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Genital herpes

Genital herpes is an infection with the herpesvirus, called herpes simplex. Herpes simplex virus is also responsible for cold sores that occur on the face.

How you catch genital herpes

You catch genital herpes during sex, by contact with someone who has the infection on their skin. You are most likely to catch it if your partner has herpes blisters or moist herpes sores.
 
You can also catch herpes from someone who has no visible herpes sores. About 3% of people carry the virus on their skin without knowing that they have it (because it has never given them any symptoms), but they can pass it on to other people. This is one of the reasons it is important to use a condom with a new partner. Condoms give significant protection against genital herpes (Journal of the American Medical Association 2001;285:3100-6).
 
Because cold sores are also caused by herpes simplex virus, you can catch herpes if your partner gives you oral sex when they have a cold sore.
 
The herpesvirus cannot survive for long outside the body, so it is unlikely (but not impossible) that you will catch it from towels.

How do I know if I have herpes?

With herpes, you do not usually have symptoms all the time. The symptoms usually come and go in attacks (also called episodes).
  • The first attack is the worst, and starts between 2 and 12 days after you caught the infection (usually about 4 days).
  • Later attacks (recurrences) are less severe.
  • Some people never get recurrences, some people get them occasionally and a few people get them regularly.
  • The severity of the attacks varies a lot between individuals. At one end of the spectrum, some people have really troublesome attacks. At the other end of the spectrum, the attack may be so mild that the person does not notice any symptoms, which is how people end up carrying the herpesvirus unknowingly.

First herpes attack

Women. The first time you get herpes can be very unpleasant. First of all, you may feel as if you have flu muscle aches, feverishness, tiredness and headache. Then small blisters appear on the labia (the lips that surround the opening of the vagina). After 3 or 4 days, they burst to leave small, painful sores. Passing urine may be very painful indeed, and you will probably feel completely miserable and tearful. You may notice that the glands in your groins are swollen and tender. There may be increased vaginal discharge.
 
After 6 or 7 days, the sores start to scab over and slowly heal. So it can be 3 weeks from when you first started to feel unwell to complete healing.
 
Men. In men, a first attack of herpes is usually less severe than in women. The blisters and sores may be on the glans (head) of the penis, the foreskin (which may swell up), the scrotum, the thighs, the buttocks or near the anus. Passing urine may be uncomfortable, and there may be discomfort or pain around the anus (back passage). You may feel feverish and generally unwell. The ulcers on the glans or the foreskin heal softly, but those on the shaft or scrotum form scabs as they heal.

Later attacks (recurrences)

Do not assume that you will get more attacks of herpes some people do not. The number and severity of recurrent attacks varies enormously between individuals, but the average number is about five a year in men and four a year in women. Although this sounds bad, recurrent attacks are often very mild. Many people find that recurrences become less frequent and even milder with time.
 
You will probably not have the flu-like feeling, nor the swollen glands in the groin, that you may have had with the first attack. An uncomfortable tingling feeling in the genital area and buttocks often warns that an attack is about to occur. Some people experience shooting pains in the buttocks, legs or hips. The stage with painful sores will usually last about 4 days, and it will all be over in about 10 days. Some recurrent attacks are so minor that they are almost unnoticeable just slight irritation of soreness.

Why recurrences occur

After the first attack, herpesvirus often remains because the body has difficulty in getting rid of it completely. The virus travels away from the genitals using the nerves in the pelvic area as a pathway. When it reaches the clusters of cells at the end of the nerves (called ganglia), it stops travelling. The herpesvirus DNA then remains quietly in the ganglia. Fortunately, it does not damage the nerves or interfere with their function.
 
In some people, from time to time, the herpesvirus travels back the way it came, along the nerve towards the genitals. This is called activation. When it arrives in the skin, it causes blisters and sores.
 
After theses sores heal, the virus goes back up the nerve to the ganglion again, where it lies low again. But it can become activated again at any time, and travel down the nerves to the skin to cause another sore. The virus always travels up and down the same or nearby nerve pathways, which explains why herpes sores always recur in roughly the same place.

How recurrences of herpesvirus happen

First genital infection with herpes simplex virus causes sores

Herpesvirus travels up nerves to the nerve ganglion where it lies low

At a later date, herpesvirus may travel down nerves to the genital skin, causing a ‘recurrent attack’ of herpes

Recurrent attack heals, and herpesvirus retreats to the ganglion again

At a later date, herpesvirus may travel down to the genital skin again, causing another recurrent attack. This may happen several times
 

 
No one really understands why the virus in the ganglion suddenly wakes up from time to time, and decides to go to the skin and cause recurrent attack. But in some people, there are some definite triggers that make this happen, such as:
  • emotional stress
  • physical stress – for example, having another illness
  • damage to the genital skin
  • menstruation.

