peace of mind 404
June 19, 2008 8:49 AM   Subscribe

You are not my doctor, but your input is appreciated. Does the wife have herpes? She's my first, I'm her second. It's been 4 years since she was with someone else. This is the first flair-up/outbreak/occurrence. Everything online says first herpes outbreak 2-20 days after infection.

She went to the gyno this morning with bumps on her labia. Doc said it may be herpes. Popped something for lab work. Help the wife sleep tonight. Everything we can find online says that the first outbreak should occur within 2-20 days of infection. It's been 4 years since she was with someone other than me. We've only been having sex since the wedding early this month. We've been orally active for 3 years.

Everything we've read about side effects/concurent symptoms of an outbreak, such as headaches, muscle aches, fever, swollen lymph nodes, burning while urinating, she has none of those.

A plausible alternative; being new at sex, there were some issues with lubrication. I'm also above average length and girth so there was some tearing. I have a "dermatitis" on my fingers that occasionally will have sores full of puss that look remarkable like what is on her labia. With the friction burned/exposed skin and my fingers being used for forplay, it might be whatever that is.

She orginally thought it was a staph infection, the orignal bumps reminded her of her bumps when she had a staph infection in her armpit a few years back.

Thanks for your input..
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
Herpes is not usually "bumps" so much as small open painful sores (the pain during urination comes from the urine touching the open sores).
posted by JanetLand at 8:58 AM on June 19, 2008

Folliculitis maybe?
posted by onepapertiger at 9:14 AM on June 19, 2008

Not very comforting, but here's a slideshow of HSV-2 pictures. Outbreaks look different for different people, unfortunately. This is probably why her gyno can't be 100% sure from just a visual check.
posted by giraffe at 9:16 AM on June 19, 2008

I'm not a doctor, but while playing one on AskMe I will say it's very unlikely it's herpes.
posted by xammerboy at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2008

Just because the doc said that it could be herpes doesn't mean that this is the only thing it could be. It's better for the doc to be overcautious about the possibility of an STD, rather than dismiss it as razor burn without investigating further, right?

On the other hand, she could've had an initial outbreak years ago that was minor enough that she waved it off as something else at the time. It also could be oral herpes transmitted to her ladybits, if you had an active cold sore.

As much as it's really really no fun to be told that you may have [any disease, let alone a sexually-transmitted one], try to help her just sit tight and wait for the results.
posted by desuetude at 9:54 AM on June 19, 2008

I'm not a doctor, but I did watch the Sunday Night Sex Show pretty regularly and Sue said preforming oral with a cold sore can give your partner herpes.
posted by Brodiggitty at 9:59 AM on June 19, 2008

I would also point out that some people who carry the virus NEVER get sick or have an outbreak, or will have them years after exposure. Better to just wait for the results.

If it's any consolation (if the test comes back positive) she's certainly not alone. Estimates say as high as 1 in 4 people carry some form of the virus and there are loads of medical and moral support out there. Good luck.
posted by elendil71 at 10:18 AM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

The "dermatitis" on your fingers could be herpes whitlow, which you could have autoinoculated yourself with by scratching a cold sore or through thumb-sucking as a child. It's possible that you could have passed that onto your wife if your active sores came into contact with her vulva.
posted by thisjax at 11:13 AM on June 19, 2008

Semen or latex allergy?
posted by Nickel at 12:00 PM on June 19, 2008

Possibly herpes, possibly not. Herpes almost never looks like herpes. You have to wait for the test result.

Like everyone else has said. Herpes prevalence is very high, actually antibody positivity is probably closer to 50% among sexually active people. It's an annoyance but it's treatable and no one is going to die from it. And the test might be negative. Now go to sleep.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:36 PM on June 19, 2008

If the "bumps" she has are sort of pimply, especially if the doctor expressed some pus out of one of them for the test, it is possible that she may have infected sweat glands/hair follicles. I have a friend who many years ago had a massive outbreak of these which was both frightening and painful. The doctor had no idea what caused it but a short course of antibiotics cleared it up fairly quickly, IIRC.
posted by oblique red at 6:54 PM on June 19, 2008

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