I posted here about a month ago with fears that I had contracted genital herpes. In short, I dated a man for about a month; we broke up in late January. We had sex one single time in mid-January, and it was without a condom, after we both had STD tests. In early February, I got a bad cold right after finishing my period, and at around the same time, I developed several symptoms that felt like a yeast infection, namely, vaginal irritation and some white discharge (no smell). I had no blisters or sores, but some of the tissues on my vulva became very irritated and raw and led to some small fissures around my vaginal opening (where I think most of the discharge was "draining") and the perineal area.
I went to my ob-gyn, who told me, even before giving me a visual exam, "the two main things that can cause this kind of irritation are yeast infections and herpes." Which scared the crap out of me. As soon as she started the pelvic exam, she said it looked definitely like yeast, and that she saw none of the telltale signs of herpes. She took a swab of the discharge and said she would test it for yeast, but that the test might not be accurate because I had tried to self-treat with a one-day Monistat.
Long story short, the test results came back negative for yeast, but the doctor still prescribed me two doses of Diflucan (taken 72 hours apart) and Nystatin cream. I followed this regimen and after about four days, the itching was gone and the discharge went away for the most part (there was still a small amount of white discharge left, but since it wasn't irritating me any more, I just ignored it).
Fast forward a few weeks, to about five days ago. I started feeling like I was having a recurrence of YI symptoms (itching and white discharge), so I tried to self-treat with a one day Monistat. Two days later, with no improvement, I tried another one day Monistat treatment. At that point, I looked at my vagina with a mirror and saw that a small patch of skin in my perineal area was white and bumpy. Terrified, I rushed to an urgent care, feeling sure this was finally proof of herpes, and the physician there said that the skin was macerated from excess moisture (kind of like what happens when you spend too much time in the tub and your skin gets white, wrinkly, and soft), diagnosed me with "jock itch," and told me to use Lamisil cream on the area. I should add that I am an avid runner and also go to hot yoga frequently. Both activities make me sweat a lot. I do my best to get out of my workout clothes right away, but I've always been athletic, so I don't know why this would suddenly start causing skin reactions or a yeast problem.
Two days ago I had an appointment with my gynecologist. She looked at the area of macerated skin, said it didn't look like herpes, and that she did see some fissures again, which she still suspected were from yeast. Curiously, however, she said that my discharge didn't look like classic yeast discharge (though I must say that to me, it does seem the same as it did previously - white, no odor, sometimes watery, sometimes just a tiny bit clumpy, and thicker than normal when it's on my underwear). She took a swab of the discharge, which again came back negative for yeast, but she has again prescribed me two days of Diflucan plus Nystatin cream.
So that's where I am now. I took the first dose of Diflucan yesterday and will take the next this Sunday. I'm also using the Nystatin cream. I don't think I've noticed a tremendous improvement in symptoms yet - still feel rather raw in the perineal area where that macerated patch of skin is located. I should also mention that the majority of the itching/burning feeling is in the perineal area, which, again, is where my discharge seems to drain the most. However, I do have some diffuse itching in other places on the vulva where there are no visible fissures/lesions. I've read that herpes itching is often isolated specifically to where sores are located.
In a moment of desperation this morning, I made the very embarrassing move of calling the man who I had sex with and asked him if he had ever experienced any kind of outbreak, sore, lesion in his life. He said no, and said he was actually a little upset to hear that the full STD panel that he had asked his doctor for may not have included a herpes blood test. I explained to him that because the test often returns with a false positive it's not included in a normal panel. But he said he would follow up with his doctor next week to see if it was indeed tested for. I have no reason to think that he's lying.
I realize I've written a lot here, but I just can't get the whole "herpes" thing out of my mind. I guess what I'm asking is - does what I've been dealing with sound like herpes to you? I realize that several factors would have to have happened in order for herpes to have been transmitted: 1) the man I had sex with would have to have been positive for HSV without ever knowing or having an outbreak, blister, etc.; 2) if he somehow still DID have genital herpes, he would have to have been experiencing an outbreak or be shedding asymptomatically when we had sex; and 3) I would have had to contract the virus during that single sexual encounter we shared. Logically, I realize that the likelihood of all those factors aligning is probably not all that great, but I can’t ignore all the weird symptoms that I keep having. The two things that scare me most are 1) the swabs my gynecologist has taken keep returning as negative for yeast, and 2) I've read online that herpes can present with fissures, instead of a blistery rash. I’ve had no signs of a blistery rash, but have had these fissures, which my doctor told me can also occur with a yeast infection.
I just can't understand, if this is yeast, how and why am I suddenly having recurrent yeast infections? I'm especially concerned because the swabs are coming up negative when the doc looks at them under the microscope. Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this and had it NOT be herpes? I'm so scared and afraid that I might have passed it onto somebody else in the meantime.