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Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Vaginal Sores and Lumps

You may have herpes. Make an appointment to see a health care professional within the next several days. Avoid any sexual contact until you have been medically evaluated.

Painful ulcers (sores) or blisters are commonly caused by the herpes virus. The sores usually heal in one to two weeks but can come back multiple times. There are several antiviral medicines (acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir) that can shorten the length of the herpes outbreak. These medicines can also be used to prevent future outbreaks. However, it cannot cure the virus and make it go away forever.

The herpes virus is very contagious and you should not have any sexual contact while you have an active infection. Condoms can help decrease the risk of viral transmission, but there is no guaranteed way to prevent transmission between sexual partners. The virus can be spread even when no active sores are present.

If you think you may have a herpes infection, you should visit your doctor while your outbreak is occurring so your diagnosis can be confirmed. If your symptoms return frequently, you may choose to take medicine regularly to prevent future episodes. You should discuss your infection with your partner and use condoms to minimize the chance you will pass the infection to your partner.

If you have a blister or pimple (or collection of these) containing cloudy fluid (pus), then you may have a different diagnosis. A collection of several pimples could be from folliculitis (infection of hair follicles), which is a form of staph or strep infection. One large pimple that is an infected hair follicle is called a furuncle (boil). A furuncle in the genital area may be from a type of acne named hidradenitis suppurativa. Your doctor may need to treat you with antibiotics if you have one of these infections.


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