There are two types of herpes simplex virus; recurrences are more likely if you have type 2 than type 1. Recurrences are slightly more likely in men than in women.

What to do if you have an attack of herpes

  • If you are female, look at the section on painful vulva.
  • If this is your first attack, go at once to your nearest genitourinary medicine clinic to check that you really do have herpes. There are many other causes of rash or discomfort in the genital area. For example, people sometimes mistake herpes for jock itch or conditions causing anal pain.You do not need a doctor’s letter to go to the clinic. If you are anxious about going to the clinic, look at the section on visiting the clinic. The advantage of the clinic is that they will test you for other genital infections, they may also be able to give you some treatment to take away with you and they have counsellors (‘health advisors’) who can talk to you about the whole subject. However, if you prefer, you could see your family doctor instead.
  • There is no cure for herpes, but if this is your first attack your doctor will probably prescribe medication to reduce symptoms and speed healing (such as aciclovir, famciclovir or valaciclovir).
  • If this is your first attack, recognize that you will be feeling excessively miserable (which is part of the viral illness). Do not force yourself to go to work - stay home until the worst has passed and pamper yourself as much as possible.
  • Do not share your towel or flannel with anyone – there is no strong evidence that herpes is transmitted this way, but better to be on the safe side.
  • Put two handfuls of ordinary salt into a bath of warm water and sit in it for a while.
  • If passing urine is painful, do it into the warm bath while gently holding the lips of the vagina apart. Take plenty of drinks.
  • Drying the genital area with a hairdryer on the cool setting may help to ease discomfort.
  • According to the UK Herpes Viruses Association, applying a cold, wet teabag helps. They say that Earl Grey is best!
  • Paracetamol (acetaminophen) will help to relieve pain.
  • If appropriate (for example, you are home alone), leave the sores exposed to the air to prevent irritation from knickers or underpants.
  • You could try a herbal cream, such as aloe vera, melissa (a type of mint) or propolis (made by bees from the resin of Canadian poplar trees). These remedies are available from health food stores. But remember that there is very little scientific evidence to back the use of these remedies, their quality is not always controlled and some people may react badly to herbal creams.
  • Do not have sex until the sores have completely healed – if this is your first attack, this could be about 3 weeks. One reason is that you are most likely to pass the infection on when you have the sores. Another reason is to protect yourself – open sores give other infections (such as HIV) easy access to your bloodstream.
  • After the sores have healed and you start having sex again, use plenty of lubrication to protect your skin from too much friction. Look at the section on vaginal dryness for advice on lubricants.

What to do if you keep getting recurrences

It is common to get four or five recurrences a year, but these are usually not very troublesome. You just wait for them to go and avoid sex until the sores have healed. But a few unlucky people have lots of recurrences, which can make their life a misery. Here is some advice for this situation.
  • Talk to your doctor about some anti-herpes drug therapy. This medication is most effective if you take it as soon as the attack starts, so your doctor may give you some to keep at home in readiness. For a really severe problem, your doctor might suggest that you take the anti-herpes medication continuously, and will discuss the pros and cons with you.
  • Look after your genital skin between recurrences. For sex, use plenty of lubrication to protect your skin from too much friction; look at the section on vaginal dryness for advice on lubricants. Try to avoid over-vigorous sex or over-vigorous masturbation. There is general advice for women in the section on Vaginal and vulval problems – dos and don’ts.
  • Keep your immune system in good shape by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, taking plenty of rest and not smoking.
  • Try to keep the problem in proportion. The UK Herpes Viruses Association has a very helpful booklet called Herpes Simplex - the Guide, which will help you feel better about yourself.

