the stress of the initial herpes infection , not from using herpes antivirals.

I don't agree with that blog's description of herpes lesions either. that's really not common at all to feel a bump under the skin. they start out with a blister if it's a primary herpes infection and then proceed into the ulcerative stage. Recurrences tend to go straight to ulcerations.

nothing special to do as far as showering. you always start with your clean parts and end with your dirtiest parts. no worries about how you dry off with a towel either. I always recommend using a separate washcloth for your face than the rest of your body - even if you don't have herpes. Just seems kinda ick to me to wash your bum and then wash your eyes !
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Thanks so much, Grace, for such a quick reply!

Good news on the elderly (btw, I was shocked that 1 out of 3 people over 50 have genital herpes!!) and antivirals, as well as the fact that the blog is not a typical presentation and doesn't change your opinion about it.  Makes me breathe a (mini) sigh of relief.  

Now that i have this pimple-sized red bump, though, in addition to the larger under-the-skin bumps, does that make you think in any way that this actually may be herpes?  
Also, is it common to have huge bumps in addition to smaller bumps?  My left pelvic lymph node is also very swollen, and I know that is a symptom of herpes (but may be of other things??), so that may change your opinion as well...

Thanks for the towel advice.  One other question -- if I use a towel to shower and dry off my vaginal/anal area, and then the next day, I use the same towel and the part that touched my vagina touches another part of my body, can I be at risk for transmitting the virus to my mouth/eyes/etc?  To be on the safe side, should I use a new towel each time?  (I have been, but I don't know if I'm being paranoid).

Also, and along the same lines, if I touch the bump or blister and then touch someplace else on my body, can it be transmitted to that part of my body?

And as for the washcloth advice -- I couldn't agree more -- with or without HSV!

Thank you again for all of your responses!!
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Sorry, just one other question -- if what i have is in fact not herpes, and is bacterial, wouldn't the antibiotic that I took for the BV (Metronidazole) have at least cleared it up a little?  Since instead of clearing up, it actually got worse (my pelvic lymph node only started getting swollen and hurting -- a lot -- today, and the lumps under the skin got bigger and more painful.  Plus I got that additional small red bump), can I assume that whatever it is, it is viral?  Or not?
Thanks so much.
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yep you can use the same towel. it's environmentally correct to do so as well as very safe to do :)  

not going to spread herpes all over your body from touching the bump and then someplace else either.

flagyl only clears up certain bacteria. Many common bacteria it won't do diddly for.

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Thanks Grace.  I had read some posts on other websites that said that although autoinoculation wasn't common, it was possible.  So I was getting VERY nervous that I had passed it on to my eye or mouth.

Now that I have a new, much smaller red bump that is itchy and hurts, in addition to the very swollen left pelvic lymph node, I am back to being positive that it is herpes.  I just can't find anything else that would account for those symptoms, and this bump is much more typical.  I really can't take this roller coaster of emotions (in addition to dealing with the very painful outbreak!).  I am so anxious to get the second culture back next week!!
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Grace, can you please tell me how long it typically takes for a bump to become a blister in a primary genital outbreak?

I am asking because one of the under-the-skin bumps, the one closer to my anus, developed on August 29th, and still has not become a blister.  The knot is getting larger and larger (it is larger than a quarter by now), and is getting more and more raised (and quite painful) but has not developed into a blister.  Is that normal?  You already answered that the under-the-skin thing is not typical, so I'm not asking that.  I'm asking what the typical time frame is of raised bump to blister in a primary outbreak.

In addition, the under-the-skin bump on my vaginal lips developed on Sept. 5th and became a blister and burst by Sept. 12.
The other under-the skin bump on my vaginal lip also developed on Sept. 5th and only looks like it's becoming a blister now.  
What about those time frames?  Is that typical?  

I guess my basic answer is this:  what is a typical time progression of the stages (from 1) itchiness/pain/irritation to 2) bump to 3) blister to 4) burst blister)?

