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my vagina. The betrayer.

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It’s actually my immune system that’s more at fault I suppose but that’s how I feel at the moment. Betrayed by my own body. 

I’m a 40yr old who’s been in a committed relationship with my partner for nearly 3 years. Looking back, he had displayed symptoms of GH in the past but we’ve always brushed them off as something else and as he works away, I probably don’t really see a lot of it. 

Weekend before last, he developed a small red patch on his penis the day after sex that has repeatedly scabbed and wept since ( I know, alarm bells) but we just put it down to friction. 

Fast forward a week. Saturday. I woke to an itch and scratched it through my pyjamas. I was a little sore but thought nothing of it and went about my day. I also started my period that day. 

Sunday, the inside of my upper left labia, an area about the size of a pea, was swollen, red and painful to touch but no lesions etc on inspection so I just assumed I’d scratched too hard and treated with a cold compress and sudocreme throughout the day. 

Monday, I could feel the stabbing and burning in the same area when I woke and found it uncomfortable to sit and walk so took some painkillers before work but I didn’t feel great all day and I felt warm and clammy. By the time I came back from work, I had an open sore at the site of discomfort and my heart sank. I think I knew then... 

Tuesday, today. The pain is somewhat worse, and the sore is now more pronounced and looks ‘wet’ with what looks like a smaller one beside it. It burns like hell for hours if it’s touched and I’ve also developed a VERY swollen gland in my groin on the same side as the lesion. I’m tired and I have a lingering headache but I think the paracetamol is helping with that. 

I haven’t been to the doctors yet. I’m still trying to get my head around this but I’m intelligent, I’ve researched, I know my body  and I think it’s pretty obvious that this is GH. 

I don’t know how I feel. I’m terrified that this is going to develope further and cause the excruciating pain I’ve been reading about for days. I want to ignore the whole bloody thing but I’m consumed by it and living on the verge of a massive panic attack so I didn’t make it into work today. I didn’t even make it out of bed. 

I know that there are no definitive answers as to how this virus will affect me but i feel like I need to be prepared for the worst case if at all possible.

i write this post as I feel I should given all the comfort I’ve received from these forums over the last few days and I send best wishes to you all. 

I got my beloved dog castrated this week. Karma I reckon!

Any advice is welcome as I feel quite alone. 

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Agree completely with @Stupida get it swabbed ASAP. sounds a bit like classic First OB with the other symptoms but you want to know what strain and blood test will likely still show negative if this is your body’s first encounter fighting the virus. That’s what happened to me.

so sorry to hear this is happening for you! A soak in a tub of warm bath water with Epsom salts can help to clean and ease the area. I also used cotton swabs with a touch of melted coconut oil at night to soothe.

this outbreak will pass! Your lady bits will get back to normal (but not as fast as you’d like them to). And hopefully you and your partner have a solid relationship where you can support one another as you come into better understanding of what this means and what’s ahead for both of you.

all best! Hang in there!

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Thank you both so much for taking the time to comment. Your kindness has made me tearful. I’m devastated and frightened. I tried a bath earlier which was very painful and from what I’ve read, this isn’t even close to the worst part yet. And I keep imagining tingles everywhere that are making me paranoid about more lesions turning up. 

I will go to my doctors tomorrow and get it all swabbed only for confirmation and treatment as I haven’t eaten or slept in days and I know this isn’t good. I think we can safely say what this is now. I had cervical cancer and was successfully treated last year. I don’t know if I’ve recovered enough mentally to deal with this.

The panic is rising already. 



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As for my partner. He is mortified that he may have given this to me but I see no point in blame at this stage. It’s irrelevant and I could have given it to him for all I know although, this does seem a classic primary outbreak as you said and he has been virtually symptomless except for a stubborn blister. Regardless, he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me deliberately and has been very worried all day. I don’t think he understands the implications of this situation fully..yet. But I do. I really do. 