 

Dr Phil Hammond discusses herpes in rhyme in his Expert Guide to Herpes

Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Friday, June 11th 2010

 


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Comments on this article

Posted by Kimberley on 24/11/2016 at 12:21

Hi it was very helpful but it still didn't answer my question how do you know the genital herpes on your vagina breaks inside of you I heard that dangerous each time I have an attack it gets worse than before my whole month burns can't taste the food my doctor won't tell me if I have it I know I do have those hard little or somethings they get large they are painful

Posted by Scared on 02/11/2016 at 04:46

I went to my doctor a week ago and find out I had herpes 1 and 2 he mentioned that it's not active right now I was exposed to the virus does that mean that my partner also has herpes since we has a child together

Posted by Aisha Abba on 05/08/2016 at 10:57

Herpes virus do not have medical cure because the virus is capable of hiding within the human cells, it remains protected from your immune system. Herpes isn’t a special virus – your immune system has the tools to fight it back. But because it is able to lay dormant in protected cells, your immune system is unable to remove it from your body,But my herbal medication is very strong and reactive in getting rid of the virus gradually and totally from your body without damaging any of your cells,my herb kills the virus totally not reducing just the out break okay…..( drkendonald012@gmail.com).

Posted by No one.. on 18/04/2016 at 02:14

So, I had a cold sore but it is healing. But suddenly I got a small open wound on the corner of my lips. I'm scared if I have herpes or it is all just in my head, but not only that but 2 small bumps apeered over the wound. Is this just my allergies kicking in at a bad time? Or do I have Herpes? And if so..How can I break this to my parents?

Posted by Optional on 26/02/2016 at 06:20

I recently shave...could it be just razor bumps...I was told i had herpes one month ago..have meds...I had it more then 5 years ago..be married and it never came back...one day I had a affair that's when I had herpes..me and my husband did not have sex in two months...I think it's time but he doesn't know..I have it and was treated..what do I do.?? Do I still have it even if it cleared up..

Posted by Helena on 25/10/2015 at 08:40

Before a herpes attack my ears become itchy and seems the canal swells a little. My moods get wacky my joints pain I always know from this a flare is coming why have I not read any about this ?

Posted by Optional on 21/10/2015 at 10:24

When I knew that I have Herpes, I feel frustrated and think life is over, I don’t know how to do and I’m afraid to tell others about Herpes. I’m nervous to every day. I feel lonely because I thought I’m isolated by others. I try to find someone who like me, and try to find sympathy secretly on line, one day I accidentally click http://www.mpwh.com and found that lots of people there like me. I try to connect some of them, they are friendly and give mercy to my situation, we together keep positive to our life. I like it for it let me realize life is still beautiful and have nothing different. And it gives me a peace environment to communicate, I really appreciate.

Posted by Optional on 04/06/2015 at 06:28

I've noticed I have sores on my testicles and I've cummed in my girlfriends mouth but she spit it out will she be fine

Posted by Optional on 21/03/2015 at 06:04

I have sores on my anus region this is the second time in 5 years I was tested for herpes and the test came back negative they really hurt what should I do??

Posted by Suman on 25/02/2015 at 10:07

"Just like an ulcer in mouth I have a similar appearing wound on my scrotum. I don't know if it is a herpes or not but I haven't been on sexual relationship for a months. I even get very easy mouth ulcers often. Please help me. It hurts like hell.

Posted by Optional on 27/01/2015 at 06:49

Hello I'm 23 yes I'm sexually active i noticed like 3 small itchy bumps on my penis it's kinda sore and a little swollen I'm scared ....:'(

Posted by Optional on 26/01/2015 at 03:05

I just want to know that I'd my herpes has cleared up would I still be able to have oral sex without giving the infection to my partner?

Posted by Optional on 01/01/2015 at 06:56

I have no more sores I just feel a tingly feeling what does this mean.

Posted by Optional on 16/12/2014 at 05:59

I placed some coco oil on my pubic are and about two days later two small pimples appeared i popped both of them and their tops came off leavibg a shallow ulcer like place. The area was never sore itchy or tingly. Not sure if its a reaction to the oil or something like hsv 2.

Posted by Optional on 01/12/2014 at 07:29

I had unprotected sex not knowing the man had herpes. It's been a week and I still haven't noticed any signs, is there still a chance I have herpes?

Posted by AB on 16/11/2014 at 06:18

I know some say i have herpes, but i just want to make sure i have been diagnosed correctly. This sore comes every month like clock work in the same spot. and it is painful it last a week just like a period in which i do not have anymore because of a partial hysterectomy. Do i still have herpes or is this something else?

Posted by Sita on 23/10/2014 at 04:21

I have been treated with acivir 200 for 6 months n since it appeared I was treated acivir for another 6 months with 400 mg by my dr, but after 6 months my herpes appeared m I took 400 mg and my sore have all gone but my virgina is still itching inside what shud I do? It's already 10 days my sores r gone but itching is still there help

Posted by Optional on 15/10/2014 at 07:32

If blisters don't crust is it herpes? Waiting on my results. It's my 2nd outbreak and it seems worse than my 1st. Could it be syphilis?

