So I'm still totally stressing about possibly having genital herpes (full tale of woe here: http://vaginapagina.livejournal.com/22230126.html). Basically, I had what seemed to be a yeast infection last month, gynecologist diagnosed it as such even though swab came back negative for yeast, it got better after two doses of diflucan, but then returned almost exactly a month later (i.e. about a week ago). My main symptoms are diffuse vaginal and perineal itching (even reaching back to my rectal area), a feeling like skin is raw/chapped, and some small fissures in the perineal area (where most of my discharge always drains - this has always been a sensitive skin area for me and I have frequently had tearing skin here from sex, constipation, yeast infections, etc.). No lesions, blisters to speak of. Am waiting for blood test results for HSV. Even though the swab my doc took tested negative for yeast during this second episode, she put me back on two doses of diflucan (spaced 72 hours apart). I took the second one this morning. I have not noticed any marked improvement in my symptoms with the exception of maybe a slight decrease in discharge.
If I did have herpes, I would most likely have contracted it from a partner I slept with only once about two months ago, after both having full STD testing (no condom was used). I called him yesterday (we broke up last month) and he told me that he has never experienced any signs of a herpes outbreak in his life, though I realize some people can always be asymptomatic. This means that in order for me to have contracted it from him he would 1) have to be a carrier (which we do not know he is), 2) be shedding asymptomatically when we had sex, since he was clearly not having an outbreak, and 3) have had to transmit the virus to me during that single sexual encounter.
In a moment of desperation last night I used one of those online Doctor on Demand services where you can speak to a doctor over the phone. Dropped $50 on it, thinking I would get some reassurance. But the doctor scared the crap out of me - told me that a majority of people with genital herpes are asymptomatic and don't know that they have it, that my symptoms sound like they could be herpes, and that the fact that neither I nor my previous sexual partner never had any of the classic signs like blisters doesn't mean anything. I am so terrified now, especially because since this whole thing started, I slept with someone else - my new boyfriend - after my gynecologist told me that she felt certain I wasn't dealing with herpes and that I could go ahead and do that. He and I didn't use a condom because again, we had both been tested for STDs, and condoms make me very susceptible to UTIs (another longstanding problem of mine). I care so much for this new partner and am in tears that I may have given him herpes.
I have barely slept in three days. I am now feeling tons and tons of vaginal symptoms - more burning than before, itching in the perineal and rectal areas, even a little vulvar pain. I have a long history of health anxiety and know that in the past I have allowed myself to exacerbate or even entirely generate physical symptoms of illnesses I've been afraid I had. So I wonder if that's what I'm doing now...? Could the sudden and complete attention I've been paying to the area down there make me "feel" symptoms? I realize this is a question no one can really answer. But I'm desperate here.
Also: everything I've read has indicated that if you do have an outbreak, then it will often be the most severe one you've ever had. Following that logic, then, my first "episode" - which, again, my doctor said was a YI - would have been worse than this one, and yet I feel much worse right now, in this second episode, which my doctor is also calling a yeast infection (despite negative yeast culture). My symptoms of vaginal/perineal itching and burning just continue to persist and feel so much worse than they did the first time around. As I mentioned before, I took my second dose (of two total) of Diflucan this morning, meaning I first started the medication about 72 hours ago. I feel like it's ominous that I still haven't had marked improvement from the Diflucan - if I am dealing with yeast, wouldn't I feel better by now? Alternatively, I wonder if my full on anxiety plus lack of sleep are making the yeast infection - if that's indeed what I'm dealing with - just hang on and on? Or if just complete exhaustion plus panic are together creating vague vaginal symptoms that are entirely unrelated to herpes?
Last - how right was that doctor on the phone, really? He said that most people with HSV 2 don't realize they have it - but when I read here, or elsewhere, about peoples' experiences with herpes, they all describe having outbreaks that seem pretty obviously related to herpes (i.e. sores, rashes, etc.). And my own gynecologist told me that herpes was fairly easy to diagnose visually. I guess I'm scared that something I thought would be pretty easy to spot visually is apparently next to impossible to detect?! By that logic, no one should ever be having sex with anyone again because they're probably a carrier of genital herpes and just have no idea they have it!
Please, if you have any advice or reassurance I would be so grateful! I am leaving to go on a trip today (actually sending this from my phone) and am so depressed about all of this.