I have said many times that when it comes to the subject of herpes, there is no such thing as a stupid question. Still, I am sure that many people online and within academia can make the argument for the opposite. The reason I say this is because many people are simply unaware of the facts, and they don't know anything about it; it's just that simple. So why beat people up for wishing to take this journey towards knowledge, right?
Most of the time, these questions are quite common and have easy answers, but I have to admit that once in a while, I hear a fascinating one. It was several months ago when a Facebook friend posted a question that I never gave any thought to.
"Ever since I was diagnosed with genital herpes, I am experiencing regular tearing down below (lining of the vaginal wall), so what gives? Is this herpes or has herpes ruined my vagina and my sex life?"
Honestly, I wasn't that familiar with this as a common complaint or question from followers. Still, after It was posted, many women commented with "me too." Many women experience monthly outbreaks, this is due to ovulation and hormones. It is also true that women can experience outbreaks that look like a paper cut or a tear. However, it was interesting to consider the idea that herpes could be weakening the lining of the vagina to the point of causing tears or fissures.
Based on anecdotal evidence, and some real scientific data, one can see many probabilities that may take place due to several different situations. (I am simply posing the hypothesis, not a diagnosis or a cause).
When the lining of the vagina fails to stretch appropriately and instead splits, it can cause significant pain. This is a cause of recurrent vulval pain. Pain from fissuring is often described as being 'like a paper-cut' or 'knife-like.'
Herpes "Knife cut" outbreak, can be experienced in many different ethnicities of men and women. This article demonstrates a worst-case scenario. Most experience these types of outbreaks on a much smaller scale and not as severe as shown in the studies above.
It should be evident to doctors and laypersons that the immune system responds to foreign invaders (bacteria and viruses) with an immune response that results in an inflammatory response. Still, the question is, "Does this regular occurrence of inflammation of the vaginal lining of the wall (caused by frequent occurrences of herpetic lesions) cause weakness and or tearing? Or is this weakness of the tissue caused by "Knife cut" outbreaks being present unknown to the patient?
It seems very apparent to me that more studies on this need to take place and I would assume that many people including myself would recommend that any patient that is experiencing these symptoms go to their doctor and/or ob-gyn and have the tear/cut DNA swabbed for herpes HSV1/2 to verify whether this is indeed a herpetic lesion (a knife cut or linear erosive herpes episode), or something more of a serious nature. If you are unsure, go to the doctor!
Based on what other women are reading