anonymous on September 19, 2011

I think I have genital herpes...can I treat it with my oral herpes medication?

I’m a 21-year-old female and I’ve only had one sexual partner my whole life. We have been having sex monogamously for about a year now and we use a condom about 90% of the time. I get herpes outbreaks on my mouth and sometimes my nose when I’m sick or under a lot of stress. I haven’t had an outbreak for about six months. Today I noticed a very small pinkish bump on the inside of my vaginal lip. It only hurts when I press on it really hard, but I’m scared it could be herpes. I have a prescription for acyclovir for my oral herpes. Would this work to get rid of the bump on my vaginal lip?

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

Thank you for your question, and for your detailed description of your circumstances. I’ll do my best to help.
First, I wouldn’t assume that the bump on your vagina is caused by herpes. It might be a little cyst or pimple...or something else that’s completely unrelated to your oral herpes infection.
To find out for sure, I would encourage you to see a clinician who can swab test the bump for herpes if it looks suspicious upon examination. And in the meantime, I would stop pressing on the bump to minimize the risk of further irritation or infection.
Also, I don’t recommend that you start taking Acyclovir to treat the bump on your vagina. In fact, if your bump is caused by herpes, taking Acyclovir can actually interfere with the accuracy of the testing being done. In other words, I encourage you to get tested for herpes, first...then, depending on your test results, you can consult with a doctor about appropriate treatment, if needed.
One more thought for your consideration...
Have you and your boyfriend been tested for other common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? If not, I would encourage both of you get tested for a full array of STDs, in addition to herpes type 1 and type 2 (HSV-2 and HSV-2). From there, you’ll both know where you stand, and you can make good decisions about how to take care of your sexual health.
For more information about practicing safer sex ⎼ as well as STD prevention, testing and treatment ⎼ you might want to browse our Expert Guide to STD Basics
Good luck, and I hope your discomfort is soon resolved.

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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