Thank you!
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24-48 hours is all it would take. you will never call herpes a "knot" either.  they will be soft, not hard.
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Ok thanks.  No one can figure out what this is -- my gyn now thinks that perhaps some of the blisters are herpes -- presenting atypically -- but the one near the anus is something else.  I misspoke when I said "knot" -- it's more like a huge bump that's slowly rising to the surface and is filled with fluid.  The one on the lip has now done that -- become a blister.  The one near my anus is more toward the surface now and EXTREMELY painful.  I'm not able to even brush against it, let alone sit, without seeing stars.  My gyn referred me to see a dermatologist tomorrow for a second opinion.

Just 2 follow-up questions:
1) 24 - 48 hrs even in a primary outbreak???  And is that just the most typical time-frame, or have you never even seen/heard of one taking 7-10 days?
2) I had EXTREME itching all over the vaginal area (but not inside) as well as near the entrance to the anus for about 10 days before the bumps developed.  That subsided, and then 5 days later I went back to the gyn and her culture revealed BV (even though the itching had subsided already by then).  My questions are: 1) would bv cause itching all over the outside (labia major mostly) without itching inside at all)? 2) could bv symptoms of itchiness possibly subside without the meds (as mine seemed to)?

I'm just really scared and trying to figure all of this out.  Thank you so much for your help.
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glad you are seeing the derm tomorrow! Hopefully you get better answers soon :)

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I am too, I've been trying to figure out what this is -- all the while being terrified -- for almost a month now!  I will definitely let you know what she says.

If you can, would you mind just quickly answering my two questions above when you get a chance?  Thanks so much.
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Btw, Grace, I've been thinking this so I just wanted to tell you:  I think what you do on here, and the time that you take out of your life as a volunteer to help countless numbers of people like myself, is truly incredible.  Every person who writes to you is confused, scared, and panicking.  And before writing, most of us have spent hours online trying to figure out the answers to our questions, but nothing has quite clarified our issues for us.  Until we find you.  Whether this turns out to be herpes or not for me, it has changed my life and made me think twice about how much I contribute to the world myself.  I have always made sure to volunteer in my life, and give to charities, but I certainly haven't given nearly as much time to others as you do.  I hope to Gd that this isn't herpes, but regardless of the results, I plan to follow in your footsteps and spend more of my time helping others (once my own medical issues aren't consuming me the way they are now).  So I guess, in a nutshell, I just wanted to say thank you.  This past month has truly been the most personally upsetting, confusing, terrifying, miserable, and lonely time for me that I can ever remember, and if this is herpes (or even something worse), the weeks ahead could even be worse.  I don't know.  But one thing I do know is this:  it definitely would have been even much more upsetting/confusing/scary/lonely if it hadn't been for you.  So on behalf of everyone here, thank you.
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After all of that, I just thought of one other question in addition to the 2 that are a couple posts above:  I still have a kind of "tingling" under the skin in my vaginal area that comes and goes.  Is it typical for people with herpes to continue to experience that once the blisters are already formed?  Or does that end with the "prodrome" stage and prior to the blisters forming?  Thanks so much again.
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Sorry -- just one more question:  Can taking Valtrex or Acyclovir right after an encounter help prevent the virus from taking hold as well in the nerve?  I just spoke to the dermatologist on the phone, and she seemed to think so.  She said that it wouldn't prevent the virus from taking hold entirely, but since it interfere's with the virus's duplication, that it would help to "deactivate" some of it.  I haven't read anything about that.  Is she correct?
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all of this sounds bv related, not herpes related.

no, taking antivirals doesn't help prevent infection, it's not like hiv treatment.
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Hi Grace,

I'm sorry for such a delayed response.  I wound up getting extremely sick on the night of the 15th and went to the ER.  Apparently it WAS MRSA!  (Just what you had said!!)  It turned out to be a very bad infection, and I was kept in the hospital for 8 days.  After getting out, after a couple of days, I suffered from a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotics, which landed me back in the hospital.  I am very thankful that I'm finally out and on the road to recovery.  Although I'm very weak and just overall still not feeling like myself, I am much, MUCH better than I was.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again for all of your advice.  And especially your hypothesis that it might be MRSA (By the way, out of all of the doctors that I sought advice from, YOU were the only one who offered that as a possibility!).

