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Avatar universal

Herpes Symptoms - - very anxious

Hi,

I am 22 and had sex with 3 escorts 3 weeks ago. All of them were protected except one who gave me unprotected oral for 30 seconds.

I recently was examining myself and might have pressed my urethra too hard. It became painful(as if there was a tear inside) when I left it alone. These past few days, the pain was intermittent and I do not have any redness, frequent urination, or discharge. However, the uncomfortable feeling has moved and is now concentrated on the left groin area. I suspected it was epididymitis as I have the feeling like when you got hit in the balls, the kind of tingling feeling, but I do not feel pain. I only rarely feel pain there, like a few seconds, one or two times a day, but i am attributing it to anxiety.

I am very worried and I went to see a general practitioner today. He checked me and didn't think it was epididymitis as there was no swelling or pain. He also said my lymph nodes were not swollen. I also had a rapid HIV test which thankfully came back negative. HOWEVER, he scared me when he said that the tingling feeling might be due to herpes. That got me very frightened. I've read that there is no cure for herpes. He gave me an injection of Cetriaxone and 1 g of azithromycin and said that would clear up 95% of STDs, but would be useless against herpes. I asked him for his diagnosis again and he said he thinks it is non-specific urethritis.

I have also done a full array of STD test but the lab reports will not come back so soon.

In the end, he comforted me and said that if it were herpes, Valtrex would kill most of the virus but there might be some virus lingering in the nerves. He also said that the official stand was that there was no cure for herpes, but he said that some people taking these drugs never had an outbreak for 10 years, so he didn't know if that was considered a cure.

I am very worried and anxious as I do not have anyone to turn to regarding this matter. I can't bring up this matter to my parents though they have already detected my anxiety.

I would like to seek your opinion on this matter and know what I can do to alleviate the anxiety.
22 Responses
1174003 tn?1308164419
Oral sex is considered low risk.. While this doesn't mean no risk it doesn't mean you have it.  You may have had some form of tramua to uthera.  I would suggest seeing your doctor for more information as to what he may think.  NGU  is typical when you have an infection and the treatment sounds exactly what you got.

Your doctor is wrong to think that with 10 years of no outbreak that means you have a cure.  It means the medicine is working to prevent and control your outbreaks but you can still shedd the virus without even seeing any symptoms.  Not trying to scare you but give you the facts.  

At this point I would say unless you get lesisions or further symptoms like that then you don't have much to worry about. Typical herpes symptoms hit within 2-20 days of infection you are at 3 weeks.  You were seen your doctor doesn't think it is herpes.  The fact you don't complain of pain when you pee makes me believe it isn't herpes.  

Follow up with your doctor if you again have any new symptoms or have lesisions that can be swapped for a culture.  If you feel the need to test (or haven't to know your own status) I would suggest getting a type specific igg blood test.  
Avatar universal
thank you for the information.

I know people often say it is low risk. They also said it was low risk for chlamydia/gonorrhea but the fact is there is something going on.

I really hope it's not herpes but an infection that can be cleared away. I really just want to put this horrific episode to bed.

I really dun know how to cope if it was really herpes. I don't think I can keep it from my parents for long. Been having sleepless nights and in a daze during the day.

Are the antiviral medicines expensive and do they have any long term side effects?
1174003 tn?1308164419
There are antivirial medicines out there. They are low cost and the big ones don't have any long term side effects. However, they don't kill off Herpes because of how the virus works.  

I can understand sleepless nights and so forth.  You aren't alone in being fearful.  Low risk doesn't mean no risk it just means its a numbers game.  The thing to remember is that unless these people had active coldsores then chances are even further. You don't know these individuals have HSV and nothing to support that they do.  Is there a chance?  Sure.  Is there a risk?  Sure.  But its low.  In the future get a condom on and use a condom.  Or wait until you meet someone to have sex with and eliminate the need for concern.  

