Do I Have Herpes? Please help x - Sexual Health Mat...

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Do I Have Herpes? Please help x

scared_help profile image

Hey guys,

A few days ago I started to get the symptoms of what I thought was cystitis, burning down below, pain when going to the toilet and abdominal cramps. Last night i noticed an insect type of bite on my bum cheek but thought nothing of it. When I woke up this morning the bite has swollen three times the size, its rock solid and red hot. The pain got really bad and started travelling down my leg. I assumed the bite had got infected, panicked and went to hospital. The nurse checked me over and thinks I've got herpes, she gave me some tablets and im going for a proper test on Monday. I'm still in shock because me and my partner have been together for eight years! I know I haven't cheated but after a few hours of arguing he has admitted its from him. The pain in my bum is getting worse! My lips and tongue are now tingling and little lumps are now appearing! is that normal? can I get both? Can't get my head around the fact my fella has cheated and now I might have an std?! I'm absolutely heart broken.

thanks x

5 Replies

Hi, I just spotted your post and saw there were no replies so far so thought I'd answer. I guess that you may had been for your tests by now and hopefully have a few answers, but here are some herpes facts to help understand. Herpes virus types HSV1 and HSV2 are pretty much similar and yes you can have both. 1 is basically oral herpes and 2 is genital, but once you have one type you can easily become infected with the other. For example oral sex whilst you have a lip herpe can give your partner genital sex. You can also infect yourself, for instance if you have touched a lip herpe and then masterbate or even if you change a tampon without hand washing first.

Herpes lie dormant in your system but erupt when you are feeling low or your immune system is down eg a cold or flu. It needs warmth and moisture but the virus doesn't live long outside the body so you won't catch it from towels, taps or cups - it needs direct skin contact. Once in your system it is always there but responds well to antiviral medication or tablets (aciclovir). Hopefully if you test positive your doctor will prescribe these but you can get them otc too. For the nerve pain from the blisters, take paracetamol or your usual painkiller regularly.

The itching and burning of the blisters is horrible. Keep them clean and dry, try not to scratch and use the aciclovir ointment as directed. Calamine lotion is very soothing as is bathing the sores with warm saline.

Unless your partner has admitted cheating don't be too hard on him as some people can carry the virus and spread it without having blisters themselves, so he may have unknowingly caught it before you were together. However I know how devastating it can be to realise you have an std, but it is not the end of the world and loads of us have herpes, it is very common.

Hope this helps you feel a little better. If it helps to know, my history is that I suffered from shingles (herpes zoster, the other herpes virus) repeatedly in my ear for 34 years and then it transferred to my groin for no known reason so I had tests and hey presto I had somehow managed to infect myself with HSV2 in other words my virus had morphed itself! By now I was 55 and horrified to find that at such an age I had managed to get an STD. I felt grubby and disgusted and on top of that had to explain it to my poor husband!

I did lots of research and my doctors were so unconcerned that I eventually came to terms with it and one good thing was that the blisters in my groin are far less painful to cope with than those in my ear were.

Wishing you all the best, try not to be too upset - it will get better I promise. X

xxy17 profile image
xxy17 in reply to Kariss

Very interested in your reply to an earlier post, and sorry to ask you but....

I too was horrified at my first Herpes attack [ genitals] 2 years ago at 69, and felt the same disgust, I wasn't tested by my unsympathetic doctor so didn't know whether 1 or 2. but was treated with Antiviral meds.

1 month ago I was very ill ,similar nerve pains in legs and feet but with burning inside of lips and tongue , but all clear below, doctor suspected shingles but discounted this because the pain crossed the midline therefore no definite diagnosis.

Like you I have researched relentlessly and have asked my less than sympathetic doctor for a blood test [which I have read can help diagnose which antibodies exist] either to show Zoster or Simplex 1 or 2, but have been told there is no such thing, I live in the U.K.

My question is, do you know of such a test?

Kind regards,

So sorry to bother you, but at a loss to understand this.

