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Question about herpes cultures?
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Question about herpes cultures?

Hello,

On Tuesday I noticed a small painful bump/sore near the entrance of my vagina.  I'm not entirely sure what it is, but I am trying to get a doctor's appointment tomorrow to have it examined and perhaps cultured.  I have read that after 48 hours a herpes culture isn't as accurate.  Is this true?  I might have to have this cultured and I don't want to pay for it if there's a chance of inaccuracy. I know that sooner is better in terms of cultures, but will being outside of the 48 hour window by a day affect accuracy significantly?

Thank you.
16 Comments Post a Comment
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101028_tn?1348750963
since this would be a recurrence for you, indeed it's far too late for a lesion culture to be helpful.

did you ever get the WB done?

grace
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not sure why you say it's a recurrence.  I've never had any outbreaks before, if this is one.

I haven't been able to get the WB done yet.  I'll try to get it done within the month.  If it's positive, should I assume that was an outbreak?
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101028_tn?1348750963
it would be a recurrence due to the fact that if you are truly infected, you've had this long before now based on your prior testing. doesn't matter if you've noticed symptoms previously or not. make sense?
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Avatar_f_tn
Yeah that makes sense.
I never did get my low positive (it was a 1.19) confirmed though. Tomorrow I'm going to make the arrangements for a Western Blot.  

If it's positive, should I assume that was an outbreak?

I did some research and the last time I could have possibly had an encounter with someone who may have had herpes (The guy told me he didn't, but now it I suspect he was lying or didn't know his status) was the end of June 2011.  I had my very low positive in February 2013.  

Wouldn't my antibody rate be more established?

Could you please answer my questions? I can't find anyone else who knows as much as you do.  My gyno believes that if I had herpes "I would know it because I wouldn't be able to walk or sit down."  It took a lot of persuasion just to get a retest on my equivocal results (which she also told me were positives).  I've been trying to get answers for months, but it's hard to do when you don't have insurance.
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Avatar_f_tn
Not trying to bother you with a million comments, but I've been trying to determine when I could have become exposed to herpes.

I had my first herpes IgG test in October and it was equivocal for hsv-1 at 1.05  I had another in December and it was equivocal for hsv-1 at .94.  The most recent one I had in February was low positive at 1.19.

Does this mean I got infected close to the time I had those tests?  If it's a true positive, that is?
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101028_tn?1348750963
most people who have hsv2 genitally, have no idea that they are infected which is why the blood testing is important. your gyn saying you'd know it if you had it is inaccurate unfortunately.  The low positives are often false positives which is why confirming status with additional testing is so helpful.

get the WB and see what your status is. if you truly do have hsv2, I will answer a zillion questions for you :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't have hsv-2. I've had three IgG tests test negative for it.

I'm concerned about genital hsv-1.

I'm working on the WB. I'll call later today and have the kit sent out. There's a pretty big timezone difference I have to allow for.  Is there a fee to have the kit sent out?
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101028_tn?1348750963
even if you do test + for hsv1 on the WB, it doesn't tell you if your latest genital symptoms are due to herpes or not. should they reoccur, be seen promptly for a lesion culture if they feel it looks like herpes.  

I am not sure of the exact billing practices for the WB.
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Avatar_f_tn
I really wish I had been able to get culture on my current symptoms.  They're almost gone now.

I requested a WB kit, so I'll know more once I get that done.  I'll comment on here once I get my results. I assume it will be a couple of weeks for the whole process.

In the mean time, I've been trying to determine a time-frame for when I could have been exposed.

If I was exposed 2 years ago, wouldn't my antibody rate show higher than 1.19?
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101028_tn?1348750963
well not necessarily unfortunately. in theory yes but since the tests are designed to detect certain parts of the igg response to infection to herpes in the majority of people, not always everyone gets a higher number when infected.
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Avatar_f_tn
Would my results going from equivocal to positive indicate a recent infection?  
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101028_tn?1348750963
not necessarily due to the inadequacy of the hsv1 igg testing.

clear as mud yet?
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Avatar_f_tn
I really hope my WB comes back negative.  Lol.
I've only been with 2 people, so if I do have something, I'm fairly certain I know where I got it.  Unfortunately, even if my hsv-1 comes back positive, I still don't know if its oral or genital.  If it's oral, I could have gotten it at any point in my life.  I'll just have to wait and see if the bumps come back in my vulvar region and get them cultured if they do.  

Can birth control pills cause side effects like that?  I switched birth control pills this month and I've read that hormonal changes can cause vaginal bumps or blisters.  Do you know if that's true?

I also have a habit of wearing tight pants and sweating a lot, so it might be some kind of dermatitis.  

I'm just not ready to give up hope on it not being herpes, I guess.
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101028_tn?1348750963
just loads of fun being female eh?

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Avatar_f_tn
WB was sent off today. That was an adventure to get done, went a lot smoother than expected though.  My gyno had never heard of it, which I expected, but she wrote me the orders.  I went to Lab Corp and got the blood drawn and packed it and mailed it myself through Fedex.  I'll probably have the results sometime next week.  
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101028_tn?1348750963
don't be surprised if it takes 2 weeks or more. be sure to stop back with results :)
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