Not everything that goes on down there is herpes.  I can give you a perfect walking story of it.  Review this thread:


http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Herpes/Stange-Symptoms-lost-and-confused/show/1143845

This story is of a guy who recently went through an encounter that put him at risk.  11 weeks later (we typically recommend the 12-16 mark for testing) he tested.  Guess what the test came back as?  You got it... Negative.  He had varying symptoms and so forth for days.  If you want another story I am one of those that even here I struggle with beating Herpes out of my own head.  Kind of werid huh?  The guy who can answer questions he himself has his own fear...

I had unprotected oral sex.  This again is a low risk activity.  I freaked out (it was just like you a stupid dumb brainless thinking with the wrong head move I could make) it has put a lot into jepoardy in my life.  Now that I go back and thinking about it I go.... Wow why the hell did I do that?  I am now week 10 of my journey in fear.  In the first 4 weeks of things I saw 2 doctors who told me I had a fungal infection.  I got a herpes test at 2 weeks.  Then in the next 4 weeks I saw 1 Nurse at the STD clinic (2 times because I was scared) 2 doctors, 1 Dermatolgist, and check myself daily both mouth and genitals.  At 2 weeks testing I came back negative for both HSV types.  At 9 weeks (9 weeks 2 days to be exact) I was scared crapless because the nurse practionier who was taking care of my aunt said I had a cold sore.  She did a HSV test.  I don't think I have EVER been that scared to go to a doctors office before in my life.  The doctor asked me about Herpes and why I was scared and its nothing major it is nothing to be afraid of so I figured he was preparing me for the news of a positive test. When he was done he had printed off my lab work handed it to me knowing that I have done my fair extensive research into this and told me to interpret my own results.  Looking at them I was and am still currently testing negative.  So what are my chances? Just about the same as yours and that is low.  In the time I have been dealing with doctors my dermatolgist says it is a fungal infection.  I can't argue with a trained professional especially one who deals with the skin.  He has been in practice for 37 years.  Pretty good guy who has to be doing something right if hes been in practice this long.  

Relax.... Stay off the internet.  Consider talking to a family member.  Getting the stress off your neck will help.  Believe me I didn't want to tell my family what happened in any detail because I didn't want them to think less of me.  I couldn't hold it in I burst.  They haven't once thought less of me.  Called it a bonehead move and dumb but none the less they make sure that daily I am okay and that when I start to freak out calm me down and remind me that the chances of this being the case are low and what everyone including Grace and Dr. Hook have told me.  If I could argue with my Dermatologist I sure as heck wouldn't dare do it with Grace or Dr. Hook.  Grace has first hand knowledge (along with being in the medical field) and Dr. Hook (along with Dr. HHH and Terri) have been dealing with STD's for a LONG time now.  In fact Dr. HHH Dr. Hook and Terri )were all at the big STD conference and had some role in either presenting or answering questions.  I don't think you can get much better then than that.  

I am sure grace will tell you just about the same thing I did (I pretty much try and base my response to what she would say).  
Avatar universal
Thank you for your anecdotes.

As you can see from my nick, I suffer from generalised anxiety. And I'm especially anxious regarding health issues.

It's been day 2 since I took the antibiotics but the symptoms does not seem to go away. There is still this itchy/tingling feeling inside the left groin area. If anything, it seems to have been more pronounced today. I'm also feeling very fatigued even though I've been sleeping 10 to 12 hours a day. Think I might been having chills as well as I feel cold with the air-conditioning when I usually do not notice.

Do you know anything about chlamydia/gonorrhea or other UTIs in your research? I've read somewhere that the symptoms intensify before subsiding away.

As to talking to a family member, I don't think that is really possible. They are not as accepting as yours seem to be. I'm paralysed in my room with no one else to tell my fears. My life is really coming apart. I have to drag myself out of bed and into school so that my parents will not probe and act as if nothing is wrong. I've no mood to do anything, my assignments are due and datelines keep coming. All I want to do is sleep till the lab report comes in.

And even then, it may not be conclusive. On one hand, I want it to be negative for any STDs (but that would mean I have a problem that the doctor has misdiagnosed). On the other hand, if there are STDs, I wish for it to be a common case of chlamydia and not herpes. (but then i dun really show much symptoms of chlamydia and it doesn't seem to work with the antibiotics). So i'm getting these horrific thoughts that it's a problem that doesn't really have a solution.