Posted by Optional on 05/06/2014 at 12:45

Couldn't have been more on point

Posted by jazzy on 01/06/2014 at 09:36

I was diagnosed with herpes a few weeks ago. I am currently taking avoclir pills for it. I have what I think is a open sore on my vagina lips, I just don't know if this is part of my outbreak or what. I really need someone to talk to about the herpes 2 disease.

Posted by Optional on 01/06/2014 at 03:03

I have bumps on my penis head , it is now may31 I had sex with someone on May 3 and since then these bumps have appeared . I already got a urine and a blood test and it came out fine but I'm still worried ... If I don't have anything what the hell are these bumps ??

Posted by Just me ... on 22/05/2014 at 10:55

Hi I have recently had a flare up of herpes - first one in a long time. The lesion appears to have gone but I am still getting intermittent aching from the area (seem to have a good day and then the next is more uncomfortable) - is this usual? I am on a course of acyclovir. It's really starting to get me down now.

Posted by Tina27 on 22/05/2014 at 06:44

Hi. I have a genital herpes . I am infected 5 years ago. At first outbreak it was really uncomfortable. I just take aciclovyr and the pain was gone. I am having an outbreak sometimes but no more pain unlike the first time. Now I have bumps again like 10 pimple like on my genitals. Without any pain or itch. I tried to take aciclovyr again and put aciclovyr creams but still not working. Please help me

Posted by Thisblows56 on 19/05/2014 at 06:32

I have bumps on my butt kinda by my vag and they have been there for months they never fully go away but always come back they hurt when I walk sometime and if i touch it and they itch. Do u think there herpes?

Posted by one on 19/05/2014 at 03:36

i want to ask if its possible to haveherpes if yiu are only doing musterbating everyday but never try sex?

Posted by Optional on 10/05/2014 at 02:19

Scared I had a bath with my daughter last night and this morning woke with a tingle, I have genital herpes and am scared when she jumped/moved past me she could have touched the area and now could be infected, what is the likely hood

Posted by pruddy on 25/01/2014 at 12:12

i am not sure if i had herpes,but a few months back i had an outbreak,it was painful and did nt last for long. I didnt hav any problem in passing urine or taking a bath. There sores were very painful.and after that went away i had some pimple like sores whch will open n be painful and itchy.

Posted by Optional on 30/11/2013 at 07:17

My face and hand is broke out. And I have small brownish/black bumps on the shaft of my penis. Could this be herpes?

Posted by sky on 13/10/2013 at 08:11

Hey sooooo I've notest that everytime after sex it hurts when I pee (like it stings!!!) Id have to wait a day before I have sex again. First I thought it wasnt enough lube. Im on,birth control so I know I dont have enough natural lube (sorry tmi) sometimes he rips me down there (sorry again) a couple.of days ago I notest that it itches a.little bit down there (that was after the burning) yesterday after I took,a shower I checked down there to see whats going on. I notest a smal like rip or,cut on yhe inside of my left vagina lip. I also have some white thick discharge to. It doesnt hurt at all. It just gets itchy sometimes. Could that be from having sex with not alot of lube and he ripped me more than usual and it got infected. I dont yjink its herpes buy im not sure. Help plz

Posted by jack on 15/08/2013 at 03:53

Hi, I want to ask my penis there got mild red rash about 1 month already find doc.some said is herpes and I try zovirax for 5 day nothing happen.then doc give me emolet cream I put 3 day better a bit when stop it still little red.when make love with my wife the penis glan all red.no pain or blister and itch.pls help.tq.

Posted by OptionalAnonymous on 24/04/2013 at 04:32

I have an outbreak as we speak but it is not on the labia it is basically right below my stomach where hair is...anyways it is very large swollen red and very sore but also has a dark area in the what seems to be the center of the large swollen area....is this normal or should i be concerned?

