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Vulva irritation HELP

By Anonymous September 30, 2015 - 1:57pm
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I am on my period, and this is day 5. I always have extremely heavy periods and this one is no different. I know you aren't supposed to, but I have to use a pad and a tampon at the same time because if I don't I literally bleed all over my pants, regardless of how heavy the pad or tampon is. Anyway, since it is getting closer to my period ending I have been slacking and haven't been changing my pad as often - I change the tampon but only change the pad twice a day or so, and I keep it on when I go to bed. I have had no problems at all until today when I had to urinate and when I wiped I noticed the left side of my inner labia was extremely sore on the surface. My whole vagina is not sore, just this one area on the left side and it looks puffy, red, and inflamed. That area is also bleeding a little bit because when I wiped with a baby wipe I noticed it burned a little bit so I held it on there for a sec and there is a little blood spot from that area of skin. There are no bumps, sores, or anything that would suggest herpes, and I have also not been sexually active with anyone other than my spouse for eight years. I am freaking out since I have been looking on the internet it does kind of sound like herpes but I do not, and have never, had any sores and it certainly does not look like sores or the blisters that herpes looks like. It just looks like a little red inflamed area and it hurts really badly. Today my flow is light enough that I can just use a tampon, so I stopped wearing pads but since this only happened today I don't notice a difference, yet and it still hurts when I wipe. I am just really scared that it is herpes or something. My spouse hasn't had any cold sores, and the last time he performed oral sex on me was over six months ago, could that result in herpes (I have had no problems like this EVER before, certainly not in the past six months) or is this probably just an inflammation from my pad use? I have changed my pads every few hours every day for five days but I have not given myself a break and have had a tampon and a pad on every second of every day for the past five days. I am scheduling an appointment with my doctor just in case but I am just really worried and need some help.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon!

Thanks for your post and I'm sorry you're in so much discomfort.

Herpes can be transmitted from oral sex if someone has an open sore on their lips. Mouth herpes can turn into genital herpes.

Herpes can also remain dormant in someone, generally illness, stress or a compromised immune system would bring them out.

Have you had a baby in the last 8 years? Testing for genital herpes is generally standard and you would have been told if you were positive.

But since you have no sores at all, and are in a monogamous relationship for years, it's not likely to be herpes.

What I think it may be, and I have spoken to women about this as recently as a few weeks ago, is a reaction to the sanitary pad. Some women get this kind of stinging soreness in the genital region, generally during and right after their periods only to discover it stops when they switch to an organic pad or stop them altogether. There is nothing wrong with a tampon and pad together by the way.

Are you wearing a new brand of pad? Are you washing yourself using shower gel? I'd advise against that and use a special feminine wash like Summer's Eve, it's much easier on your lady bits! Also, irritation to sanitary pads can happen at any time, even if it's a brand you are used to. Ingredients can be changed causing a reaction.

Seventh Generation and Organyc are two brands that are all natural and don't cause irritation.

Since you are seeing a doctor, you'll learn more. Your irritation may be bleeding from scratching the itch or from friction. I would not use anything but organic pads from now on to see how your body reacts.

Please keep us posted, your results could help a lot of women!


September 30, 2015 - 3:33pm
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