All the doctor do is to follow a standard operating procedure. If it works, good. but if not, it's gonna be a long long story
Avatar universal
I've also noticed that the affected testicle is way higher than the right one. Especially when the tingling feeling comes. I know it is normal for one to hang lower by about 1/8 inch but the difference here seems to be 1/2 to 3/4 inch higher. Is that cause for concern?
101028 tn?1419606604
it sounds like you are spending way too much time thinking about your genitals as well as way too much time looking at them. Back away from the mirror slowly, pull your pants back up and go find a new hobby!!!

your risk for hiv was zero due to condom use. Your rapid test was done way too early from these encounters but since you used a condom, your provider wasted your time and money testing you for std's as well as treating you for them.  

At this point, less attention to your nether regions in general. If in a week you still have symptoms, return to be seen again.  No masturbation or poking and proding and pinching your genital area either so you don't continue to irritate things.

grace
Avatar universal
Poking...tick
Proding... tick
Pinching... tick
Masturbation....no, i dun think i have any interest in that in the mean time.

You seem to know whatever I'm doing. I'll try to keep my hands in my pants...oh wait...I can't do that. But I'm really nervous.

Rationally, I know my HIV risk is very low, but I still have the irrational fear. The doctor was also very quick with the test. He drew my blood, sent me off to the toilet for the urine sample, and when I came back, he said he already started the rapid test and it's looking good (without me seeing that he actually drop my blood on the test kit) and then gave me the Ceftriaxone injection and then concluded that the test is negative. All in all, I don't think it took more than 10 minutes for the test. Is that possible? I thought it took 20 - 40 mins to tell.

And waiting for one week? I can't even get past the half-hour mark without checking the internet or the forum. Yes, I have OCD.

And if you think he wasted my time/money? Do you think I should go back to him again? Or should I consult a urologist instead?

P.S. Sorry, I went to repost on the STD forum. I thought no one was replying here because it seem to be off topic.
1174003 tn?1308164419
As for the STD post.  Grace happens to be a Co-CL for those forums too (isn't she great!).

Okay grace takes a nice line and is like the mother of our forums.  But me I sometimes take a hardline.  With you I think you need that strict stern talking to.  So here I go.  FYI I will use some analogys here.  They are not exact chances or proability but to put some perspective into things too.

First things first I would say I am sorry for this post but I am not going to be at all.  Why lie to you?  Anxiety is a touch problem for anyone to deal with.  My mom has it, my dad has it, my grandmother on my moms side has it and my brother has it.  So I know that it can be a **** of a thing to deal with.  I know when dealing with something like this myself just how you feel.  

1.  You did have sex with a sex worker.  You were however smart enough to use the protection of a condom.  Congrats!  You should be applauding yourself you were smart enough to do that.  I see that your judgement was in the right place that or your escorts made you do it for their safety too.  Now lets think back to our high school days (being you are 22 I have a good idea you are in college) remember that sex ed class we went through (I doubt yours was much different then mine being I am 25).  One of the first things they tell you is about condoms and what they do.  You used a condom that means Willy the one eye worm was in a shield that HIV and bacterial infections can not get through the rubber.  Okay think of it this way if you have ever seen star trek you know they can't use the transporter when the shields are up.  Now I am a computer geek and we use the car analogy's ALL the time.  Think of it is raining outside bad.  Its the worst rain ever.  The chances of you being in your BRAND new truck and the water getting inside is pretty darn low wouldn't you agree?  Rain can't get into your truck because well its sealed.  Or better yet water won't get into your tire.  Why?  Its rubber and doesn't let water in.  You get my point here?  Great!  Moving along...

2.  Herpes is a coward.  Right?  Other infections they make themself known and they try to fight.  Herpes?  Nope it goes out to play when it feels strong enough other wise its sleeping in the back area where it can't be found or killed.  Okay great.  Doesn't mean that the virus is ALWAYS present out there.  Why?  Because it is a coward.  It hides when times are good and when they are bad it wake up pokes around to see what it can get away with.  The facts are at this point you don't have much of anything to worry about.  Why?  Because again you used a condom.  So again Willy the one eye Worm had his shield on that prevented most of anything infecting you in your penis.  Could you be infected some place else?  Yes.  Chances of it?  Low.  So again use your truck and drive in the rain of infecting Herpes.  Its a low chance that the rain is going to get inside of your truck.  Could you get it from the unprotected oral sex?  Sure you could.  But again Herpes is a coward and not every encounter results in a transmission.  Think of it this way how many times do you drive on a freeway and get a chip in your windshield from a stray rock?  Chances are its NOT very often.  (Talking about a freeway not a dirt/rock road here).  

