Aunt Vadge: do I have herpes even though the test was negative?

Hi Aunt Vadge, 

So I have had a recurrent posterior fourchette tear for about two years. Before my current partner, I had sex with someone which caused the first tear, which was very painful; I went to the GUM clinic and had it swabbed for herpes and infection, which came back negative.

Six months into dating my current partner I have since had a further swab at my GP when I developed a tear, to check for herpes, which came back negative.

My GP advised me to use a mild steroid cream to speed up the healing process. They also gave me a vaginal lubricant to use (which I must admit I am not brilliant at remembering to use). Now I am with my current partner, the tear has happened on several occasions, however this time I have developed thrush alongside the tear.

I also had two slightly white spots either side of the posterior fourchette. They weren’t painful to touch, the only pain to touch is the tear, and when I pressed them with a cotton swab, part of the spot came off, however there was no fluid or raw skin underneath.

I have been with my current partner a year and a half, and had the second viral swab six months into our relationship, which came back negative. My partner has never had any symptoms of spots or ulcers on his penis.

Is it possible that the fissuring and little white spots are all related to thrush? 

Just I have tried to find images to match on the internet and have now got myself stressed out by all the herpes claims even though I had two negative swabs on previous tears. Would just like some advice as to where to go from here. 

Age: 24
Country: UK

Dear Stressed,

If the swabs are negative, ignore the internet and believe the swab! You do not seem to have herpes, so let’s move on to what it could be.

It is entirely possible that a yeast infection is contributing to or causing the tearing and white spots, absolutely. Yeast can make your tissue a bit fragile and certainly does some interesting things to skin – redness, whiteness, discharge, swelling, soreness, etc. Check out the information on the yeast infections page, for some hints on how to clear up yeast at home, if you aren’t already using something.

If you clear up your thrush, and the white spots haven’t gone away, and you keep tearing, you will need to visit your doctor again to be examined. It’s hard to know without looking at you what is going on.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Latest posts by Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N) (see all)