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So confused, is this herpes?

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Alright so this is kind of a long story but I want to try and include as much detail as is possible in case someone can help.


So I've been sexually active with my new partner for about a month now. We do use condoms. About four weeks ago, after some particularly rough sex, I got what I thought was a yeast infection. I had the typical burning and itching, and thick cottage cheese like discharge with no odor. I used some otc monistat external cream to try and minimize the discomfort, as usually my yeast infections tend to clear up quickly and don't require much more than that. Well i used the monistat for a couple of days, and the symptoms started clearing up boom right as my period hits. Well about a day after my period ends I started feeling very sick, but it was also finals week and I had been hardly eating or sleeping so I attributed it to stress and exhaustion, and possibly a cold.


Then immediately after, maybe a day or two later, we had sex again and right after the itching like yeast symptoms started again. So I pulled out my monistat but when I went to rub it in I felt a bunch of bumps. When I examined I found a bunch of small, soft but firm bumps in clusters on the lower sides of my outer vulva. They didnt hurt unless i applied pressure to them, but they did itch. I applied a little bit of pressure onto one and it immediately broke open and bled. There was no liquid inside that I could see although it appeared that they could be fluid filled. I immediately wiped it off with a cotton ball and some hydrogen peroxide.


Within the next week or so, the bumps swelled to about twice the original size. They were extremely painful to touch and very sore if rubbed against as well as consistently itchy. If any pressure was applied they would burst with a clear liquid and immediately start bleeding. However there were no indentations on the bumps, and they weren't bursting unless touched, oozing, spreading, or scabbing over. The ones that did pop did not even scab, it just appeared that new skin had grown over it in a couple days because there was no open wound and what had been popped has already returned.


At this point I went into the gynecologist. She took a long look at them and said that they didnt look anything like warts and she highly doubted it was HPV, but that they didnt look much like herpes either and she was unsure as to what could be causing it. She said she saw no vesicles in the bumps to indicate a herpes infection. When she looked internally, she said she didn't see any signs of sores or bumps on my vaginal canal or cervix. She took a swab anyway and sent it to the lab. She also prescribed me 500 mg acyclovir for 3x a day for five days and told me if it started to clear up, it was most likely herpes. About a week later I got my results back and both my HSV1 amd HSV2 came back negative. The doctor said they werent able to isolate any cultures of the herpes virus from the swab she had taken of the blisters.


At this point, I had finished off my antiretroviral course but it was not clearing up. Its now spread to my inner labia as well as my anus, and im developing papules on the opening near my vagina and around my anus. The intense swelling has gone down and the bumps have now become a pearly pink color, and no longer appear white or to be fluid filled. In fact, they're starting to resemble something similar to smooth genital warts or vulvar papillae, possibly even a skin tag like appareance, and are slightly more flattened and look shiny. They are in patches of very close together bumps . The intense itching started up again as well right as they began spreading, about 3 days into my acyclovir treatment.


I also got tested while there for HIV/AIDS, syhphillis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, bacterial vaginosis, yeast, and trichomoniasis and all of the tests came back negative. At this point I have no clue what to do because all of my tests came back negative but the symptoms are not getting any better. In the last forty eight hours more little blisters have started popping up and the burning and swelling is starting again, and im going on close to five weeks and its just getting worse. I'm also very nervous about the changes in appearance, as they were originally pinkish white bumps which changed to swollen fluid filled bumps with a white/clear appearance, and then changed to these raised like bumps that are slightly more flat and went back to the pink color. I thought perhaps it could be vestibular papillomatosis, but I'm just not sure what to make of it. I have another gyno appointment next week to take a look at it.


Has anyone else had symtpoms like these? Do you think I got a false negative?

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Hi @lyssabear. I'm sorry you're having these symptoms and the doctor can't figure out what's going on! Even though some of the symptoms you describe are common with herpes, there's really lots of dermatological conditions which can also produce those same symptoms.


Have you considered getting a blood test for herpes? You want the IgG test (the IgM tests are notoriously unreliable and don't distinguish between HSV1 and HSV2). Keep in mind that it can take up to 16 weeks after the initial infection for someone with herpes to test positive for it on a blood test, so retesting again after a few months might be helpful.


It's true that sometimes a swab doesn't always get enough cells/tissue to identify anything. When I had my first raised bump (skin wasn't broken and never did break open), I had it swabbed but it came back as inconclusive.


Beyond the blood test, my next thought would be to see another gynecologist. It's amazing how the level of knowledge will vary from one to another.


I sincerely hope someone can figure out what is going on so you can get some relief very soon!! {{hugs}}

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I have thought about getting the blood test, but knowing the time i haven't gone in for it yet because next week will only mark 4 weeks since this started. I am going in to another gynecological exam in a few weeks and I'm going to have them reswab it and also test for vestibular papillomatosis and molluscum contagiosum. In the meantime I have just been avoiding shaving, and Ive found that if I apply tea tree oil to the blisters/bumps in the morning, it won't itch foe the entire day. It's also drastically reduced the swelling and spreading so im wondering if its some type of skin bacterial/viral infection? It also never spread to my partner, so I don't think it's contagious which just makes things even more interesting. Will keep updating as I find out more. Thanks ao much for the support, I really need it!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had to get a pap for mine to show up. When my gyno looked at the symptoms she was pretty positive it was HPV but the swab culture came back negative while the pap came back positive. then i got a blood test, also positive. If you don't have hpv, maybe its molluscum contagiosum or vestibular papillomatosis?

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