[Question #3134] Atypical herpes?

40 months ago

I have been having chronic burning/pinching sensations in my left lower labia majora/perineum for 4 months following sexual encounters with two men a week apart. One protected, one with oral sex unprotected and sex protected (except condom came off for a few seconds and was replaced).  Both men have told me they have since had negative blood tests for hsv 2. (Not sure if igg or igm. One was pos for hsv 1-said had a coldsore as a kid. For first 2 mos. GYN stated couldn’t see anything like hsv, I had anything I was worried about cultured-all neg.  At 2 months post exposure I thought My irritation might be 2nd to folliculitis and was overzealous with some razor burn wipes (containing alcohol, salicilic acid and glycolic acid) which I think gave me a chemical burn in my vagina and rectum-provider looked and saw red raw patches near introitus and rectum and said could be wipes, yeast or herpes. All cultures neg. I also started having some peripheral neuropathy in my legs at time.  I was given a 7 day yeast cream, which was so painful I could hardly sleep for three nights...She put me on a 10 day course of valtrex...raw skin healed but burning pinching sensation remained. I was very concerned this might have been an atypical outbreak...I have had hsv 1 and gotten cold sores on my mouth since kid so only did igg for hsv 2. Last igg at 14 weeks post exposure and 1 month after last valtrex was neg. Plan to do one more at 18 wks post and 2 months after valtrex. I am experiencing crazy burning sensations to the point where I am constantly looking and expecting there to be some kind of outbreak and I am still experiencing peripheral neuropathy in my legs. Underwear and sitting are so uncomfortable.  Have you ever heard of any cases of herpes like this?? I just can’t get it out of my head as the symptoms started 2 weeks after the semi protected exposure...and the fact that I started having  peripheral neuropathy around the time of the raw patches in my vagina...it’s killing me that I am already positive for hsv 1 from cold sores so can’t use that as diagnostic.  I’ve considered going on valtrex for a month just to see if my symptoms improved but wanted to wait until after last igg. I’ve also emailed Terri with Westover heights. Have you heard of any cases of hsv like this? 

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
If you want the most accurate antibody test, I would suggest that Valtrex is going to confuse the testing.  10 days isn't going to change anything but more could.  The purpose of antiviral therapy is reduce viral replication.  But if you greatly reduce viral replication with a new infection, the immune system will be unable to see the virus and mount an immune response (i.e. development of antibody)

It's very good that the swab tests have been negative.  And herpes outbreaks do not last for weeks and weeks. I don't know what your leg numbness might be about but I seriously doubt that it is about herpes.

The IgG test misses about 8% of HSV 2 infections compared to the gold standard western blot blot so if you want the absolute best test, you may want to consider the western blot at 12 weeks from the University of Washington. 

Terri
---
40 months ago
Do you mean to do the western blot 12 weeks since the last valtrex dose  or 12 weeks post exposure? Is two months after the last valtrex dose sufficient time to get an accurate igg? (Will be 18 months post any possible exposure)
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
If the total amount of days that you took Valtrex is 10 days, you can do the blot 12 weeks from the encounter, not the last Valtrex dose.

Terri
---