3.  Most of the other STD's are prevented by condom use.  Oral sex is again a low risk as we have said but it is partly because of the saliva.  Have you ever eaten a jalpeno?  I bet you have.  The reason your teeth don't partly melt away is because of your saliva.  It is very hositle to foods and can kill things pretty good.  Now that doesn't mean it is always good at killing everything but it doesn't make life easy for germs.  The only real germs that can live in your mouth are those that have built up a defense against your saliva.  Again this isn't no risk it is low risk.  

4.  Your sleeping a lot.  Depression... You regret the activity now because you realize "Oh CRAP" moment and now you are down on yourself for letting something get the best of you.  This not only freaks and scares you but how are you going to live with it is also going through your mind.  Again depression is and can be a very bad thing.  Sure if we could go back in time to change things we would.  But we can't sadly and right now we need to focus on today and the future.  You can't change the past or present.  You can control the future to an extent.  Right now your actions need to be set forth in using your OCD to your benefit and let go of the depression.  Whats done is done.  Time will tell what to do next but until that time your job is to focus on what you have control over.  Your actions, your responsibilities, and overall your daily life.  Use your OCD to write yourself a long letter to yourself to tell your self LOW risk results in LOW infection and LOW infection shows I have a better chance at not being infected.  

5.  The mind is your own worst enemy.  Trust me.  Your mind can make ANYTHING a symptom for you.  If you are in college next semester look into a intro to psychology class.  The mind is pretty darn powerful.  If you don't believe me use your skills to research the placebo effect.  If you tell a room full of people they have head lice and that the major symptom of it is itch in the scalp they are going to try to prove to themself and you that they have it.  It is a proven fact.  It can and it will happen.  There is so much proof out there that will show just how powerful the mind is.  Think about the saying "mind over matter".  Have you seen the guys that are pretty skinny nice muscles and all but they can crush a row of cinder blocks?  I am sure you have.  The mind can do a LOT of things.  People walking over hot coals.  The list is endless.  The mind can do A LOT of things to the body.  

Right now you need to do as grace said.  Stop looking at your genitals and start looking at your school books.  Wait the approrate time and get tested.  Easier said then done?  Sure.  But time to use what skills you have (OCD and Anxiety) in your favor instead of against you.  Hope this helps.
1174003 tn?1308164419
Oh and if you are a gamer....

My_wall_of_text crits you for 62000 damage You die.
Avatar universal
Thank you for all your replies. I really appreciate them and I read and re-read them to calm myself down. Although I am terribly afraid of death and the word 'die' was inappropriate.

I come from the other side of the world where STDs are still very highly stigmatised, hence my fears and helplessness. I've again slept 12 hours intermittently and I still feel tired.

Putting things in perspective, as Mistakeguy789 has done for me, I know my symptoms are very minor as compared to what could have been without protection.
I should not be anxious about HIV or herpes. But my anxiety has not abated and I do not think it will until I become symptom free.

I guess my anxiety now is not so much about the test results or waiting to get tested (after all, most of you think it's gonna be negative) but I feel more anxious why the symptoms have not gone despite the antibiotics. I am concerned about the time and waiting as if it were something other complicated disease, it might lead to further and more serious complications and all the while, I am doing nothing about it.

Talking about that, the earliest my lab report would be back should be tomorrow.

I apologise if I have not been asking questions that are helpful to the other forum users. I think I'm using this as a place to let out my fears as I can't find any counselling site to talk about this. Do you know of any online counselling sites?
1174003 tn?1308164419
Forgive my poor choice of wording.  Generally I find that kidding around and using gamer talk sometimes helps people to relax.  I am sorry for that and will be far more careful with my joking.  