Gid I hate my doctor aswell. He’s such an arsehole! 

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Well, I managed to get a drs app. I  nearly didn’t go. The thought of having to take a bath and then be poked at in that excruciatingly painful area was nearly too much to bear but I powered through and took two painkillers half an hr before I got up. Surprisingly, the pain was still there but much more bearable than yesterday. I was elated! I slathered my lady bits in Sudocrem yesterday that I’ve been keeping in the fridge so I don’t know if that’s got anything to do with it. 

Anyways, I lied to the receptionist and told her I thought I had an abscess and managed to see the nurse. She was lovely but her manner changed slightly when I told her that actually, I suspected I had GH and explained my story. 

She wiped the area with alcohol wipes and Jesus Christ all mighty mother of god, I nearly hit the roof and gripped her quite hard on the arms. She had a good look and said the big lesion had been ‘de- roofed’ and she wasn’t certain it looked like herpes. ( I’m puzzled at this point as I thought the lesions went through an open sore stage as a matter of course). Then I had to ask her to swab it ( which I don’t think she had any intentions of doing). And then I had to ask her to feel how swollen my gland in my groin was. She then went off to ask the doctor if a swollen lymph gland was a symptom of an OB :-/. 

She cane back, said she was going to treat me for GH as a precaution and asked if my partner was faithful to which I told her that I believed so but nobody can ever know that for 100% certainty. And then she said it probably would have been better to go to the GUM clinic next week. ( which I understood, but by then, the worst of my symptoms may well have disappeared ffs). Then she spent a good 20 minutes looking for what medication I needed and at what dosage. ( after days researching, I could have told her but I kept quiet). her and the Dr then looked it up to check it was right.(  I was cringing at this point thinking that they don’t see this very often). 

Anyways, came away with Acyclovir to take 3x daily although she said I may need more if I develop any more lesions but she still wasn’t convinced it was GH. 

Home now with my bestest friend, Sudocrem from the fridge and back in the same pain and anxiety as yesterday with a bit of added humiliation to boot. 

Sorry for the long post. I feel so much better getting this crap off my chest though! 

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@Chillydaffodil glad you made it to the doctor/nurse— and that they got you on meds! If you don’t like your doc, it may be time to change and find someone you’ll go to without hesitation in future? So far (from my limited initial experience anyway),  H comes with lots of questions, need for meds, and a non-judgmental and approachable caregiver. I ❤️my doc— thankfully— because I was in such a painful panic with First OB, wasn’t sure what was going on down there but after getting online assumed the worst (which turned out right), but I went in without hesitation because I adore and trust her. I got diagnosis, meds, reassurance, hugs, solid info and references to review and learn more, and an open door for more questions (no matter how silly or intimate they may seem). I was in tears and distraught, and in a ton of discomfort and pain. I give you credit for making your way in to appointment knowing you dislike your doc! Geez, not sure I would’ve made it either.

i have since found First OB was the worst by far— and took longer than I’d expected to really wrap up. Those lady bits didn’t really feel normal again for weeks (but thankfully meds should help clear the lesions). I had a glandular swell as well— that took longest to go down, but eventually did.

I’ve had two outbreaks since (at least I assume that’s what they were— been meaning to post some Q’s on a new thread about this). Note that once I finished initial OB meds I asked the doc to put me on suppressive meds. I’ve been taking those and some supplements and really watching stress and foods. Follow up OB’s consisted of minor irritations (felt like I’d been scratched) and some minor itching as they cleared. They passed in 3 days and I was back to normal. Basically felt like a minor skin condition in an intimate place! But I didn’t miss a beat of work, life, or fun. So...beginning to think I can do this. I can manage this thing. 

It’ll never be as rough as this first round. And you have built-in support with your BF (I hope). You may also find this resource useful, my doc shared and I read cover to cover. Good stuff in there to compliment with this site. http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/herpes/

Hoping you find some relief soon! You aren’t alone!


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