[Question #6500] Herpes question

15 months ago
Hello Dr. Handsfield,
I have a question and some concerns.  I get linear cuts in my vaginal area for the past six years.  I have had swabs done and also have had herpes blood work done-IGG type.  I have had numerous IGG tests come back negative over the years.  The areas that they swab, usually have little to no fluid but are SOOOO itchy, however, those have come back negative as well.  Is it possible that my body perhaps did not build antibodies to herpes?  Do some people not have antibodies (IGG) to herpes even after years?  Or could it be that I just dont have herpes and it's something else?  I have had all STD tests done, all which are negative.  My gyno has cultured and done the blood tests a couple of times, but results are always negative.  Please help!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
15 months ago
I answer the questions on this board about herpes.  This sounds far more fungal than herpetic to me.  Your negative swab tests, your negative IgG tests and the severe itching all represent the symptoms of a yeast infection, not herpes.  Have you ever tried an antifungal medication -either topical or oral -  to try to deal with these skin splits?  Next time it happens, you may wish to give this a try or speak to your doctor about this idea.  Some women are very vulnerable to having the skin in the genital split with only a mild yeast infection.  What do you think?  It sounds like you should eliminate herpes from your worry list, given all the evidence you have so far.

Terri
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15 months ago
Hello Terri,

Sorry, I had clicked on a website that had Dr. H's name on it, and assumed he answered the questions.  

This whole ordeal happened three weeks after I slept with my boyfriend.  I had vaginal burning, an unusual feeling(pressure) in my groin lymph nodes (for two years), and very tiny cuts.  I went and got tested for std's and any infections, but everything came back negative.  I also get two or three bumps above my buttocks, they are kind of hard but I never see that theres fluid in them.  Over the years, I went and got the tests for herpes, but again, everything is negative.  I have seen dermatologists and gynocologists, who have no clue what it could be.  I do not have yeast and also tried fungal meds, but nothing has helped. (I know this because I got swabbed for yeast.) 

Do you think despite my negative results, I could be that small percentage who does not "produce" antibodies? or does everyone product the IgG ones?

What does it mean when some tests "miss" picking up infections?  Does that mean particularly for that one person regardless of how many times they get tested or does that mean randomly the tests miss picking up infections at times?  Is there a different test I could try?

My gyno wants me to try the herpes meds despite my negative results.  She said the virus can be tricky and hard to pick up.... but don't my blood tests confirm that I do not have it when both types come back negative (I have been tested through blood many times)?  She said that when she swabs me, there isn't much "fluid" to pick up as the cuts are so thin.  This is why I think it's herpes...

Hope you have a restful night.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
15 months ago
This business of being negative on the IgG test is overreated.  The IgG test misses 8% of HSV 2 infection, compared to the western blot.  That's not huge.  "missing" infection by IgG means that the herpes western blot is positive for HSV 2 but the IgG is negative.  I would disagree with both that the virus is "tricky" and that it is hard to pick up but it's the fault of the IgG test, nothing about the virus, because the western blot DOES pick up these infections.   The skin splits could easily be fungal in origin, but if you want a really accurate answer, you should consider obtain the herpes western blot.

Terri

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15 months ago
Hello Again,

How would I do that test?  I live in Canada and I do not think that test is offered here.  I would like to get it done to be certain that it is not herpes.  I know you said first that it doesn't sound like herpes, but after telling the whole history, do you think it's still herpes or something else?

Thanks.
15 months ago
I tried making an account on your website, however, you can only make one if you are from the USA.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
15 months ago
I tell people who live outside the US to use any US address to make an account on that website - that seems to work fine.  However, if you want the blot,  you will need to also identify someone who is willing to draw and spin one serum separator OR come to the US and have it done.  I'm sorry it isn't easier to do in Canada but I've worked with many Canadians to get this done successfully.

Terri
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