[Question #6602] Tingling- Is it Herpes?

14 months ago
On Dec 11, 2019 I had unprotected oral (receive) and vaginal sex. I am a male. I have been with this partner before, however she has had other partners in between. Prior interactions with this person were months and months before, and this time was a one time event. Around Dec 13, 2019 I went to my PCP for a testing of STIs. At that time, I had no symptoms, and had no worries of any STIs as I had been with this partner before. I got tested for everything except HSV 1 & 2. All tests results were negative. On Dec 16, 2019 I started having symptoms in my genital area. My testicles were fairly sore-  certainly enough for me to notice and cause me discomfort. Almost took my appetite away. I also had a fairly intense tingling sensation in my groin area. Not on my penis,  but more on my groin, pubic area. On Dec 24, 2019 I went to the hospital to get additional testing as I was still having these symptoms. At this time they did blood testing for HSV 1 & 2, and a couple others I can’t recall.  The doctor there seemed to think I was crazy for suspecting it was herpes, as I had no lesions (and still don’t). It’s my understanding that a person can be diagnosed with HSV without having lesions, but what do I know. On December 30, 2019 The blood test for HSV both came back negative. I met with my PCP. She thought this was great news and that I could put the possibility of having an STI behind me. I was still having that intense tingling sensation in my groin as this was happening (sore testicles started to go away). Within the next few days, the symptoms seem to go away completely. Fast forward to last week (January 29, 2020)- the intense tingling sensation is back. It’s almost burning. Not much testicle soreness this time, and I still haven’t had a single lesion since “exposure”. Based on what I have said, what are your thoughts? My assumption was that I may have HSV 2, and that I simply got the blood testing done too soon. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
14 months ago
So your first two tests were done way too early. A final test at 12 weeks out would be more definitive.  However, since you've had no sores, I would say the odds are even higher than that, that you are not infected.  The tingling alone is NOT significant in terms of a herpes diagnosis.  At this point, I would be very surprised if a test at 12 weeks with no new exposures would be positive.

Terri
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14 months ago
Hi Terri,

Thanks for the quick reply. Just to clarify, I didn’t get tested on Jan 29. That’s when the tingling sensation came back. I went back to get a 2nd blood test looking for antibodies, yesterday Feb 5th 2020. I will update the forum with my finding. I’m expecting to know by Monday. I have had a pretty significant headache on and off throughout the process, but I’m also having teeth pain coincidentally, so for now I’m associating the headache with the toothache.  

I guess my question is in your experience, would the tingling have led to something by now if it were in fact HSV 2? I would have been exposed on Dec 11, so this is a good 7 weeks out. 

I’ve tested negative for every other STI. Do you have any clues to what this may be? I haven’t talked to that sex partner since the experience, so I’m not sure if she is having any symptoms herself. 

Maybe my best bet is to simply wait until the 12-16 week mark (assuming my test I took yesterday comes back negative) and try again. 

We have discovered that my girlfriend is now 8 weeks pregnant. We have had unprotected sex since the “exposure” in December. She hasn’t had any symptoms. But since my symptoms came back, we have been abstinent. I have a fear of giving her the virus and further passing it along to the baby (I do understand that females who are HSV 2 positive and know about it are extremely likely to not pass it on to the baby at birth). 

Thanks. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
14 months ago
I would think if the tingling represented a herpes infection, you would also have some sort of sores by now.  So the test you had done on Feb. 6 should provide reliable information for a beyond 6 week result.  If your test comes back negative this time, you could repeat for greater certainty at 12 weeks, yes.  Sorry I misread that date. 
You are correct that is she did acquire HSV 2  now, she would likely be fine to do a vaginal delivery when the time comes.  Let me know your most recent test results.

Terri
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