Thank you again, and take care!
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YEY!!!!! I'm happy that you found out it's not herpes and that you are getting much better!!!!!!
My test of the cut came back negative!!! I'm happy about that! Altho it's still there, the Drs are assuming that it hasn't healed completely because I have BV again! I had a dr look at it again and she said that it looks like an abrasion, and it looks like it's healing... It's just taking forever to heal. But it doesn't hurt at all! It's so weird...
I am happy that your nightmare is now over!!!!
I hope mine will be over in 7 days after this last round of antibiotics!
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well geez louise dear, you know there are much easier ways to prove me right ;)

Glad you are FINALLY feeling better! I can't imagine what an experience the last 2 weeks or so have been for you!!!  

Hopefully this infection is cleared up soon and doesn't come back for you. Did you read the info online or did the hospital provide you with the info for how to do your laundry with MRSA?

grace
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Haha, I'll keep that in mind for next time.  And I learned a good lesson here: Grace is always right!! :)

Thank you so much.  The last few weeks have been crazy.  Especially the few days in the hospital during which I wasn't responding to the antibiotics -- those were extremely scary.  I'm just so thankful to finally be feeling better!

The hospital just said to wash my clothes in hot water.  Is there something else I should be doing instead?  I'll try to read up on it online now -- I really want to avoid getting this again!!!!

PS -- How is it that you know everything about EVERYTHING?!??  This is the herpes board, yet you knew more about MRSA -- and a lot of other things -- than any of the (many!) doctors I went to see!!!  
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can you email my kids and tell them that I'm frequently right too? he he he  

did they send you home with oral antibiotics or do you have a picc line and IV antibiotics?  

I've been a nurse for 25 years now. You tend to learn a thing or two  especially since it's a nurse's job to train the doctors right ....he he he
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Haha, just print this out and just "accidentally" leave it lying around ;-).

They first hooked me up to an IV of Vancomycin in the hospital, but after 2 days my veins were burning from it.  They tried to use another vein, but each one they tried was burning like crazy.  So, finally, they gave up and took me off of it and gave me oral antibiotics (Bactrim) for 10 days.  After the 7th day on the Bactrim, once I was already home, I woke up at 3 a.m. to a severe allergic reaction (my whole body swelled up, an itchy/painful rash broke out all over, and I was overcome with nausea and dizziness and was stiff all over).  I ran to the ER and they took me off Bactrim and didn't give me anything else -- the doctor said that between being on the Bactrim for 7 days and the Vancomycin for 2, I was probably fine being off antibiotics.  I actually still have an itchy/painful rash all over my body which is starting to peel (lovely, I know).  Thankfully all of the other reactions (the swelling, extreme nausea, dizziness, stiffness, and swollen lymph nodes) are finally dissipating.  And the wounds from where they had to lance the blisters and abscess are almost all healed.  So, even with looking like a scary monster with this crazy rash, I am still very happy to finally be (almost) better!

And obviously you're an amazing nurse -- any doctor who gets to work with you better know how lucky he/she is!!!
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Oh and is there something I should be doing to wash all of my clothes and linens to be sure that I am clear of the MRSA?  All I saw online was to wash in hot water, but were you referring to doing something in addition?
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I think there's a special temp the dryer is supposed to be set at too. they also recommend specific cleaning of certain household things like bath tubs too I think.

eucerin cream might be helpful with your drug reaction rash. it's thick but works.  

bacitracin to the areas they lanced will help reduce scarring from that too.
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Oh.  I looked online and I couldn't find anything about a specific temp.  I've just been using hot water.  I hope that's been okay.  Otherwise I'll do them all over.  I really don't want to get this again!  Do you know if dry cleaning clothes would be okay too?  

I've been washing household items like bathtubs with Lysol or alcohol and then washing normally.  I don't know if that is okay?

I will definitely get the Eucerin cream, thanks!  I'm willing to try anything.  

I thought of using Bacitracin, but is it okay to use if I had an allergy to the sulfa antibiotic (Bactrim)?  I wasn't sure if Bacitracin had sulfa...
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forget topical antibiotics then. perhaps ask your pharmacist for a recommendation for a topical antibiotic - they might know of one I can't think of off the top of my head that would be helpful. You can use eucerin on them too to keep them moist and help with scarring.   You'll be sliding out of your clothes you'll be so lubed up....he he he

http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/environment/index.html  has the list of things to do. I was thinking there was a dryer temp recommendation too but I don't see one.  I haven't read the instructions in a few years - I just print them out and hand them to folks...lol.   don't go overboard by any means, just be aware of what basic things to do - mostly so that you can get rid of this and reduce your risk of getting it repeatedly!!!  
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Thanks so much, Grace.  I just looked up the cdc site and it's helpful.  I also will ask the pharmacist for a topical antibiotic recommendation.