Posted by Optional on 21/03/2013 at 02:48

Well im 22 years old and I made a mistake by getting drunk an sleeping with a Guy friend we've done about 5 times but this last time was back in December well over time I got tiny bumps inside my vagina they're skin color they dont hurt dont itch but they dont go away I've had them for like 3 months straight what could they be be...and at first I would have a pasty disscharge on my clit that would itch but it dont no more nothing itches nothing hurts could someone give me ideas :(

Posted by Optional on 19/03/2013 at 08:44

i have a black dot on the inside of my labia its almost like a bump but its the size of a grain of sand and im itching down there the bump only hurts when i try touchin it

Posted by Optional on 12/03/2013 at 01:13

I just found out a couple days ago I had herpes and on the first day of knowing I had an outbreak that night. My boyfriend had trinna have given it to me but he swears he didnt he even went to go get checked he and I've been reading about it and the diffrent ways to get it. Wich could be from drinking and smoking with others but the thing is its not on my mouth. I dont know if I should belive him or what he never accused me tho.

Posted by Optional on 09/03/2013 at 08:39

I keep getting little spots/blisters I havee been checked/tested 3 times in the last 6 months and they say it dont look or sound like herpes.i get a week with out them but basically they are always there I give up with doctors and diagnosed my self with herpes but the spots are the only sytom I get for herpes x

Posted by Optional on 22/02/2013 at 12:19

Since 3 days ago I have had a sore on my vagina, its been really sore, it is not itchy at all and does not hurt when I urinate. It really hurts when I sit down or sometimes walk as I can feel it rubbing. It is a bit swollen and feels a bit scabby. Im scared of seeing a doctor and want to know if it will get better by itself? It is only occurring on one side of my flaps.

Posted by Optional on 21/02/2013 at 09:24

I found out ive had herpes about a year and 7months ago I had my first outbreak it sucked but I only had one sore and it.was nasty enough.. I now am having my second outbreak and theres about.5 and my vajina is swollen ive had it.for about a week.now it started as a yeast infection then transformed into.herpes ive been washin up after everytime of goin pee I take baths that seems to help with the pain a liytle bit.. Ive been takin takin this pill called zovirax 200mg and its not gettin anybetter.. I also dry it with a.blow.dryer and make it cold... If theres anything else I can do please let me know

Posted by Optional on 24/01/2013 at 01:29

I would like to know if genital warts can cause the inner lips of your vagina kinda yellow red color

Posted by Lost/confused on 11/01/2013 at 05:43

Will the valacyclovir medication still be effective while being intoxicated with alcohol, & will the medication protect the uninfected person from getting it while being intoxicated with alcohol???

Posted by Optional on 20/08/2012 at 06:09

I have bv and had unprotected sex with my partner. he now has red bumps on his penis near the head and I was checked three months ago and got a clean bill of health. I am not having any problems with bumps or sore on my parts. can this be herpes or did I give him a bacterial infection?

Posted by Optional on 15/05/2012 at 06:38

Can genital herpes cause warts? Help!!

Posted by optional on 31/03/2012 at 02:45

I was diagnosed 5 months ago...I have been in a committed relationship for 6 years. Only 3 partners in the last 20 years and have 4 children. I started with flu like symptoms then one sore, went to the gyn next day. Had sample culture taken but doc told me he suspected herpes. I absolutely freaked! Here's the info from my doc....if you contract herpes your first outbreak will occur in 1-2 weeks, flu symptoms etc. Herpes will always show up like this so those of you with a first outbreak just acquired it, you have not carried it for awhile. Now, the interesting part, your partner may TRULY NOT know they carry it! 14% of herpes infected people NEVER have an outbreak, I know you feel betrayed, but stop and take a breath. Blood tests have only been reliable for the past two years (at least in the U.S.) so if your relationship has been longer your partner may have never been tested. You can have sec with that partner for YEARS and then contract the virus as your partner does not shed virus 24-7, so don't assume they have been unfaithful...they just didn't know. When I told my boyfriend (we always tell each other the truth...e en when it sucks) he was upset, supportive, understanding. He then after being presented with the facts asked me if I wanted him to leave (he 's a little older than me, and has had a more adventerous sex life than me) happily he and I are still together (remember, he has had this and never had an outbreak and my doc confirmed the extreme possibility of this) so chin up, take good care of yourself! Love yourself, it could be so much worse...herpes may be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but it wont kill you. As the previous writer said, it 's just a cold sore on the wrong lip :) oh p.s. ALWAYS be respectful of new partners, be honest, use a condom Don't have sexton during an outbreak. If your partner isn't interested after your honesty, have your breakdown (one night only) and go on with life. If they ca t deal with this and appreciate the nerve it took for you to be honest, then they are not good enough for YOU not the other way around! Blessed be!

