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Should I be concerned?


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Hello, I was just wanting to get another opinion here about a possible exposure I may have had. Three weeks ago, I had unprotected sex with a woman I didn’t know very well, which was a huge mistake, but it is what it is at this point. Fast forward beyond that, and I haven’t had any noticeable symptoms, like that of an outbreak. No blisters, no pain, no flu-like symptoms. I even got a blood test done for herpes a week after this incident and it came back negative for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. The one thing that has me concerned though, is that every once in a while, I’m getting this throbbing pain in my urethra that last for about 10-15 seconds and then goes away for a while. I had every other test done at the doctor for anything bacteria related and everything came back negative. The only reason I have it in my head that it could potentially be herpes is because I know you can get false negative tests. I guess my question to you all would be, is it normal to every once in a while get a throbbing pain in your urethra without any other symptoms if it’s herpes, or would actual sores have to be present in order to cause that pain? Also, I’ve noticed that my butt has been itchy on and off as well, which I was reading could also be a symptom of it, though I don’t know why it would be there. Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask or if questions like this shouldn’t be asked. I’m just trying to ease my anxiety and also get a little more educated haha.

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I appreciate the response. I didn’t necessarily think it was either. It’s more so just that I can’t seem to figure out what’s causing the pain.

 

On another note, how accurate do you think a blood test is a week after possible exposure? That’s really been the main thing I’ve wondered about. Cause I know most people don’t exhibit symptoms after infection, and I’m wondering if I should put any stake in that test since I did it only a week after I had sex.

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1 hour ago, Ice2423 said:

how accurate do you think a blood test is a week after possible exposure?

Not accurate at all. It takes on average 12-16 weeks for enough antibodies to be present from an infection to be readable on a herpes test. And definitely get either IgG or the Western Blot (WB being the gold standard, but also more expensive). 

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23 hours ago, mr_hopp said:

Not accurate at all. It takes on average 12-16 weeks for enough antibodies to be present from an infection to be readable on a herpes test. And definitely get either IgG or the Western Blot (WB being the gold standard, but also more expensive). 

The test I had done 10 days after possible exposure was the IgM test, which from what I understand, is designed to detect a recent, acute infection. My doctor was telling me that normally enough antibodies develop in 7-10 days for the IgM test to pick up. So is that still not at all accurate then? He said my HSV-1 and HSV-2 levels were almost non-existent from that test.

 

Also, I noticed a few days ago that aside from the occasional on and off throbbing in my penis, I was also getting a throbbing pain in the area of one of my inguinal lymph nodes (the area above the penis and below the stomach). Not an excruciating pain, but a noticeable one. Is that usually a sign of herpes? Again, I don’t have any sores or blisters or anything yet, but I’m wondering if people normally get pains like that even if they’re not about to have an outbreak.

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Hi @Ice2423

I get quite noticeable inguinal lymph node soreness and swelling when I have an outbreak (HSV2). It's possible it could be a symptom. 

Everything I've researched says the IgM is just not accurate. Try again with the Westen Blot after 16-20 weeks. I know you want to know for certain one way or another in order to ease your mind. If you read enough posts on these forums, you will find people who display symptoms, but come up negative and vice versa. You'll find that symptoms vary widely too.

Also, you say you got tested for anything bacteria related, does this mean you got a full STI panel? Some infections, like syphillis, are not caused by bacteria.

Good luck! May it be nothing, but know it wouldn't be as awful as you could imagine. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/23/2018 at 2:09 PM, LotusBud said:

Hi @Ice2423

I get quite noticeable inguinal lymph node soreness and swelling when I have an outbreak (HSV2). It's possible it could be a symptom. 

Everything I've researched says the IgM is just not accurate. Try again with the Westen Blot after 16-20 weeks. I know you want to know for certain one way or another in order to ease your mind. If you read enough posts on these forums, you will find people who display symptoms, but come up negative and vice versa. You'll find that symptoms vary widely too.

Also, you say you got tested for anything bacteria related, does this mean you got a full STI panel? Some infections, like syphillis, are not caused by bacteria.

