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Symptoms I can't make sense of

I have some symptoms and circumstances I can't make sense of. For some background, I have had oral HVS1/cold sores since I was 9 years old. Additionally, my mother's side has a history of allergies and eczema. Finally, I have always had a sensitive system relating to my reproductive system with occasional yeast (internal and external), bv and even sometimes redness or itching that could not be explained. However, in the past two years I have had a host of symptoms that have made me insanely paranoid and that I have not been able to connect the dots about.

-In Jan 2017 I had lots of vulvar tingling then broke out in a rash there the next day. There were no lesions but a very irritated symmetrical rash on the vestibule area of my vulva that lasted about two weeks. Valtrex (which I take for cold sores) did not seem to change or improve the symptoms at all and the women's care nurse I saw said the symptoms did not look worrisome. I was concerned about herpes because this happened a couple of weeks after a new partner and due to the tingling that proceeded it, but I was assured it did not look like any herpes they had ever seen.

-Since then I have had recurrent (first two to three a year and now much much more often) rashes like the first one I experienced. They are often symetical on the vestibule but sometimes on different parts of the vulva and moving to another spot nearby. I have never been able to get into my women's care on the first day of symptoms but have been reassured multiple times that it looks like dermatitis or something dermatological. I am even in the process of seeing a vulva dermatologist in my city but it may take months to get it. Symptoms do not look like my cold sores nor any pictures of herpes I have seen online, but why would tingling happen and why would it have begun after a new sex partner? I had also moved into a new home, though unless it is something allergic I am not sure if this is relevant.

-Vulvar irritation symptoms have gotten worse over the two years with one episode lasting six weeks and a recent one lasting 2 months. In May I woke up with red patches on my elbows and later on my face, so I suspected eczema as it runs in my family but vulvar symptoms could only be improved and managed but not eradicated with clobetasol.

-On May 31st I had oral and vaginal sex with my now partner who had a scab on the shaft of his penis he seemed to think it was from the friction of masturbating. I regret interacting with him sexually on that occasion, though we have been sexually active for 2 years now and I had never seen such a symptom on him. I believe we had sex again a week later but and there was no trace of the previous scab by then.

-On June 19th or 20th (3 weeks after the oral/genital incident), I noticed a  small cut at the entrance of my vagina with a little irritation down there but not a major rash. I also noticed a slightly painful patch/spot on the roof of my mouth but nothing major. Both went away in a couple days and I didn't think much because I started feeling badly that same day with flu symptoms which were later diagnosed as a primary epstein barr virus infection. I was sick for 3-4 weeks after that and still have some headaches and tiredness.

-A week ago I got another symmetrical rash on my vulva (looks like what I used to get when eating something I am allergic to) that has not entirely gone away but I also noticed a painful red bump on the roof of my mouth and yesterday had a painless white bump on the inside of my lip that looked like a canker sore and a small red bump at the bottom of my lip.

I am terribly concerned about having both oral and gential hsv2, but am extremely confused because the vulvar irritation with tingling started 6 months before i was ever with my current partner (2.5 years ago), I have an active EBV infection AND I have had hsv1 most of my life.

-I have always had HSV1 in the same place and these news bumps are in different pots but don't look like what I am used to though there has been tingling. Could these be HSV1 in a different site due to the EBV or is it likely oral hsv2?

-If I had any hsv2 exposure before (jan 2017), I couldn't get it again, so I am confused about getting both oral and vaginal irritation at the same time redently even if symptoms are not typical.

-Does EBV infection have anything to do with this? Some people get sores etc.

-Symptoms showed up 3 weeks after sexual incident with bfs scab. How likely is this to be a new oral/gential infection.

Basically, I am having a very difficult time emotionally and do not know how to make sense of any of it? I see my ENT tomorrow but the bumps from yesterday on my lip are already nearly gone.

I don't know what to attribute any of these symptoms to and need to figure out what's going on for my own sanity.

Please help with any info around potential oral/genital hsv 2 infection 3 weeks later (despite recurrent vulvar irritation for 2 plus years) and around whether or not EBV or previous HSV1 has anything to do with small sore and bumps in new places inside the mouth on a different part of the lips. What next steps should I take?

How likely is it to pass on hsv2 to a child from accidentally sharing cups food? I am terrified of such a scenario.

thanks so much for hearing me out about these puzzling circumstances
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Let me first address the easiest thing - :How likely is it to pass on hsv2 to a child from accidentally sharing cups food?" Assuming for a second that you have hsv2, this scenario is impossible. You are only infectious from the location of infection, and you are asking about your genitals, so unless you are having inappropriate contact with the child, you won't ever transmit hsv2 to the child.

Okay, so the rest.

First, a lot of this can be addressed by you getting a blood test. Ask your doctor for a type specific IgG blood test. This may not tell you if you got herpes from the encounter in June, as it can take up to 4 months to show positive on a test, but it can tell you if you've had hsv2 prior to that, and it's been a possible cause of your symptoms.

