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Could I Have Herpes?

Published: May 15, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I'm 15 years old, and a virgin. My boyfriend has fingered me twice but I noticed this issue months before then. When I insert a finger into my vagina, I feel small bumps around the opening, but the inside is smooth. And the area right below my vaginal opening has a couple tiny bumps. They don't cause me any pain, and the ones around my opening seem to become less noticible to the touch when I'm aroused. My boyfriend has never commented on them either, but I'm really concerned that I might somehow have herpes.
Signed: Could I Have Herpes?

Dear Could I Have Herpes?,

According to Planned Parenthood, more than half of Americans have oral herpes and 1 in 6 Americans has genital herpes. Herpes is spread from skin-to-skin contact with infected areas, often during vaginal sex, oral sex, anal sex, and kissing. Some people carry the herpes virus, yet can go for some time without showing any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, it is usually in the form of itchy, painful blisters or sores that come and go. Click here for a complete list of symptoms associated with genital and oral herpes.

Since you have not yet had sex, it would be very unlikely that you have contracted genital herpes. The bumps you are feeling could just be a normal part of your vaginal tissue. However, the only way to know for sure would be to get tested. So if you think you might have herpes, or you want to just verify that you don’t in order to put your mind at ease, consider meeting with a doctor or nurse for testing.  

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. A Planned Parenthood health center is a good option if you have concerns about cost or confidentiality issues. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

TeenHealthFX also suggests that you check out the links in our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex so that you can learn about sexual readiness, how pregnancy happens, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception, birth control, STDs and more. The more educated you are about these topics, the more likely you will make healthy decisions for yourself when it comes to your sexual health.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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