STD/STI's are always going to be stigmatised in the world.  Various reasons but mainly due to relgious and general up bringing of most of the "older" society.  The belief is that sex shall hold until marriage.  While the suggestion is sound (less chance of catching an STD if you don't have sex and your partner won't have an STD unless they have sex).  The fact of the matter is our generation (30 and below) are changing the way they feel about sex.  More and more people (and kids) are having sex.  For example think back again to your high school days.  I am sure you had some pregnant girls going to your school. If not at mine we had about (not kidding) 20.  (I would know I rode the bus with them to a special campus they went to that was a part of a technology school I went to).  If you look back at the years say 5 or 10 years ago there would be a less number.  Say 20 years ago and schools within 200 miles of each other MAY have one child.  You truly won't see that stigma go away anytime soon.  Sadly it is going to remain for a few years.  

Again your sleeping is I am sure stress/depression.  You are beating yourself up and you are fearful.  Your body is in overdrive for stress and I am sure expeling a lot of energy. When you go to sleep your body finally gets to relax a little and then when your conciounes kicks in you start to worry about things agin.  Trust me I did the same thing you did for about oh 6 weeks.  Today I still worry and I still freak out (see my own thread to see for yourself).  I worry for the same reasons and then some but none the less worry I do.  But its what I do when I worry what I find helps me out.  I have spent a lot of time studying, reviewing, researching, and flat out absorbing all the information I can.  What do I do with what I have learned?  I post on here.  Don't get me wrong I still ask questions because I don't understand things and I do want to.  

You are speaking to the choir when it comes to the attitude of "I will believe you when the symptoms are gone".  I think I co-wrote that book.  For another example... I have been diagnoised with a fungal infection.  The most stressful part of this is and was that it hasn't gone away and I have tried various different fungal creams.  In my dermatologist alone visits I have spent 300.00 and about 80.00 on perscriptions.  Why?  Because I have a fungal infection.  But does that mean I don't examine myself.  I worry about EVERY itch, bump, tingle, pain, etc I feel down there or around my lips.  Why?  Because I am worried of what I did.  

So with all of that said I want to share a link of a post that took place here on MH by a guy named Leapoffaith.  Really nice guy Leap is.  I have talked to him on AIM a lot of times.  Leap isn't a doctor or anything.  He is like you and I.  Hes a college student.  While his situation of possible exposure is different than ours the fear is the same.  

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Herpes/Stange-Symptoms-lost-and-confused/show/1143845?personal_page_id=946909&post_id=post_5469726

Things to remember about your lab work.  Herpes infection can't be ruled out unless the test was done 4 months after your last sexual encounter.  Only change on this would be HerpeSelect test which would show something by 12 weeks.  You will have to wait the 12 weeks.  I can read your mind.... I know you don't want to wait.  Let me tell you bud I am right there with you.  I didn't want to wait.  I am on week 10.  But I remember every day waking up crushed because I felt CRAP I don't want to go to school I don't want to do this and etc.  I would walk around the house and literally say "I can't WAIT for 12 weeks to get here". I would say that 3-4 times a day.  What I quickly relaized is that going to school meant that I was spending time focusing on something else and those hours would go by so much faster when I didn't count the seconds.  But believe me I counted the weeks.  Each monday I say what week it is. (Technically speaking it is a sunday but none the less a few hours doesn't matter that much.).  

Your questions are fine and use of the forums for asking them regardless who they benefit doesn't matter.  Our focus on answering them is to answer YOUR question.  If someone doesn't want to answer your question no biggie someone will eventually.  

As for counseling I don't know.  We will talk to you hear and posting your fear in your journal may put it out there for you and everyone to see.  People can respond to it as they want.  Don't think though that you are any different than the majority on this forum.  We all made a mistake and we all had some fear or stress over it.  
Avatar universal
Hello once again.

My symptoms seem to have subsided today. Less of the tingle and weird feeling in the area. I hope it means that its getting better.

This has brightened my day a little. At least I managed to get through classes without much trouble.

Hopefully tomorrow would be even better. Thank you all for your posts when I was so desperate. It really did help a lot.
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