From your name, I'm wondering if you're in Chicago. I might be wrong, and you don't need to confirm or deny. My only reason for saying that is that if you're in the US, and especially in or near a major city, you should be able to get this test done. If your doctor won't do it, there are ways to get it done on your own. Let me know if you need that information. See if your ENT will do this tomorrow. If he/she won't, don't be surprised - they may say they don't deal with STDs.

That said, this could also be an allergic reaction to anything that is coming into contact with your genitals - soap, body wash, laundry detergent, shaving cream, wax if you wax, underwear fabric, toilet paper, wipes - you get the point. Think of everything.

If you are using wipes, stop. Same with any feminine washes, unless you are under doctors orders to do so. The vagina is like a self-cleaning oven. It has good and bad bacteria that keep each other in check, and keeps everything in balance, and clean. The only thing you really need to do is take a wet wash cloth gently to the exterior parts and gently wipe them clean.

Try changing toilet papers, and laundry detergent, though try one at a time, because if something helps, you won't know which it is. If you use scented anything - toilet paper, laundry detergent, body wash - change that first. If you are using ultra strong toilet paper, change to something ultra soft, for example. Change to a "free" laundry detergent, like Tide Free or All Free.

It could also be eczema, but a biopsy should determine that. Tingling could occur with either of these. Tingling is not exclusive to herpes.

If you already have hsv1, you can't get that again in another location. You can rule out hsv1 genitally since you have an established oral hsv1 infection.

I don't know what's on the roof of your mouth. It could definitely be an allergic reaction. Oral hsv2 is possible, but it's very rare, and I'd be surprised if this is what it is since it healed so quickly.

Do you still talk to the ex? Can you ask him to test? If he's negative, and ask him to send you the results, then you can put herpes fears to rest.

One thing I want to address is that if you have herpes - really of either type in any location - you are not a walking bio-hazard. You are only infectious from the site you have it - either orally or genitally. You'd only be able to transmit it via kissing, oral sex, or direct genital to genital contact. Sharing food is fine, so long as you use different utensils, which is always a good idea as colds and flus are so easily spread this way.

I don't know enough about chronic-active EBV to know if that's causing these symptoms, but that sounds like a really serious disease. Have you been diagnosed with that specifically, or are you testing positive for antibodies? If you have CAEBV, you must have an infectious disease doc or immunologist or other specialist that would want to know about this, and would probably rush to get you a blood test.

Do you take Valtrex daily or just when you get an outbreak? If you take it daily, it might delay antibody development a bit. Don't stop taking that, though, if you have CAEBV, unless your doctor tells you to.

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Thanks for your feedback! To clarify, I don't have chronic EBV, just a current infection. By my age (30s) most people have already been exposed but it is responsible for mono so I was not sure if my new location mouth irritation was HSV1 recurring in a new location due ot my being run down, a new oral hsv2 infection or neither!

I am afraid of having hsv2 but even more scared of having both oral and gentital hsv2 because then i have to be sooooooo cautious with even kissing a potential romantic partner. Maybe I am mistaken but I don't want to accidentally pass that (if i have it) to anyone particularly my child through casual activities, and I think many ppl worry because hsv1 is often passed casually so we worry oral hsv2 might be also.  The order of events don't make sense to me and I have been reticent to take w blood test due to false negatives or positives.

Furthermore, because i routinely take valtrex to avoid cold sores, it is hard to gage the other symptoms and i worry about it obscuring test results.

My ex and i dont talk but i have spoken with my current guy about my concern that the scab on his penis may be more than he thinks. It's hard to suggest someone else get tested when they have no concerns, but i will continue to suggest that to him.

Just cant make sense of all this. Thanks so much for your feedback.
Ohh so yeah, having mono right now makes a lot more sense than chronic EBV. I'm glad you clarified that. You can get mouth sores with mono, especially on the palate - https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/symptoms-of-mononucleosis Obviously, I don't know if that's what you had, but it's a definite possibility.

Oral hsv2 is possible, but RARE. If you do get it orally, though, it rarely sheds, and rarely recurs, and rarely transmits. Most people with hsv2 orally only get the initial outbreak, and that's it.

Shedding rates: (and you can find all this in the herpes handbook - https://westoverheights.com/herpes/the-updated-herpes-handbook/)

HSV 2 genital 15-30% of days evaluated

HSV 1 genital 3-5% of days evaluated
HSV 1 oral 25% of days evaluated

HSV 2 oral 1% of days evaluated

If you do end up having it, and I'd be surprised if you do, then you don't need to worry about it transmitting. I've been on this site for over 10 years, and worked in the field for about that long, and I've only seen 1 or 2 people with oral hsv2.

You're correct about the blood tests coming back with false positives. That's a very real concern. The official guidelines state that anything over a 1.10 is positive, but most experts feel that anything under a 3.5 could be a false positive. As you can imagine, this causes a lot of stress and extra expense in getting confirmation testing, which isn't all that easy to get.

False negatives happen if the correct amount of time hasn't passed.

Valtrex daily can definitely slow your antibody production.

Essentially, you have a lot of waiting to do if your current guy won't test. It's not easy, I know. In the meantime, you can try eliminating anything that might be causing an allergic reaction and see if that helps.
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