anonymous on September 19, 2011

Are small blisters in my vaginal area a symptom of herpes?

I recently found some small blisters in my vaginal area. They’re becoming painful. Do I have a yeast infection, or is it something maybe herpes?

answered by Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP on September 19, 2011

Thanks for your question. I can understand you concern and ⎼ while I can’t offer a diagnosis without an examination ⎼ I’ll do my best to provide you some useful information. 

There are a number of possible causes of the small blisters in your vaginal area. It’s possible that you have a yeast infection (although the symptoms you describe don’t sound typical for this condition). It’s also possible that you have a different problem...perhaps genital herpes. So my first suggestion is that you visit your healthcare provider right away for a thorough evaluation. 

Why is it so important to visit your doctor soon? Because the most accurate way to find out if your blisters are caused by a herpes infection is for your doctor to test a small sample from an open sore (this is called a swab test)...but once the sores or blisters heal, the accuracy of the test decreases. 

Likewise, if you have a yeast infection or another condition that’s causing your symptoms, the sooner it’s identified and treated, the sooner your discomfort can be resolved.

That said, if you aren’t able to see a doctor while the blisters are still visible, you can take a type-specific HSV-1/2 IgG blood test. You’ll need to wait about six weeks after you think you were exposed to herpes to ensure the most accurate test result to use this type of herpes test. To learn more about herpes symptoms, testing and treatment, you you might want to visit our Expert Guide to Herpes 1 + 2

I’m glad you shared your question with us, and I wish you good luck and good health. 

Related info:

Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP

Warren is a Nurse Practitioner and owner of Westover Heights Clinic in Oregon. She is a renown expert and author in the field of genital herpes research, diagnosis and treatment. Warren was educated at Oregon Health and Sciences University and the University of Portland.

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