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False Negative Blood Tests
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False Negative Blood Tests

About 2 months ago I visited a gynocologist because I was having extremly painful urination. I was diagnosed with genial herpes upon examination. After my boyfriend tested negative for herpes I went to a different gynocologist for a blood test. I also tested negative for both types of HSV about a month after my initial diagnosis and was told by my doctor not to worry about it. Recently the symptoms have returned and this time I have noticed a few small red bumps on the opening of my vagina along with very painful urination. My symptoms are very similar to the symptoms I had the first time and I am starting to think that my blood test was a false negative. However, considering that I have only been with one person for quite some time I can't imagine that I contracted the virus from someone else and I find it highly unlikely that both mine and my boyfriend's blood tests produced false negative results. I do not want to go back to the gynocologist because I am not sure if another blood test is necessary. I have also noticed that my symptoms usually accur after having increased amounts of sex. Is there anything else that I could have that would produce symptoms that are very similar to herpes? How likely is it that I received a false negative blood test?

As you can imagine, I'm very confused. Please help!
Tags: negative
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239123_tn?1267651214
You don't say how the gynecologist diagnosed you.  If it was visual, without a positive culture for the virus, then most likely you don't have it.   Your negative blood test doesn't help much one way or the other; it takes up to 3 months for the test to become positive.  But if the only person from whom you could have acquired an STD has a negative test (for both virus types), then herpes has to be very unlikely.  But to really nail it down, you should have a second type-specific HSV blood test about 3 months after onset of symptoms.  Whether positive or negative, that test will tell the story.

Yeast infections are the most common problem that can be easily confused with herpes.  Other than that, I really cannot guess what might be causing your symptoms.  You'll need to discuss that and any other possibilities with your (new?) gynecologist, or some other health care provider whom you trust.  Herpes outbreaks are not triggered by sex, by the way.  

I hope this helps. Best wishes--   HHH, MD
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I can see why your confused.... assuming both you and your boyfriend have been monogomous I think you should rely on the blood-tests; particularly as you have BOTH tested negative. The odds of you both getting false negatives is somewhere in the order of between one in 500 and one in one thousand.

The other possibility is that you have both been recently infected and are yet to seroconvert. As you've been together for some time, that's only possible is if one of you has been unfaithful.  

The third possibility I can see is that you took the wrong test. Check with your doc and/or the lab that it was an IgG glycoprotein based test like Herpeselect.

Or could it be yeast?

I don't know, wait and see what the doc says.  

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Avatar_n_tn
First of all thank for your help. Since I realized that I have been with my boyrfriend for exactlly 3 months I do think it's highly unlikly that I have contracted it from someone else and my boyfriend does not have so therefor I don't think that I have it. However, I am going to get one final blood test just to make sure.

And in answer to your question yes, the first time i was diagnosed was a visual diagnosis.

THANKS AGAIN!
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Avatar_n_tn
Unless your boyfriend just recently (in the past 3months) contracted herpes from someone else and then quickly passed it on to you, then you don't have herpes.  The only way to really be sure that YOU don't have it, is to have a blood test done specifically for type 2 herpes, 3 months after the first time you experienced symptoms. (I think you said 2months ago.)
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 35 years old and just about nine months pregant and went in for my weekly ultrasound.  My doctor noticed a small bump that was open and asked me about it.  I remembered feeling something when I was in the shower and bathing, but just thought it was a pimple.  She cultured it to be safe and it came back postive for Herpes 2.  Needless to say, I was rather shocked.  I've never been diagnosed with any venereal disease, and had been tested for Herpes early on in my pregnancy (a blood test) as a routine precaution and the test came back negative.  My husband of four years has also been tested prior to us getting married and he came back negative as well.  I'm getting another blood test, as is my husband, but is it possible that the culture is false?  My OB-GYN didn't seem to think so.  I'm just really floored.  I've never noticed any significant "bump" or lesion ever, except for the occasional pimple, but maybe it was really a herpes sore???  I'm just really confused and in shock.  My doctor said that it is possible that I had such a low level when I had the blood test that it didn't show up.  It just makes me extremely nervous given that I'm about to give birth and the potential effects this can have on a baby.  She put me on Valtrex till I give birth to prevent any sort of outbreak. Any thoughts on how this could happen?   How likely is it that I had a false negative blood test early in the pregnancy?  A false culture?  (I have no question about my husband being unfaithful.  He's in shock as well.)  
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Avatar_n_tn
I recommend that you copy and repost as a new question in order to get the answers you need.
(The dr won't answer new questions on an old post or on a thread that somebody else originally posted and he's already answered.   If you don't want to pay for the doctor forum, come on over to the STD patient-to-patient forum.   There's some very knowledgable people who can help you with this better than I can.
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