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New here- could do with some advice after check-up

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Hi there,

I'm a new member- I've been looking for somewhere to talk after a bit of a shock at the sexual health clinic today. 

Sorry if this post gets quite long. To give you some backstory around three years ago I had severe health anxiety about getting herpes. I'd just started a new relationship and when I went for a regular check-up I decided to do some reading on herpes, not realising that it would then cause awful anxiety. I was worrying heaps that I might get it without knowing, or already have it. I even had to see a counsellor about it as my whole life was dominated by my worries. 

Anyway, fast forward three years later and I have broken up with my long-term partner. There hasn't been anyone else. After a bout of thrush (or what I thought was thrush) a couple of weeks ago I decide it's about time to go for another check up. The nurse takes a look at me and says the external skin looks very healthy, but when she looks inside the vagina she sees some tears near the cervix. A huge shock comes to me when she says it could be herpes, and does some swabs. She wasn't sure, and was a bit confused by the tears ('it doesn't look typical of the herpes virus'), so as well as the swabs I have to go back in on Monday to see a senior doctor. 

This has really destroyed me. My external itching, which went away after treating it with thrush medication, disappeared a week ago, but now I'm not sure if it was thrush at all, and it was actually another symptom of the could-be-herpes. I feel absolutely distraught at the prospect of having herpes and all my anxiety, which I managed to overcome after a hard year in 2015, has come right back. How am I supposed to start dating again if I have this? I'm insecure enough without having herpes as a potential barrier as well.

I can't believe that what I've feared more than any other condition is now defeating me. I don't know what to do and could really use some advice/ support. Have any other women had a similar surprising situation at the clinic? How do you cope with the anxiety while waiting for test results? What else is there to look for if it is an internal outbreak, or what else could it be?

I know there's nothing I can do until the test results come back but this has been such a shock that I felt I had to talk about it somewhere. I really don't know what to do and feel I can't live with this if it is herpes. Thank you

Edited by awkard129

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I was kinda ignorant towards the whole STD/STI situation before actually getting one myself. I didn't go for check-ups as often as I should have but I thought but I was always very precautious with sex. I've never had unprotected sex and I'm on the pill so never a chance in hell I thought this sort of thing would happen to me. So, I started dated my current boyfriend back in early December and before him I was in a 1year relationship that ended last April and I wasn't sexually active between April/December so yeah. Anyway about a week ago I started  feeling intense pain and itchiness in the downstairs area so I took a shower but nothing seemed odd, I mean one two bumps but they were just ingrown hair so I thought it would just go away over night, except it didn't.. I started googling what could be wrong with me and the only constant. theory that popped up was herpes so I was just freaking out to be honest.. I only told my boyfriend I was going to the doctor for stomach pains cause I felt embarrassed. So I went to the doctor, she took a look and said it looked like herpes and. I just broke down in tears, I couldn't get a single word out. She. asked me what happened, and I told her what I said in the beginning and basically she said that my current boyfriend must have given it to me through oral sex because a cold sore or blister on the lip is HSV-1, so that was her theory. I went to his house told him the truth and he broke down crying apologising, saying that it was his fault etc.. I told him not to blame himself, neither of us really knew so there's no-one to blame. I've just gotten the. tests done and I'm still waiting for the results, I'm still hoping it will all come back negative even though I'm certain it's not.. 

Anyway, where I was going with this is about 5 years ago I was extremely depressed,  I got over it (thank god) and have been doing much better. A few days after going to the. doctors, I. felt myself falling back into the same depressive state I was in previously. Thankfully my boyfriend and my mother noticed and were extremely supportive and caring. What I'm trying to say is you need to surround yourself with kind, supportive and caring people to make yourself feel better towards the whole situation, there's no point in caving in because either way, we're stuck with it.. So we shouldn't let a stupid virus like this ruin. our lives.

