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OK, Apologies if TMI, but I really need some advice

(52 Posts)
tigermoll Wed 12-Oct-11 14:07:57

Right, this might get a little graphic, so I apologise in advance:

For about two years, I have been suffering on and off with a bartholian cyst, which is an infection in a gland in the labia. It swells up, is painful, then ruptures, drains, and heals. This is painful and kind of repulsive, and takes about a week from initial infection to rupture, then another week to heal.

The first time it happened, I was terrified, went to the doctor, got antibiotics and was warned it would probably recur. Since then, it has happened about six times, but only once as badly as the first. On this occasion, I went to an emergency doctor, who did not examine me, but prescribed antibiotics. That was a few months ago. It recurred two weeks ago, and this time I went back to the doctor, determined to get it sorted (an opperation to remove the cyst had previously been mentioned)

The doctor examined me, said it didn't look like a bartholian cyst to him, and that it might be herpes. I was too shocked to ask any questions and he didn't elaborate. He has given me antivirals to take.

So what the hell do I do? I have been in a monogamous relationship since before this started happening, my partner has had no symptoms of anything like this, and I know I have not been unfaithful. I am sure (and I know that a lot of people would say this, and not all of them would be right) but I am ABSOLUTELY SURE that my partner has not cheated on me.

Do I tell him? My partner text me to ask how it went at the doctor, and I just said 'fine, more antibiotics' because I didn't know what to tell him. I'm so scared that a) I have a lifelong, unpleasant STD, that will make people treat me like a leper, and b) my OH will think I have cheated on him and dump me. Is there any way I could have got it from him and him not show any symptoms? How long could I have had it? If I've had it for years, why hasn't he got it too (we don't use barrier contraception) How can I find out for sure if I have it? Why wasn't the doctor more informative? I'm really scared and revolted and i just want to cry.

Thanks to anyone who got this far smile

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Wed 12-Oct-11 14:11:15

First of all, calm down. It is not a repulsive STD that will cause people to treat you like a leper. How would people know unless you tell them?
Secondly, before leaping to any wild conclusions, you need to find out whether it is a BC or herpes. I think you would be better bypassing the GP and going to your local GUM clinic. Fast and confidential.
Once you have a proper diagnosis, come back and ask then.
Good luck.

WowOoo Wed 12-Oct-11 14:11:22

I'd certainly go to another doctor for a third opinion. Could go to a STD clinic also.
Can you google images and see what it most closely resembles?

I wouldn't worry - your husband will be understanding as long as you explain it as you have here.
Good luck. hope you get rid of it for good soon.

bagelmonkey Wed 12-Oct-11 14:11:34

First, find out where your local GUM clinic is and get a second opinion.

TopazMortmain Wed 12-Oct-11 14:11:47

Get to another doctor pronto for a more definitive diagnosis! No point worrying yourself silly over something that might be a hypothesis. Good luck.

WowOoo Wed 12-Oct-11 14:12:01

I think I meant GUM clinic, not STD clinic.

RabbitPie Wed 12-Oct-11 14:12:55

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Rikalaily Wed 12-Oct-11 14:18:54

I would get a 2nd opinion, if you only have the one 'cyst' then it's likely to be just that, especially as it swells, ruptures then heals.

tigermoll Wed 12-Oct-11 14:21:16

Thanks everyone for the prompt response, - you're right, I am panicking about it, and need to calm down. The doctor didn't even say it definitely was, just that it might be.

And you're right, no one needs to know. It's just that people make jokes about it all this time, - just at the weekend I was with a friend of mine who is dating, and he'd met this really pretty girl at his work. 'But' he said 'the rumour is she's got herpes, so ' (he pulled a face) '- I think I'll just leave it.' At the time, I didn't really think about it, but that's the attitude people have.

But should I tell my OH tonight? He's lovely, but he's pretty insecure (its one of the major issue we have in the r/ship) and I just know that he'll think I've cheated.

VeryLittleGraveEaters Wed 12-Oct-11 14:25:25

There shouldn't be any more stigma attached to genital herpes then there is to cold sores. Herpes can be picked up from an asymptomatic carrier. The initial infection can also be mild or asymptomatic, and further outbreaks may take weeks or months to occur. Genital herpes can also be contracted from an orofacial sore.

You need to go to a GUM clinic while a lesion is present. That's the only time they can test for herpes. They can also advise alternative medication/management if it turns out to be a recurring Bartholins cyst.

The best way to break it to your partner is a clear explanation of the facts, with no blame or guilt on either side.

oldwomaninashoe Wed 12-Oct-11 14:25:56

Get a second opinion. My Ds was told he had Herpes from a locum he saw at our surgery. He was in a state as he has had the same long term girlfriend for years.

Turns out it was some wierd form of exzema that can sometimes form round the genitals!

