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Avatar universal

confused by persistent hsv-1 genital infection?

I have a long story here that I feel is necessary to explain for context, so thanks to those who give me their time!

I began a faithful relationship about 3 years ago with a man. We split for some time in which we both hand intimate contact with others of varying degrees. I began seeing this man again with sexual contact around April 15, 2015. On April 19th, I came down with mononucleosis which was confirmed by the monospot a week or so later. My case of mono was relatively mild but did persist for 6 weeks or so as it usually does. However, after the 3-4 week mark, dealing with my mono was much like dealing with the common cold. My energy levels were mostly normal. All the while, I was still seeing this man. We didn't have much intimate contact while I was sick but I know for certain that I received oral sex from him on May 13th (although this was not the first time since April).

The very next day, I was having some strange itching that felt to be distinctly around my urethra. I took a look, and it did not appear to be or even feel to be a yeast infection (I am no stranger to those). My labia was tender and red and had what I would call raised skin in certain areas but no distinct bumps or sores. There was also white, very thin discharge. I got in to see my doctor 4 days later on May 18th. She said I was very irritated by my vaginal opening with some bumps (even though to me I felt itching by my urethra). She said it was not classic of herpes but that she would swab to be sure. She also took a swab to the microscope right there, and came in to tell me I have a RAGING (really, that's how she said it) yeast infection and that it was just everywhere. I asked why the discharge was watery and she said that when it's really bad, yeast can cause the vagina to "weep" instead of the typical clumpy discharge. I accepted that information and a 3 day course of diflucan.

She said it probably wasn't herpes because I didn't experience recent flu like symptoms (other then the mono which was mostly fine for a week by then). She thought the mono just weaked my immue system allowing the yeast to get out of hand.

I took the diflucan and it helped instantly. No more itching or burning within a few days - everything back to normal. Ten days later, I get a call from her and she said that my culture did in fact read positive for HSV-1. I know those things are pretty accurate. I went through the usual emotional trauma, but by now it's really been a non-event for me.

Here comes the confusing part - after the doctor called me, I decided to take a damn good look at my vagina. I had to do some investigation, if you know what I mean, to be able to see it because it was tucked away, but I did find a red area with some little tiny bumps on it. I am assuming this is what the doctor saw when she decided to swab me, but I didn't notice this area initially. It does not hurt even to the touch. It does not itch at all. It's like it's not even there. HOWEVER, it has been there, for 6 weeks now. It has never looked worse, not really looked better, never progressed into blisters or open sores - it's just there. I've had sex with my partner with it (he was aware) - that didn't hurt or make it worse at all. It's just the strangest thing. I am not taking antivirals - I never felt I need to burden my immune system with them because the bumps aren't bothering me. I do however take at least 1 (usually more) lysine tablet a day since diagnosis, I eat very healthy and am an active, happy college student. The mono has also not been affecting me for over a month now.

My question is, why is it still there? Could it be another thing on top of herpes? I don't really doubt the herpes culture, but could the mono have something to do with it even though I haven't felt sick in ages? I know Epstein-Barr virus is in the herpes family. I am curious as to why it hasn't changed or progressed into blisters/ulcerations as herpes can do. I am also wondering why it doesn't hurt or itch at all, but at the same time will not go away?

I'm considering going back to the doctor to ask but since it's not bothering me, it hasn't felt like much of a priority to go hear her tell me "It's just the herpes".

Anyone have some ideas?

Thanks so much for your time,

4 Responses
3149845 tn?1506627771
Hi, please claify "what wont go away"? Yes swabs are extremely accurate and youve most likely having an irritation from the yeast as well. Since your hsv1 genital  symptoms mildly, its possible youve had it a while so i would advise seeing your doc about your cronic irritation and have a blood test igg type specific because if it comes up negative or a low number it would be recent. A number 5 and above would infer an old infection. Your friend should get tested as well.
Avatar universal
What won't go away is the redness and raised skin/bumps. From what I've read, outbreaks don't last this long (over 6 weeks). It just seems sort of stagnant. I have checked it everyday since it occurred, and it always looks the same - no better, no worse. I will have a blood test done. I am not really concerned with how long I've had it, but if the blood test suggests it's an old infection, that would make me even more curious as to why the outbreak has lasted so long. Thank you for your advice!
101028 tn?1419603004
this area you are concerned about sounds like irritation of the skin. A whooper of a yeast infection can do that. If the rest of the genital skin looks normal, I wouldn't bother returning to be seen but if things are still generally irritated looking or you get a return of vaginal discharge, return to be retested for yeast and bacterial infections vaginally again. Sometimes it can take more than 1 treatment to take care of yeast. Meanwhile, I'd try just using a barrier cream like aquaphor or desitin to the red area that is persisting. That will soothe the skin as well as protect it from further irritation.

Has your partner been tested for herpes to know their status?
Avatar universal
We are waiting to have him get a blood test to allow for the build up of antibodies to actually be detected in case it was contracted recently whilst we were apart, but we are both planning on getting an IgG.

As an update to the story, just two days ago I began to get some itching and classic cottage cheese discharge. It appears to be just your average yeast infection that I'm familiar with, so I've been treating it with monistat (it's helping). Meanwhile, the raised bumps that have been present for all these weeks are still there, and they don't seem to be bothered by the yeast.
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