Unfortunately, I noticed on Saturday that the infection looked like it had returned.  I was SO upset.  I thought I was almost done with all of this :-(.  I called and spoke to the infectious disease doctor who was on call, and I described what it looked like to her.  She agreed that it sounded like it was infected, so she put me on Doxycycline Hyclate for 10 days and told me to come in today so she could look at it.  I was nauseous all day Saturday and Sunday from the medication, but she had told me to expect that, so I just forced myself to deal with it.  Well, I took it this morning only to be overcome with extreme nausea and throw it up.  When I went in to see her this afternoon, she agreed that the infection had returned (or had never really was gone away since I had stopped the Bactrim prematurely), and wanted to switch my antibiotic to Zyvox.  Unfortunately, when I went to fill the prescription, I found out that my insurance company doesn't cover Zyvox, and it is over $2,000!  So now I'm back to trying to force down the Doxycycline.  I'm going to take it in an hour with some food, hopefully that will help.  This day has been beyond stressful.  I just hope that I'm able to keep down the meds tonight so I can just get over this thing already!
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I'm going through exactly what you went through when you posted all of this. I'm only 19 years old and I believe that someone I thought I could trust has infected me with Herpes. I'm unsure of what to do, and I'm terrified. I'm awaiting the results of my swabs and urine tests, which I should have back by Thursday according to my doctor.
I'm scared that if I do infact have herpes, my life will be over and I'll never find someone who will want to marry me.. And I'll never have kids..
It's the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with, and I'm doing it all alone. I've not told my parents, any of my friends... The only person who knows is my doctor.
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amy - have you tried the 1/2 cup bleach in a 1/4 of the way filled bathtub soaks for 30 mins a day for 5 days yet?  we do that too a lot.
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Hi Grace.  Thanks for the suggestion.  No, I haven't.  I've read conflicting things about taking baths -- some things said to take baths in bleach, and others said that taking a bath can spread the infection.  So I was confused!  I've just been showering and making sure to clean the infected area well.  Why is the bleach bath good?  And could it be irritating for an active infection and/or for a sore that is beginning to heal?

The good news -- I was able to keep down the Doxycycline last night and this morning by taking it with a little food!  I was still nauseous, but didn't throw up.  I've never been so happy before to just be nauseous and not vomit!!
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Poach19 -- I'm so sorry you're going through this.  Trust me, I know how anxious, depressed, scared, and panicked you must be feeling.  Did you ask the guy if he had been tested?  It may make you feel better if you know that he has and he was negative.  It made me feel a little better when I finally broke down and just called the guy.  Not only because he had tested negative in the past and promised to get retested -- it also just helped to talk to someone about it.  Did the doctor think that it looked like herpes, or are you just thinking that it may be?  It could be SO many other things (as my situation shows!).

Try as much as you can to not freak out yet.  And even if it IS herpes, your life is not over.  I understand feeling that way -- I did too.  But since talking to some of my friends and admitting that I thought I had had herpes, one of my closest friends confessed to me that she had gotten HSV2 a couple of years ago.  I asked her a lot of questions about how it has affected her dating life, and she said that her fear about telling guys has been the worst part.  In her experience, almost every guy she has told has not let it end a relationship with her.  Also, my OBGYN actually told me that she had it too.  I was crying in her office when I thought I had herpes, and said to her that I was scared that I would never get married, and she sat me down and told me that she had gotten herpes when she was 19, and has since gotten married, got divorced, got married again, and has 2 beautiful children.  So please try not to be so scared.  There WILL be guys who won't care -- a lot of them!

