STDs Expert Forum
Herpes Pain?
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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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Herpes Pain?

Dr. around 7 weeks ago I started to notice extreme irritation on the tip of my penis. I then started to get a burning sensation in the head of my penis, not when urinating but coming and going throughout the day.

I then got checked for all STDs and tested positive for Genital Herpes. My primary doctor assumed the pain was from herpes and gave me aclyclovir for 2 weeks. I've had no sores or blisters at all, just pain and discomfort.

After 11 days the pain and discomfort did not stop at all. I then went to a Urologist who said he really doesnt know what I have but it could be urethritis or prostatitis and gave me Cipro for 2 weeks and Amox Clav for 10 days.

After 10 days the pain still did not go away. I went to a different Urologist. He said it definitely wasn't Herpes related and gave me a prostate exam. He told me I have non-bacterial prostatitis.

He was concerned why the Cipro and Amox Clav didn't work and gave me Levaquin for 10 days. It's been 3 days and I don't feel any better and I'm really worried.

I've always had back pain, but about a week ago I noticed my back pain was intensifying and I was starting to get these weird aches and cramps in my knees, thighs, hamstrings and even my feet.

I am sitting 10 hours a day. The cramps and back pain have gotten alot worse the past few days. Today it was bad.

I don't know if any of this is herpes, prostatitis, or just horrible seating and posture at my new job which I've had for 6 weeks. All of this started at the same time I started this new job. I've been under tons of stress at work and not sure if it caused or amplified any of this.

I'm now more worried about the aching pains. I've read about Herpes nerve pain could this be it? My leg muscles feel sore, extremely aching. I'm starting now to feel it a a bit in my arms and hands. Almost feels like arthritis might feel, not really sharp pain but aching soreness and cramps all over. I'm really worried.
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239123_tn?1267651214
You don't say the nature of the positive lab test for herpes.  Presumably you mean a blood test.  If so, it just means you have an HSV infection -- but doesn't necessarily mean that herpes is the cause of the symptoms.  The symptoms you describe are not due to herpes.  The original "irritation" at the tip of your penis might have been caused by herpes, but only if the pain was associated with herpes blisters/sores.  Herpes does not normally cause pain without such skin lesions.  The fact acyclovir hasn't helped is further proof against herpes.

Rather than herpes, I agree that a prostate problem might be the cause.  In particular, I suggest you read about "chronic pelvic pain syndrome".  If you google that term, you will find several excellent sources; start your reading with the excellent Wikipedia article.  As you will learn, CPPS used to be considered a form of prostatitis.  

Most likely you have an asymptomatic HSV infection plus some other cause of your genital symptoms.  You should stop the acyclovir treatment.  If you can provide the kind of test that was done and the detailed results of your postive test, I would be happy to help interpret what it means.  

In the meantime, you can be sure your symptoms are not due to herpes, and not due to any other STD.  I suggest you stop shopping around for different opinions.  Pick one of the three doctors you have seen and work with that person to sort this out.  Discuss the CPPS business with him or her.  In the meantime, most likely you have nothing that is harmful in the long run.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

3 Comments
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Doc thank you. I took 2 blood tests and both came out positive and showed Out of Range 5.00

This means I have it and can pass it on correct? The girl I am with tested negative.

Do you know about CPPS causing the aching I'm reffering to? Also the tip irritation has been going on now for 7 weeks.

I called the last urologist I went to and told him about the muscle aching and he told me to stop my Medicine.

The only reason I went to different Urologist was that I really could not stand the first one's attitude and unprofessionalism or else I would of stuck with him. The 2nd one is really good.

Both urologists have shrugged off herpes as anything serious. The first one said I could be exposed to it but not necessarliy have it. The second one told me that all males test positive in blood tests and not to worry about it.

I kind of just thought they were trying to make me feel better. My girl is negative and now we are using protection and have stopped oral completely.

Another question I have, if I am positive and she is not, I have no blisters, can I infect a girl by her giving me oral sex?

Thx again.
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239123_tn?1267651214
The blood test definitely shows you have HSV-2, the virus that causes most cases of genital herpes.  But still I believe herpes is not the cause of your symptoms.  You need to be on the lookout for herpes blisters/sores of the penis, and you need to inform your sex partners (both current partners and in the future) that you have it.  Talk to your doctors about more details.  You can also learn about herpes at several excellent websites, including www.ashastd.org, www.metrokc.gov/heath/apu/std, and www.westoverheights.com.

I disagree with the doctor who talked about being "exposed" but not infected.  A positive blood test always means a person is infected.  But not all infected people have symptoms.  However, it is true that most cases of genital herpes are not serious.  As you will learn from the websites I suggested, most people with herpes live just fine with the problem.

I don't know whether CPPS is causing your symptoms.  All I can say is that it is possible.  For specific diagnosis, you need to deal directly with your own doctor(s).

Please read all the information about herpes before you return here with more questions about it.  Also, truly excellent assistance is available on MedHelp's herpes community forum.  The moderator there is a highly experienced herpes clinician and counselor.

Good luck--  HHH, MD


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University of Washington
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