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Diagnosed with herpes 1 & 2. Noticed swollen labia minora. Could it be due to herpes?

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Practicing since : 1999
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I was recently diagnosised w/ herpes 1 & 2
Never having an std before I am a little worried. I started treatment 3 days ago. I have no visual sign just tested positive from a blood test. Today I woke and my labium majora ( lips of vagina) are swollen
could this be from the herpes?
Posted Fri, 4 Jan 2013 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 3 hours later
Hello, I would be happy to help you with your question.

I guess the question for your is "why did you have this blood test done?"
Was there a recent sexual contact of concern?
Did you have ANY symptoms?

Let me know!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with herpes 1 & 2. Noticed swollen labia minora. Could it be due to herpes? 21 minutes later
I got the test because my husband works out of the country and when home he made a comment that sent up a red flag. The last time we were together was the 25th of nov and my blood test "rainbow test" was performed on dec 3rd coming bk w positive for H-1 & H - 2
I did read that you can cross contaminate. My husband has had several cold sores.
So even if the red flag maybe was just a false the end of the day.. I have a positive read.
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 4 hours later
I am sorry about the delay. Thank you for the followup.

I am assuming that your husband's comment raised suspicion that he had "other" sexual contact OR symptoms of an STD. So it was probably a good idea to go in for STD screening. The "rainbow test" is difficult to find exact information on exactly what is in the test, or how well they differentiate HSV1 from HSV2 prior infections.

So here is what I think:
1. If your husband has a history of cold sores (most commonly HSV1), then you likely have been exposed to this virus.
2. HSV2 can cause oral infection and HSV1 can cause genital infections (but most often HSV1 is oral, and HSV2 is genital)
3. Most tests today ARE able to differentiate HSV1 from HSV2 exposure.
4. It is POSSIBLE, that you have had prior exposure to either virus (regardless of your husband) and have not known about it (i.e. you never had an outbreak)

Confusing, isn't it! It is even more difficult to work this out in a real patient encounter. Now, that all being said, I am left with:

1. Your husband who works away from home
2. A comment made that likely validated suspicions
3. A vulvar infection that would fit with herpes in terms of contact on 11/25 and an infection with positive blood work now.

The best way to sort this out would be as follows:
1. Schedule a visit with your OB/GYN TOMORROW
2. Ask for repeat bloodwork to sort out HSV1 from HSV2 and ask if the test can sort out IGG and IGM antibodies
3. Ask for an exam and cultures of the vulvar area (maybe this is just a bad yeast infection)
4. Don't jump to any conclusions until you gather more information
5. Once you have done this, feel free to post a new question under the SPECIALIST question directed towards me "this is for Dr. Timothy Raichle", and I would be happy to help you with your followup questions.

Let me know if this helps and please ask for clarification if needed.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with herpes 1 & 2. Noticed swollen labia minora. Could it be due to herpes? 4 minutes later
Thank you! You have helped ease my mind. Ill contact my OB tomorrow. Will follow up w/ u and let u know what he says. Thanks again!
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 7 minutes later
Thank you - certainly let me know! Good luck!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with herpes 1 & 2. Noticed swollen labia minora. Could it be due to herpes? 6 days later
Dr Raichle,
I did want to follow up and let you know. You were correct. It was an infection and nothing more. As far as the other- he did explain that this could have been there for a very long time and did not see anything that would be of concern.
Thank you again. And thanks for lending your advice In your off time. Sincerely Sherry
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 20 hours later
It was my pleasure to help you sort through this! Good luck and please come back if you have more questions!

Please also take a moment to leave feedback!
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