[Question #2241] Is this GHSV-1???

44 months ago

I foolishly had unprotected sex. A day or two later, I started experiencing tingling in the genital area, no itching. The tingling extended to the butt area also, then it progressed to mild burning and sometimes I'd experience random jabs or pins and needles one side of the vagina, overall it was generalized burning. Urination wasn’t painful. Mild burning and aching on a consistent basis, just at the opening of the vagina, other times the whole genital area. Burning in thighs. I did notice that I had two pimples on the mon pubis, on opposites of the vagina, they were never painful to the touch, I actually popped one and a white pus came out, could this be an indication of herpes or just a regular pimple??? No sores or lesions or pimples have appeared on the inner vagina lips, labia or buttocks. I’ve seen two different doctors and they both believe I don't have herpes. I have been tested for other STIs, all negative. The gyno doesn’t think it’s HSV. 7/8 weeks post exposure, I took an IgM and Igg blood test, I know that's early. The igg test was not complete. The iGM came back positive saying I did have antibodies; no number value was given. I've read that the igm is useless. I took the IgG blood test at 10/11 weeks post exposure. The results were positive for HSV1, negative for HSV2. I am confused since I believe I have experienced atypical symptoms in the genital area as well as the mouth area, but no full blown herpes symptoms. Should I just assume I have it in both areas? as I have never been tested for HSV in the past, it also is possible that it could be an old oral infection? Although I don’t recall ever getting a cold sore. I am just so upset by all this! It just seems I can never get a clear answer. Like I don't even know how to go about telling future partners like I may or may not have GHSV1, maybe both, just oral. My vagina has been burning and aching on a consistently for the 3 months. I've read that you can experience an outbreak without visible sores, I fear I am being misdiagnosed.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
The timing for your HSV 2 IgG was good - 11 weeks post exposure was about right.  So you can be quite reassured that you don't have HSV 2.  If you have never in your life have a cold sore on your lip or in your nose there is no way to know the location of your HSV one infection. It is certainly possible that this is due to an old oral infection. HSV one genital late would not present with consistent symptoms over a three month period and the other symptoms that you have light burning in the thighs or two small pimples in the pubic hair I'm not consistent with the new herpes infection. Just so you know, over half the population of the US between the ages of 14 and 49 are infected with HSV one. If you develop a lesion or sore on your lip, in your nose or in the genital area you should have them swab tested. Please let me know what other questions you might have. And if it is possible for you to have your sex partner tested, that might provide you with the great reassurance.

Terri
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44 months ago
Hi Terri! Is it possible for oral symptoms to have presented, but be mild? Because my lips have been sensitive to the sun over the years and tingle alot with sun exposure. I have also experienced a very small pimple here and there along the lip line, can herpes present itself this way? As for my genital symptoms, I also do find it odd that it's been consistent for 3 months so I am starting to believe it is not herpes related in that area. In my mind, it is most likely an old oral infection, since I also know gHSV1 isn't spread very often through genital to genital contact.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
It can, yes - about 70% of those infected with HSV 1 don't report cold sores or genital symptoms so we know that many people are in your same situation.  I would agree that in your situation, oral infection is more likely. 
From how many partners do you think you received oral sex in your lifetime?  HSV 1 genital infection is most often the result of receiving oral sex from a partner

Terri
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44 months ago
I have only received oral sex one time from the one partner during the unprotected sex encounter. After that encounter is when all these weird genital symptoms started and have continued for the last 3 months. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
If you have only received oral sex once in your lifetime, I think the odds of you contracting HSV 1 genitally are extremely low.  So you had no antibody test until weeks 7/8?

Terri
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44 months ago
Correct, I had an IGM and IGG blood test at 7/8 weeks post exposure, but the IGG blood test was never completed cause it was sent to the wrong lab. But the IgM test stated that I was positive for HSV antibodies but I know that igm testing shouldn't be trusted. So at 10/11 weeks post exposure I took an IGG blood test that said I was positive for HSV1. Which I am assuming is an old oral infection that I wasn't aware of. It's all very confusing tho! 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
It is confusing, I know.  If no blood work was done at the very beginning, you cannot know at this point if you were negative when this first happened for HSV 1 or positive but I would put money on the fact that you were positive even then.  One exposure can lead to infection yes, but with one exposure, it is pretty long odds that that would happen!  

Terri
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