Let me know how it goes on Thursday.  I will be thinking of you and praying for you!  Try to keep your chin up.  Thinking of you!!!
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we recommend them regularly to everyone with mrsa below the waist.
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Okay, thanks, Grace.  If you recommend it, I'll do it!  
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wow - can I recommend you start paying my son's college tuition too? he he he

I hope you get rid of it soon! I know auntijess from the std forum ( she's a co-CL there but her new job keeps her from stopping in very often there ) had a booger of a time with MRSA but finally got rid of it with long term bactrim and bacitracin nasally but of those options are not viable for you :(   we get patients ( and families ) who have it for months before they finally get rid of it :(  
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Thank you so much. One minute I think I have something curable and the next I think it's herpes and it will never go away.
I talked to the guy, and he said the last time he was tested, he was negative for any std's. On one hand, that makes me feel a lot better, but on the other, how do I know whether or not he is lying?
I'm so paranoid about everything!
Good news is that I went to my mom today. She isn't the smartest person in the world, so she doesn't understand exactly what's going on, but she paid for my dr's appointment and is awaiting the results with me. I couldn't have imagined her being so supportive.
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I got some of my results back.
I'm negative for gonnorhea (Gonorrhea), chlamydia and syphilis.
but nothing came back for herpes yet, which scares me.
i tested positive for a urinary tract infection, but i've not read anything about this causing the external syptoms (symptoms) i'm experiencing.
the past day my anus has been very tender and when i wipe, even gently, i have a little blood. i don't know if this is because it's dry?
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please keep all questions and updates in your own post -thanks!

grace
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Hi Grace,

I just wanted to update you.  I have been MRSA-free for about 3 weeks now!  It feels so good to just feel good and healthy and not constantly nauseous.  And to be off antibiotics and not seeing a doctor every other day!  I've had some recurring yeast infections, which haven't been fun, but thank goodness nothing serious.  I did the bleach baths like you recommended for 2 weeks, and now I'm just using Hibiclens.  I've also been scrubbing the bathtub, toilet, sink, etc with bleach after every use, and I've been using Purell antibacterial gel like it's my job.

Anyway, I just wanted to update you and to thank you again -- so much -- for all of your help and guidance through these past couple of months.  You gave me the support and guidance that I otherwise would not have had, and it really means a lot to me.

Hope this note finds you well and take care,
Amy
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hey when you run out things to clean at your place, feel free to come to my place :)  

glad you are FINALLY feeling better :)    what an ordeal!!!
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Haha, thanks Grace, I'll keep that in mind ;-).

Thank you so much -- SO AM I!!!

Hope you are well!
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Hi my name is amber, I have to be honest with the fact that I've had multiple sex partners. But d one of the men I'm a little more serious with told me his penis was very sore after unprotected sex with me. I thought my soreness was from too much sex. But then the next day I realized there was bumps (some looked like bumps, others like pimples) and became sore upon wiping. Then slowly the itchiness followed with slight pain urinating. I'm so scared. I dont know how this happened.

I have an appointment this afternoon. I'm hoping it's something treatable because I can't deal. I'M SO NERVOUS!!! can someone give me some feedback, PLEASE!
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Ive been to the Er before and found out I'd had gonorrhea. They treated me there. And I assumed I was OK. I went back for having pneumonia and they did a blood test and urine test. Only thing that showed was my pneumonia, bladder infection and UTI. So I assumed my gonorrhea cleared up. The day I left the ER I noticed a burning when I urined. I figured from my UTI AND BLADDER INFECTION. But once I got home I noticed a sore/bump on my outer vagina lip. The right side. It hurt. Then I noticed some burning and itching kinda around my anal area. It felt like bumps. I took PICtires of it with my phone. It looks very nasty. It hurts to walk or sit or move. I been putting some creme on the affected area to relieve but it doesn't last. I would assume if I had anything it would shown up on my blood test. I haven't had sexual activity with no one recently. And when I did I had been to the hospital atleast 4 times since then. But idk what it could be. Its been there since Wednesday. So 5 days so far. And its only hurt more. I'm going back to ER tomorrow. Idk if its an reaction to my antibiotics from my pneumonia and bladder or UTI. But it just showed up out of the blue. Idk what it could be. Any advice
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I have had several small bumps on my vagina and around anus. this wass before I had sex. after I had sex about 2 months later I got a large blister on my vagina lips. it hurts and bleeds when busted. discharge isnt irregular though. im afraid to tell my mother to take me to the OBGYN. is this BV?
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Uhh idk if you guys are here anymore, but before I had sex it felt like I had a bruise on my vagijna flap and it just hurt, didn't feel a bump, but then I had sex, first with a condom then we ended up taking it off, I know that he has had sex with over 30 women,one of them who I know who is talked about to have clamedia but she told me she doesn't, and so now I see an actual bump and it itchess and hurts when pressed against, what do you think this could be?? Please help
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this is an old post. please start your own post and we'll gladly give you a hand with this :)