Kariss profile image
Kariss in reply to xxy17

Hi xxy17,

Don't apologise! It's silly that in this day and age we should still feel so embarrassed, but it's a sad fact that we do! I'm no expert but unfortunately I don't know of a blood test to determine which type of herpes you have and in my case I had to have a skin scrape. This has to be taken whilst the lesions are open and weeping -it's not viable when they have dried and stabbed over, so you have to catch it at just the right point!

I am now 62 and my herpes have continued to appear regularly in my groin with leg pain etc since they changed their presentation, but the blisters do not always present, sometimes it is just the pain. Also when I'm feeling poorly or stressed the nerve in the leg twinges for days to let me know I'm a bit run down and this is always a warning sign for me that the shingles may erupt so I am always ready with my antivirals. Sadly once a nerve has been used as a shingles pathway it can become damaged and over sensitive and I think that's what has happened to mine. For some people the pain is chronic apparently. (If it's really bad I think they can be cauterised but I haven't researched that).

Since that diagnosis when my herpes changed direction I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which explains a lot because my immune system is compromised and the repeated shingles are a result of this. I am now on a prophylactic dose of the aciclovir to suppress the herpes permanently rather than wait for an attack as shingles can be dangerous for people on the RA meds I now take, especially as you get older. Despite this the other month I still had an attack of shingles (back in my ear this time!) in response to a build up of stress from various things happening at home - it seems to be my default mode telling me to take a break! :(

You're doctor doesn't sound very supportive, I was lucky with mine. Could you try another doctor? Your recent experience sounds very like shingles to me and the burning in your mouth and lips could have been a virus that triggered the herpes pain in response. Also, although the nerve affected is only ever one side, the related pain could surely be felt elsewhere e.g. referred pain? For instance when I get the ear shingles, the nerve line one side is excruciating but my whole head and scalp hurts too, and my neck and throat. And just as a matter of interest, the ear herpes present always on my right side, but the groin/ leg herpes on my left! (But not at the same time, although I have experienced neuralgia in my head before it then decides to appear in my groin!)

Sorry this reply has become so long, I didn't mean it to be all about me, but I do feel we need to know what is going on when our bodies are trying to tell us all is not well. I am not a typical herpes case I'm afraid, but I hope you can find something useful amongst my experiences to help with your worries.

All the best, and please let me know how you get on as it's a horrible disease to live with whichever variety it is! By the way I'm also in the UK :)


Hi Kariss,

Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly, so sorry to hear you are now having to deal with RA as well.

My gut feeling was Shingles too,following some family stress that week, and my 4 yr old grandson feeling unwell a week or so earlier when I was looking after him.

I am definitely looking to change my doctors, but feel they are all pretty much the same,which is why I rarely visit, gone are the days of our family doctor who was concerned and seemed to help.

I've exhausted all my options on this now. I think, so will have to let it be, just hate the thought of having an activated Herpes simplex virus if that's the case[?????] and not know for definite.

I will keep checking this website and hope that some GP's will take notice of the issues and be more informed!

My best wishes to you Kariss, and thank you so much.

You are very welcome. I can only suggest that the next time your herpes present, try and get to the doctor whilst the blisters are open and not scabbed (sorry about the previous typo!) and ask them (forcefully! :) ) to take a swab to send off to the laboratory to check which type you have as this may give you some peace of mind. I first started getting the zoster variety at age 21 after a very severe attack of chickenpox and so have lived with it a long time but I've never stopped hating having it and sometimes it has made me very unwell!

Unfortunately my nice doctor has now left the practice - he was very interested in infectious diseases, and I am not looking forward to having to fight to keep my prophylactics at my next drug review, but I will be determined as for the first 24 years I was told my ear simply had a cyst in it and was given antibiotics (unnecessarily)! One day I attended the surgery when it was just at the right stage and the doctor recognised that it looked very like shingles and referred me to the ENT clinic. I was finally diagnosed and given the correct antiviral treatment from then on. However, I only had the skin swab taken after the ear shingles changed to my groin about 15 years ago and my doctor wanted to know why. When the tests came back as HSV2 I was so upset, but thanks to Google I realised I am not alone and far more people have it than you would realise!

I wish you the best of luck with your progress. I hope you find a good caring doctor soon. xx

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