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 related to herpes, and they don't know anything about the basics; it's just that simple. So, why beat people up for wishing to take this journey towards knowledge, right?
Most of the time, the questions and answers about herpes simplex are purposely made simplistic, this is an attempt by medical government agencies to relate basic information to the general population. However, the deeper you dig into the data and the science, you can see there is nothing simple about herpes simplex. Most of the population that will experience herpes symptoms, will experience the typical type of symptoms; a single blister or a cluster of blisters and while commonality assumes to dictate a factual narrative, this is not always the case. Herpes can manifest itself in a few different but uncommonly known ways. While most questions about herpes are generic, once in a while, I hear an interesting one I have not heard before. It was several months ago when a Facebook friend posted a question that I never gave any thought to. One of these rarely discussed occurrences is known as the paper cut or the knife cut outbreak.
"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?" said Kimberly.
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." Anecdotally, it became obvious that many women who were experiencing monthly outbreaks have also experienced vaginal tearing and/or paper cuts that are clearly present but do not bleed, (monthly herpes symptoms can also be caused by 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 a root cause of weakening the lining of the vagina to the point of causing tears or fissures, (a possible separate issue from paper cut outbreaks on the outside of the labia). Since how an individual will experience herpes is an immune-tolerance issue, it becomes quite clear that many can have underlying and undiagnosed issues due to their immune system struggling to control this virus. Many women face herpes during childbirth as well.
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 related to herpes tearing).
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 vaginal or herpes 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 herpes tearing need to take place and I would assume that many people including myself would recommend that any patient that is experiencing these symptoms related to vaginal tearing or herpes tearing 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!