Hope you feel better,

lots of love xxx

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    • TerribleAtUserNames
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    • Cas9
      @TerribleAtUserNames OK, you need to understand the science. Alcohol does not seep into a nerve cell and kill the latent virus; That's a scientific fact. So you don't need to worry about checking. All the alcohol does is kill the virus on the skin surface. Whether it gets a little deeper in the skin layers and kills virus better than soap and water, I can't say for sure. Obviously, popping a blister and using alcohol will have a more drying effect than soap and water. The bottom line is that killing a herpes virus is easy when it's outside the nerve cell. Killing it in a nerve cell is difficult because anything that gets into the cell and kills the virus (breaking up it's dna), must not also damage the cell's dna. You need a smart bomb to do that. That's what gene editing is. It is programmed to have the ability to cut out dna segments specific to the virus without touching the cells dna. You have this image of the cell as a container and the alcohol just pours into it and kills the virus. If that was the case, it would destroy the cell's dna also. Cells are living things that have receptors on their cellular surface. Anything that gets into that cell, must have the protein that matches with one of the cell's receptors (like a key to a lock), which in turn causes the cell to let the substance enter. That's one method of how something gets in a cell. Do you honestly think that in all the decades that great scientific minds have tried to tackle this problem, that they simply missed your alcohol cure? C'mon man!!!      
    • dont quit!17
      That would be nice to have as an option. 
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      The momentum slowed down, when that forum member asked for a timeline. That is the last thing we should be asking. That's pretty frustrating. 
    • TerribleAtUserNames
      Hey everyone, thanks for responding! So you know, I updated the original post with negative effects I've experienced with alcohol as treatment, so feel free to check that out if you're curious.  Now, to what you guys were saying...    MaxTX: I actually use alcohol as my disinfectant of choice for most wounds. And sutiability seems to vary based on the type of alcohol used (says the internet). That being said, you are right apparently--but this isn't about the best wound treatment method. Its about stopping outbreaks. Regardless, I suspect the deleterious effects are fairly minor if you're trying to disinfect most wounds, but that's totally my personal opinion.  None the less, I'd suggest giving it a shot for outbreak prevention. It certainly works for me, hopefully it will for you too. And compared to taking an experimental vaccine or something like that, wouldn't this be easy and super low risk to try? Also if you google 'herpes' and 'alcohol' you can find a number of hits suggesting its use as a disinfectant for the sores.   Tired of Waiting: I'm sorry, it was a long time ago that I read her talking about it. But from what I remember, she was talking about wiping down there with alcohol, and how it helped with her outbreaks. I remember her also saying it burned like a mofo at first, but eventually became kinda second nature. I don't know what type of alcohol she used, sorry. Again, if you're concerned, maybe ask your doctor about safety? Like I said, isopropyl has worked well for me. I actually do use it before sex for that reason, back when I was having sex that is. Across 3 partners used with, no known infections--but given that I have hsv 1, and like 50-60% of the population is infected already, but only 10% present with symptoms, that could mean nothing. Unfortunately, I'm not a doctor, and certainly not one that has researched this scientifically, so I can't give you a firm answer for transmission prevention during sex. Personally, I'm confident in at least isopropyl alcohol's herpes killing abilities, even if just topically. For better or worse, real or imagined (but I suspect real), I let myself relax a lot more when using it before sex.  And then again after sex, for my own sake, hahaha, as I'm not overly keen on risking anything else. However, even this is something to consult a doctor about--I feel like there is conflicting information on whether it can be helpful post coitus, or whether it can actually increase the risk of getting an sti vs. simply washing. Imo, do some research and ask a physician to confirm or deny what you've learned.   Cas9: Soap and water never worked anywhere close to as well for me. Soap and water still meant permanent outbreak. So I suspect the alcohol is doing much more. I should clarify though, that I do actually dilligently use soap and water as well--the whole regular bathing thing 😁 I know you suggested to Tired of Waiting that it wouldn't affect outbreak frequency or the latent virus. I can't obviously check my own latent virus levels, but yes I can still get outbreaks if I stop using the alcohol. However I can, indeed, use it as a prophylactic for outbreaks, and it does prevent me from getting them the vast majority of the time. Perhaps because that kind of tissue is more absorbent or something? Or perhaps when topically applied the alcohol is significantly more potent and herpes unfriendly--which I believe really is also the case from what I've read. I know though that I can't discontinue alcohol treatment for more than 6ish days (my limit so far) without flaring up again. And with twice daily showers, that would strongly imply that soap and water is really not helping the same way.  Cheers, guys! 
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