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Could this be something besides herpes?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Could this be something besides herpes?

I have been married 6 years and I have 2 children, and I have never been unfaithful to my husband and it is extremely unlikely that he's ever been unfaithful to me. Since the birth of my second child (2 years ago), my labia minora has protruded a little more than it did before, and I occasionally get these little sore places on them. It's only one little place at a time and it feels like it's a little hardened place or possibly a bump, and it's very small. This has happended about 3 or 4 times, and the little place is always gone within a week. It irritates me when I walk, etc. Diaper rash cream seems to help it. Herpes has crossed my mind, but it seems impossible for several reasons. One, I have been in a monogamous relationship for 7 years or more. Two, a few months before I got married, I had an abnormal pap smear, and they told me it could be either herpes or cervicitis (I believe is what it was called). A biopsy proved it to be the latter, and they froze my cervix to fix it. Three, I have never had anything like this before I had my second child. Four, it doesn't scab over unless I pick at it (which I've only done once trying to figure out what it could be). Five, it only happens after pretty heavy and hard love making with my husband, and usually a week before my period. And six, my husband gives me oral sex at least twice a week, and he has never had any signs of anything, anywhere. I guess my question is: Could this be something else besides herpes? Does it sound like herpes?
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Herpes due to HSV-2 is far and away the most common cause of recurrent genital sores.  HSV-1, typically acquired genitally from a partner's oral infection, usually doesn't recur with the frequency of your symptoms.  The exclusive occurrence on the protuberant part of your labia does suggest the possibility of trauma as the cause--but herpes probably remains a better bet.

If you have herpes, it doesn't necessarily mean that either you or your husband has had other partners since your marriage.  Assuming either or both of you had other partners in the past, either of you could have brought the infection into your relationship, with long-delayed transmission or long-delayed onset of symptoms.  (Remember, 25% of the population has genital HSV-2 infection, so there is roughly a 1 in 3 chance that one of you was infected before you met--depending, of course, on your sexual lifestyles before you go together.)

Bottom line:  Stop guessing; see a health care provider for a blood test for HSV-2 infection.  (There isn't much point in testing for HSV-1, since over half the population is infected and a positive result wouldn't say anything about your recurrent genital lesions.)  If positive, your husband can then be tested; or you can just be tested simultaneously, up to you.  Be sure and get the proper test (e.g., HerpeSelect); see the FAQ section and other threads about herpes.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
3 Comments
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Hi, I know you haven't responded yet, but to make sure that your advice is accurate, I want to clarify that this most recent place on my labia minora was the only one that came right before my period that I know for sure, because I haven't really kept up with that, and also that I don't believe I've been getting these for longer than a year and a half, but I'm also not sure about that because they are so few and far between that the first time I got a little place I just thought it was irritation from wearing tight jeans (I wear tight jeans every day - not too little, just tight).  Also, that this last time I had one for a few days and right before it was immediately gone, another one came right underneath it but almost in the exact same spot.  They always come right there in that spot where it protrudes the most.
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239123_tn?1267651214
I took your follow-up message into account with my reply above.

HHH, MD
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