Could I have herpes instead of genital warts?

Dear Dr. Amy:

I went to the gynecologist today for what I thought was a recurrence of genital warts, which I first was treated for in 1992, and then once again in 1996. Well, when I informed the doctor that I experience a little pain and discomfort, he told me that warts don’t hurt. Also, he said my symptoms (small inflammation/pain around the anus) that went away in 5 days were consistent with herpes. I thought he was crazy, but after reading all day today on herpes (hopeless academic, I suppose!) I wonder if it is really a recurrence of herpes, and I never was properly diagnosed with a primary outbreak. My boyfriend and I broke up last week, I have not been eating properly as a result, and I have been tanning nude in a tanning bed. Could these actions trigger a recurrence? And, maybe I’m imagining it now, but after seeing the doctor this morning, I feel as if my vaginal area is swollen and sore, and the glands around my groin are swollen. I think I probably answered my own question, huh?
Please advise, Jennifer

Dr. Amy’s Response:

Dear Jennifer,

Yes, you did answer your question. You have listed the following symptoms and triggers that may be related to herpes: 1. Pain and discomfort in genitals. 2. Inflamation and pain around anus. 3. Swollen glands in genital area. 4. Physical examination results of possible herpes. 5. Possisble misdiagnosis of genital warts. 6. Poor eating habits. 7. Sun exposure. 8. Stress related to break up with boyfriend.

As you have realized, you need to get further testing. Other readers can benefit from your method of analytically reporting symptoms. The gathering of accurate information was also instrumental in your ability to think clearly. It shows you know how to take care of yourself.


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