Is this a Possible Allergic Reaction or Herpes?

Dear Dr. Tom:

I have been having some discomfort in my vaginal area for a while. Each time I feel like this I go to my doctor for a pap smear and nothing shows up. My GYN said that it could be a possible allergic reaction to the kind of soap I use or the kind of underwear I wear. Is this possible? I trust her because she hasn’t failed me. I really began to trust her when I went in for a second opinion once I had this discomfort again. I was told the same thing. Now they say that I should look for blisters in my vaginal area when I get this discomfort, and when I do, I see nothing. I have an appointment for a colposcopy to see if I may have cervical cancer. If there is a chance of me having cervical cancer could the discomfort I feel be part of this?


Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Worried:

If your discomfort were caused by soap allergy or reaction to the type of undergarments you wear, changing both of these seemingly should have eliminated the problem. Blisters or lesions in your own vagina may be difficult for you to observe directly. Presumably, since these changes in soap and underclothing have not provided relief, the colposcopy is an important adjunct to the solution of your difficulty. The procedure is an aid to the detection of possible new vaginal tissue growths and a condition known as cervicitis. Only after careful and thorough clinical evaluation, laboratory findings and follow-up conference with your Gyn should you even remotely consider the notion of cervical cancer. The repeatedly negative Pap smear is good news. Cool your worried jets until you have more specific information about the cause of your discomfort.


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