Good luck! May it be nothing, but know it wouldn't be as awful as you could imagine. 

 

 

Hey! Sorry for the late reply.

I did get a full STI panel, so they did test for syphillis as well. It’s been over a month now, and I still haven’t had any noticeable symptoms, so I’m feeling better about it as time goes on. And I’ve also read that the IgM test is mostly unreliable, but it seems to be in relation to false positives. My tests for HSV-1 and HSV-2 came back negative, and my doctor said my levels were almost non-existent. And I was tested for this 10 or 11 days after possible exposure, which I think is good because the IgM is supposed to detect a recent infection from what I understand. So is there a good chance I still could’ve gotten a false negative test result?

Here’s another question too; would antibodies only appear if you displayed symptoms of herpes? Because besides the occasional burning in the urethra, I didn’t really have any other symptoms up to that point. So I’m wondering if antibodies still would’ve developed due to infection even if my body wasn’t showing symptoms of fighting the infection.

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Hi @Ice2423

Glad you're feeling better!

Everything I've been reading about people's experiences with the IgG and the IgM makes me question them. I recently saw a YouTube where the doctor was explaining that H creeps along under the radar of the immune system in such a way that the immune system doesn't necessarily react. Not to burst any bubbles, but H can be asymptomatic for years. I think I would still get the Western Blot done just to be on the safe side. 

Good luck!!!

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On 9/3/2018 at 5:17 PM, LotusBud said:

Hi @Ice2423

Glad you're feeling better!

Everything I've been reading about people's experiences with the IgG and the IgM makes me question them. I recently saw a YouTube where the doctor was explaining that H creeps along under the radar of the immune system in such a way that the immune system doesn't necessarily react. Not to burst any bubbles, but H can be asymptomatic for years. I think I would still get the Western Blot done just to be on the safe side. 

Good luck!!!

So if the immune system doesn’t react, I’m assuming that there won’t be any antibodies for the blood tests to pick up, correct?

I’m somewhat a little concerned again. About 2-3 weeks ago, a woman I dated for two years and I decided to get back together. I’m in love with her, so I was really happy that she decided she wanted to try again, and things have been going great. Since I got my negative herpes test result, we started having sex (we don’t normally use a condom). But a few days ago, she ended up getting sick. She was running a fever the first day, but from there she was just congested and overall didn’t feel good. I’m worried because I haven’t gotten sick, which leads me to think this is something I could’ve given her, even though I haven’t felt sick myself (although the day after she got sick, I was running a 100 degree fever for two hours, but then it went away). And I feel like I would’ve gotten sick because we were extremely intimate for two days before she got sick. I guess my question is, is it normal for someone to get sick after potentially getting herpes WITHOUT getting any of the classic herpes symptoms, like sores and what not? Because she hasn’t had any pains or issues downstairs.

Also, ever since I was potentially exposed, my diet hasn’t been great, I’ve been exposed to a lot of sunlight, and I’ve been extremely stressed (because of this), which I know are all supposed to be potential “triggers” for an outbreak. Do you think if I had it, that with doing all of these things that I would’ve experienced an outbreak by now? I know that’s most likely based on the person and is circumstantial, but I just thought I would ask. I feel like I’m going crazy. I feel like I could live with this if it happened. I’m just worried that the woman that I’m with wouldn’t understand, and she wouldn’t want to be with me anymore. I know that she loves me, but that’s something she’s expressed fear about before. And if I gave it to her, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I feel like that’s the root of my anxiety in all of this...

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So I just got an update by the way; I took the IgG test at the 6 week mark. I know that everyone here suggests waiting at least 12-16 weeks, but from what I’ve read and heard from doctors, it’s usually detectable more than 70% of the time after this time period. Plus, I my anxiety has been horrible so I just wanted to do something to give me some kind of reassurance. I’ll get retested again at 12 weeks just to be sure.

With all that being said, the doctor told me that my tests came back negative for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. When I got the test results emailed to me, they both read as <0.91. Can someone help me understand exactly what this means? I figured it means I’m below that range, but if there was no chance of infection, would it not just be 0.0? Thanks in advance!

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