[Question #1636] Herpes- did I test too soon?

76 months ago

I'm a 36 year old heterosexual female with a question about the window period and a buzzing sensation that I am feeling.

I had 2 sexual encounters (a condom was used) on February 27 and March 5, 2016, with a man I label as high risk, since he dates multiple women and is sexually promiscuous and usually does not use condoms.

I had some issues of itching, burning and I believe I saw small red dots on my vagina after the encounter, although it bears mentioning that I am STD (or, specifically, herpes paranoid and always have been, to the point of mania). Knowing I had sex, albeit protected, with someone I consider high risk, is making me insane.

I was tested on April 29 via a blood test, and the results were negative for HSV 1 and 2.  I test for STDs every year, and have no history of eiher.

Since then, I have had no sexual encounters, but I have been getting small single sores now and then (single sores, sometimes hard ones, sometimes not) on my vagina, mostly in the hair-covered area. I am acne-prone, so I am not sure if that matters, and I run a lot in tight spandex, if that would matter, too.
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Lately I have been having an uncomfortable buzzing sensation in my vaginal/pelvic area. It seems to be genitally-centered, but it also can be in my left thigh or leg or even foot. I read online that it could be a herpetic nerve sensation or some sort of prodrome.

My questions are:
-is it possible I tested too early, and could actually be HSV2 positive? Can I trust the results? What percentage of people test negative at 8 weeks, but positive later?
-could my overwhelming anxiety about this actually be producing physical symptoms, including the buzzing feeling?
-is it possible for vaginal acne to reoccur in the same area? 
-Is my scenario high risk?

I am sorry to be such a basket case about all of this; I just keep making it worse by focusing on the buzzing feeling, picking, poking and prodding the skin "down there" and convincing myself I have this. 

Your help is so very appreciated.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
76 months ago
Hi Ann,

I can tell you are very worried about this and I hope I can help you with this situation.
First, yes, you tested too early.  But not by much.  We like 12 weeks for most reliability on the IgG test.  At 8 weeks, I think there is about a 75-80% chance that results will be same at 12 weeks. 
I doubt that your anxiety is actually causing symptoms but what is possible is that you are over-noticing symptoms that might have been present prior to this worry but there was no reason to be worried, as you are now.  is that possible for you?
It is definitely possible to get acne lesions in the pubic hair region - I saw it often when I was practicing. 
Your scenario is NOT high risk as your contacts were condom protected.  One recent study indicated that men who used condoms regularly reduced the risk of transmitting herpes to their partners by a whopping 96%! 
If you were my clinic patient, I would recommend that you get one final IgG test to help settle your mind, since your other one was a bit early. 
Please let me know if you have other questions.

76 months ago
Thank you so much for your prompt response. I really appreciate it. 
So to sum it up, you're saying: I had a low risk encounter, my results are likely accurate (75-80%), and that the follow up test would likely be negative as well... ?
I forgot to mention two other things: I get Brazilian waxes every month...is it possible to catch herpes from that? The salon is very clean, new sticks are used each time, etc. 
I guess I am just very concerned about the buzzing feeling. Everything I seem to read says that is herpes/nerve related. 
The thought of this is consuming me. 
Thank you so much for your help with this.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
76 months ago
While it is true that some people with herpes can have nerve sensations that are abnormal, it is also true that I have tested literally thousands of people with challenge nerve problems that they believe area herpes who subsequently test NEGATIVE  for herpes.  This tells me that nerve sensations that are unusual can happen in people with and without herpes.  Right?  And I would like to add here that it is far more common that people with this worry test negative for herpes rather than positive.