RabbitPie Wed 12-Oct-11 14:26:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

AnyPhantomFucker Wed 12-Oct-11 14:27:01

That really sounds like a recurrent Bartholin cyst that needs to be "marsupialised" (google it) and not herpes

I think that dr may have been thinking aloud wrt herpes,...though why he gave you anti virals I dunno

have you been referred to a gynaecologist for a proper diagnosis...I would go back to your GP and push for that if you haven't

VeryLittleGraveEaters Wed 12-Oct-11 14:32:55

Normally I'd advise you to tell your partner ASAP, but in light of your last post maybe you should wait until after you visit the clinic. Use the time in-between to find out the facts about HSV so that you can counter the cheating accusations. Remember to abstain from all genital/orogenital contact until you either get the all-clear or have told him.

Good Luck.

tigermoll Wed 12-Oct-11 14:36:00

The doctor said he would refer me to the gynae dept at the hospital but that would take a few weeks, and that it might have cleared up by then. I really wanted to press on with actual treatment of the cyst (as it has been going on for a while), but he seemed reluctant to go for a procedure, saying they didnt always work. However, there is a drop in clinic at the top of my road, - I might go there tomorrow to be checked, as the sore bit will have healed by then (the place that I had always assumed was the rupture point has been getting more obvious and unhappy-looking).

He didn't give me any info about herpes, despite the anti virals, - I am starting to get quite cross about that now.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 12-Oct-11 14:36:30

Short term idea if you have the stomach for it - Google image search both conditions - they look very different which might help put your mind at ease a bit.

Then as others have said, GUM clinic for second and conclusive opinion.

AmberLeaf Wed 12-Oct-11 14:40:53

Agree with going to a GUM clinic for a 2nd opnion.

If I were you I wouldnt tell your DH as really there isnt anything to tell untill a proper diagnosis has been confirmed.

Also it doesnt sound like Herpes to me but deffo get seen at the GUM clinic.

izzywhizzysfritenite Wed 12-Oct-11 14:49:41

Please stop worrying. What you've described are without doubt the symptoms of a Bartholin's cyst.

A Bartholin's cyst is NOT in itself an infection and antibiotics are unnecessary unless an infection sets in and causes a Bartholin's abcess.

Herpes genitalis typically presents as clusters of inflamed papules on the outer surface of the genitals usually accompanied by redness and tingling - similar to having cold sores on the mouth.

Google 'herpes' to see for yourself what it looks like on the genital area and compare it with pictures of a Bartholin's cyst.
It is a fact that some doctors can't tell their fibulas from their tibias and, unfortunately, you seem to have encountered a particularly insensitive quack today.

As others have advised, there's no need to tell your OH anything until you've sought a second opinion.

tigermoll Wed 12-Oct-11 15:00:16

Thanks everyone, - am feeling calmer.

Izzy - you're right, thinking about it, the doctor was pretty rubbish, - he didn't seem to know much and has just referred me on. I will take the drugs he prescribed, but I think it is most likely that he is wrong.

I'm not going to tell my partner, - I'll go to the GUM clinic tomorrow and see what they say.

I have googled both conditions, - although the swelling is definitely a BC (although in an atypical location, - most of the cysts seem to be much lower down, mine is right at the top) the rupture point looks nasty, and is what made the Dr think its herpes. However, it doesn't look like a typical herpes lesion, and there is only one.

Phew - thanks so much, everyone smile

AnyPhantomFucker Wed 12-Oct-11 15:20:26

TM, I have had a Bartholin's cyst

it was at the top, next to the clitoris

they can be anywhere on the genitals

tigermoll Wed 12-Oct-11 15:24:01

That's pretty much where mine is, - slightly unsettling, as that's one of my favourite bits, and I definitely don't want anything nasty happening to it!

AnyPhantomFucker Wed 12-Oct-11 15:31:57

of course !

it's the best bit wink

it will be ok...push for that gynae appointment to get this sorted once and for all

izzywhizzysfritenite Wed 12-Oct-11 15:52:00

Of course you feel cross with that quack.

You have every right to feel outraged that he put needless fears into your mind and gave you no information about the sexually transmittable disease that he put forward as a possible diagnois and, from what you've said, he didn't even tell you to refrain from sexual intercourse while herpes is active.

I wonder how many others have left his surgery today, and on numerous other days, left in the dark and worried out of their minds?

BTW bin the antivirals or save them in case you contract a virus in the near future.

VeryLittleGraveEaters Wed 12-Oct-11 16:39:29

Folliculitis (bacterial infection/inflammation of the hair follicles, sometimes with inguinal lymph node involvement) can also present like this. Outbreaks can can triggered by shaving, skin trauma, stress, eczema or an insufficient immune system. I've had an outbreak of folliculitis mistaken for HSV.

GUM clinic will have a far better idea of what it is then your useless-sounding GP.

And my Bartholin cyst was in the wrong place as well. GP's often forget that real life doesn't present as in the textbooks.

tigermoll Wed 12-Oct-11 16:52:59

That's true, - he didn't give me any advice about herpes at all, even though he knew I was in a r/ship. I'm thinking about making a complaint to the practice, - or if not exactly a complant, just flagging it up to them. Or am I just displacing my fear into anger with him?

Also, when he examined me, he went and got a female chaperone. I didn't ask for that, - he just did it. Is that standard practice, or does it mean he's had complaints in the past?

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