grace
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MONDAY 7/1/12 I NOTICED CLEAR SINGLE BUMPS ON MY RIGHT VAGINA LIP. AT THE TIME I DIDN'T FEEL ANY ITCHING OR BURNING SENSATIONS, I SHOWED MY STEP MOTHER AND SHE ADVISED ME TO CLEAN THE AREA WITH IODINE(OUT OF ALL THINGS) AND PLACE OINTMENT ON THEM, I DID AS INSTRUCTED AND CONT.ON WITH MY DAY. TUESDAY MORNING WHEN I WOKE UP MY OUTER LIP WAS SWOLLEN, TENDER TO THE TOUCH, AND WITH YELLOW PUS. I THEN WENT TO SOLANTIC AND THE DOC DIAGNOSED (HOPE I SPELLED THAT RIGHT) WITH HSV. PRIOR TO THAT I HAD BEEN SHAVING AND HAD UNPROTECTED SEX WITH MY BF OVER THE WEEKEND I'M PRAYING THAT IT ISN'T HSV BECAUSE NO ONE WILL WANT TO BE WITH AN INFESTED PERSON. BUT MY QUESTION IS COULD IT BE ABRASIONS OR MRSA
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I have had sex with 3 different partners all close to the same time. The first was with my ex bf who i was with for 3 years, and i never had any problems. we broke up and a month later i had sex with another guy. alittle over 2 weeks i had sex multiple times with what is now the 3rd guy. when i had sex with the 3rd guy, i was bruised and my muscles were soar so i didnt think it was anything. but the next day, we had sex and afterwards i felt as though i had cuts down around the opening of my vagina(on the outside).The next day we have sex for the 3rd time in a row. i get home to check myself and i find little red bumps around on the outside of my vagina and one big red bump on my butt cheek near my anus. Trying to do research and find answers on my own on google has not made anything better. This article is the closes to answers ive found. I set up an appointment to OBGYN for my first time, i am 18 year old and i used a condom every time i had sex. granted, i didnt ask my last 2 partners if they had ever been tested.
my app isnt until aug 6th and things havent necessisarly gotten better but they havent gone away.
Im just praying its not herpes, ive told my mom and shes not sure what it is either, if anyone could help me it would be more than appreciated!
thank you so much.
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Hello Grace.  Never thought I'd be asking questions of this nature online.  I have had extreme itching on and off all year, always around the lips and in the pubic area.  I have hard bumps under the skin; this also comes and goes (I don't have blisters).  I have only had one sexual partner for the last 15 years.  I have no other symptoms with the exception of a itchy rash on the back of my neck at the hairline.  I told my Doctor about it early in the year and she thought it was due to stress.  Would you please give me your opinion?  Thank you.
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My girl had small bumps in a circle on her vaginal lips with burning while shr urinated it was ther e for a few days them never came back what could that possibly be?
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In order to get the full grasp of the story pplease read the whole thing . Thanks :) I first contactracted this ugly disease when I recenlty found out my dad was sexually abusing me during my sleep. Before i found out he was doing so, i was pretty doped up and under the influence when i awoke and found out what he was doing to me this whole time. he kicked me out on the streets  because i knew the truth and  could not look at him anymore. I was happy that the nightmares and finally stopped, not knowing that another one was on the verge or about to take place. Being as foolish and broken as i was, not having any self-worth what so ever.. i had unprotected sex with the first random person who hit on me and told me i was beautiful... I know my body very well and knew something wasnt right the first cpl days thinking i was sore from the sex because im not that much experienced ( the joys of being a girl) i went to the gyno, and she found a tear ... thinking that was the least of my worries i was waiting for my body to heal but it just kept getting worse.. about a week or so later i took a mirror and noticed these small blister like leisions ( down there ) they were white . plus my mentral time was lasting longer then it ussually does . But man, were they ever excrutiatingly painfull ! I could not walk or sit , go to the bathroom without scream in agony .  to my understanding as a person with this disease the first outbreak is always the worst.   everybody is different and its best to check with your doctor, and dont take no for an answer too! i contacted 3 doctors, and the second one told me it might have been chlamydia ( which the symtoms (symptoms) don't even reflect too what so ever ) but it didnt seem right and i went to a second one and begged theem to test me before they  finally did and confirmed my worst fear. At first when i found out i couldnt breaaaaathh . I started crying and started hyperventillating. Luckily at that moment before i did anything stupid, my grandma and my friend contacted me at that exact moment and calmed me down , " thinking why me ?  "  and she says well what makes you so special ? I'm glad she told me that  because she reasured me that its unfortunatly ,quite common . even her  and a cpl of my family members have it . I started looking online for stories of people in my exact same predicament and their all pretty much simular but different. and their actually quite helpful , because i know from experience its kind of an embarressing burden . I know people on the street or those whom i may know would judge me, i dont feel that so much writing it on a public website because i feel like my story can help someone like others helped me. Im not sure if i may have got it from my dad, because he had a cold sore and i did wake up with my pants unbuttoned the next day  ionly had 6 sexual partners but i'm almost sure it was my last partner because my body flared up right away. not saying its any different from people who have had it for years with no signs or symptoms but i know my body was perfectly healthy till that last encounter. I'm slowley learning to accept it , and the first outbreak is always the worst. I even have it on my thumb which i think is odd, but thats my body. I even heard of a woman who had it on her elbow so thats to be expected i guess. I've been all by myself for a year now with no partner because i honestly dont want one. I find myself being lonely at times but at least being single gives you time to heal and clear your head, i have trust issues and find myself psychologically affected by this disease as well. (thinking im gross or nasty and no one would be with me )  I'm soooooo scared if i tell the guy i like , he'd look at me different, be scaredof me or tell people... but I'll find my prince charming one day ...  Maybe  young nice looking guy since im a young average person myself. Especailly in the same predicament would be easier. I used to be  ignorent in my younger days . movies dont make it any easier, i used to make fun of it and think i couldnt accept anyone in my same shooes today but , i dont know.. it kind of opened my eyes a bit and i realise im just an ordinary person exept with a virus ( like a cold ) except i got it through sex . INever realized how much it hurts when people ridicule  and laugh atpeople who have this disease or any other unless your the one who has it.  I just hope my story helps someone whos going through the same thing i am, cant force somebody to use a condom , but at least  my story will let people know of the consequences and especially to people who went through sexual abuse to tell someoneright away! dont hold it inside to the point where your sick spiritualy, mentally and of coarse physically like me.  P.s sorry if my grammer is poor
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Hello, I am Clair. I am 16 years of age, and is hoping you can explain to me what this sounds like to you.. - I was rapped a year ago right after thanks given and I did not tell my mom for a week that that had happen, when I told her, she took me to the doctors to get tested. They took blood and I do have discharge, when the guy looked he said it is from my period but I'm really thinking abou that. Some days later I begun to have a only one little bump on the bottom of my butt and it's goes and comes.. my mom told me once befor that I would want to stay clean because I could get little bunps on my butt but then I started thinking about herpes because these little bumps go away but do come back and they were white and the one that comes and goes the most is red and big and is only in one place. Now I thought it would only stay on the one cheek but then later I had another on my other cheek wich went away when I washed but came back later. I don't know what to do or how to feel about this I'm only 16 just turned 16 december 25th and is praying to god I don't have an STD. The time I went to the hospital was a week when I told my mom after then thanks given. I'm sorry this is long but I really hope you understand me because I don't know what it is so not really clear on how to explain it.. (-_-) I asked my mom if I could get tested because I was still kind of concern of the discharge and I wanted to know what it was from I asked her then she said she don't have money to take me to see a doctor but she said it could be from my period I do get itchy in the place below the bult but it's near my pubic hairs and it gets itchy from time to days. Idk but pleas explainwhat it is that you get out of this..
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this is an old post and is read only unless you are the original poster. please start your own post with your questions in.  thanks!
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