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herpes vs shingles
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herpes vs shingles

I am 62, have been monogamous for over 30 yrs.  I do not get cold sores.  My husband does get cold sores, but does not give oral sex.  I have lesions on the right side of my labia.  My doctor, after a visual exam, said it is herpes.  Is it possible it could be shingles?  I did have chickenpox as a child.  How can I be sure of the diagnosis?
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101028_tn?1348750963
at this point both you and hubby both need type specific herpes igg blood tests done if your provider didn't do a lesion culture of the active symptoms.

Typically shingles shows up on more than just the labia in that area.

grace
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My provider did do a lesion culture of the symptoms.  I don't have the results yet, but she said even if it showed negative, I still have herpes.  My husband will get a blood test asap.
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101028_tn?1348750963
A negative result doesn't mean you have herpes.  A visual diagnosis is wrong about a 1/3 of the time on average which is why follow up blood testing is important for both of you.

did she do any other testing like testing your vaginal secretions for yeast and bacterial infections too?

grace
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I don't   know.  I think when my husband get his blood test, if he doesn't have herpes, I will call her back and ask for the other tests.  Do you think I should do so regardless?  How long after the symptoms appear does it take for the blood test to be accurate?  Do the bacterial and yeast infection tests have to be done while its active?
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One more thing.  Grace, I am SOOO grateful for your help.  
                          Maggie
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If it's anyhelp - I have just been diagnosed with possible Herpes and also mystified as to where it could have come from - and my doctor said that you can have herpes all your life without knowing it - in fact most people don't know they have it!
Either you or your husband could have contracted it when you were teenagers/young adults and never had any symptoms until now.   My daughter did some research and said that you can get a crop of chicken pox or shingles on your genitals, and my doctor also confirmed this - she says that there is a lot of crossover between all the herpes viruses because they are so similar....so it could be this.  It's still Herpes, but maybe caused by Herpes zoster (shingles) and not Herpes simplex (genital or oral herpes).
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101028_tn?1348750963
Well hopefully your lesion culture results are back monday so you can call and get better answers.  The lesion culture your provider did will show zoster too if it's that.  

After menopause, the genital skin starts to dry out and can tear easier. it also is more vulnerable to infections like bv too.  Sometimes it's hard to tell just what is going on due to the natural changes in our bodies :(    If your lesion culture is negative and both of you test negative for hsv2 on the blood tests then certainly this calls for more follow up ( expect to test hsv1+ due to your hubby's history of cold sores and since he hasn't performed oral sex on you, you know you don't have it genitally.  Most adults your age have hsv1 orally whether they get obvious cold sores or not to know it.  I'm sure you've kissed him once or twice over the years so it wouldn't be unexpected for you to have hsv1 yourself orally ).  

I know these aren't quick and easy answers but hopefully within the next few weeks, you'll have more accurate answers as to what is going on!  

grace
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I still don't have the results at this time, but my husband just requested an IgG test from his urologist.  The doctor told him that the test is meaningless unless he has active legions.  He said it would be a waste of time and money.  My husband has never had a lesion that we have been aware of.  The doctor also told him it was safe for us to have unprotected sex once I am completely healed.  So, right now I'm really confused.  

What is a bv infection?
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101028_tn?1348750963
The urologist gave erroneous advice about the blood test for herpes.  Unfortunately his doctor doesn't appear to be very well educated on herpes testing. Tell your hubby to call his regular doctor and ask for it to be ordered due to your being possibly diagnosed with it.

bv is bacterial vaginosis.

grace
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