Posted by bob on 28/01/2012 at 12:18

thanks this helped very much

Posted by worried on 14/01/2012 at 08:13

I have a small bump on each side of my vagina (right on the inside of vagina hole walls) and one bump on the crease area of my leg and vagina...that went away for about a month and just noticed it again this, morning . The two other bumps never went away but I can't determine exactly if they are bumps or scar tissue from labor....can someone help I've searched and searched...

Posted by what do i do on 10/01/2012 at 12:34

hi, i got reccurrence now, i think the virus has gone, but it left an open skin. since it's in genital area,,,i'm a bit worry but i dont know what to do. the wound is good and it's getting dry. will antibacterial cream work to stick the open skin again??,,,it look a bit deep. but smaller than before. i dont want to consume antibiotic :( i agree with that L-Lysine. it helped me too. i was free from this bug for3 years untill there was somebody saying that this is an old method and Ariginine even can be a treatment. well i must say what ever you say, it doesnt work with me. i consumed food that i'd been avoiding so far and here it come again right after i consumed it. or maybe i am allergic to it so my immune system got up set. and i must say that taking olive leave extract helped a lot too. it enhance immunity and may limit this kind of virus activity. together with L-Lysine. take 1250mg dose or higher when you have a OB. or you think that you will have one. i usually had some after taking food that contained ariginine. it will make it balance :)

Posted by Optional on 03/01/2012 at 01:41

going to try aloe vera, sore toung last 15 years.

Posted by Optional on 02/01/2012 at 12:31

very useful!

Posted by Optional on 30/11/2011 at 02:41

My boy friend and I have been dating for a year now, recently a cpl of weeks ago he got a few tiny bumps on his penile shaft. They did not look like anything serious and didnt really bother him, but he had never had those type of bumps on him before. Being cautious he went to his doctor and the doctor said from what it looked like he thought it might be herpes. I was in shock because we both have been tested regularly and we have never slept around. He needs to go back in a few weeks for a blood test to confirm if it really is herpes or not. The bumps he had a cpl weeks ago went away and this past fri we had sex and monday he noticed that the bumps were starting to come back. The odd part about this is I have never once had any symptoms of anything. I am questioning weather or not this is even herpes or not. I am driving myself crazy thinking and worring about it so if anyone has any information or advice I would appreciate it.

Posted by Optional on 27/11/2011 at 06:19

I had my first out break about 4 years ago. I was seperated from my husband, so I did not tell him. I wanted to get back with him and I knew he would quickly assume it was me (I have never cheated on him. First...I have never ever had a skin issues (not even pimples) and I am 46. I still have not had genital or coldsores...but what I did have occur was a HUGE blister appear slightly under the upper thigh on (directly below my butt). It burst in my sleep so I woke up to a wet bed and PAIN out of this world..it wouldn't stop ooozing. Freaked me out. I told my doctor (he took a sample of the oooz) directly from the spot (if you have ozing that is the best sample- blood sample are done otherwise which may show negative if you are NOT ACTIVE IN OUTBREAK mode.). The result were quick. I was shocked. I had not been a permiscuous person ever. (i knew my husband gave it to me). He had recently been on a trip with other male buddies to Jaimaica.. he and I were still sexual even though we lived apart, we wanted to work things out. Long story short. The initial outbreak had be sick for almost two weeks, felt flu like symptoms. SincE then I get an MAJOR ITching if I am stressed, lack sleep or my menstrual cycle is on. Still no cold sores, or genital. But it is dibilitating emotionally. I am officially divorced now..and worried I will not meet anyone.

Posted by Optional on 15/11/2011 at 05:24

My first outbreak was very painful and it was around may buttocks i dddnt know what it was until my Dr told me that its herpes i really dont know where i contracted the disease because my husband of 5yrs doesnt have this disease and i have never suspect him of cheating me now is on ma labia i real dont know what to do can anyone who know the treatment help me i am scared

Posted by Optional on 03/11/2011 at 01:56

i layed in a wet spot about 20 yrs ago on top side of left cheek of my buttocks it was at my friends home in her sons .bed and he had gone to school or work not.sure but it felt like sperm it was small like a dime and i was nude. a week or tew later i had a rash there and i went to dr and he said it was herpes and laughed at me. it has come back about 5 or 6 i times that is all in about 20 years and i still do not know what this is

Posted by otional on 27/07/2011 at 09:30

If u have a sore in that area doesn't automaticly means u have herps, does it.

Posted by Worried as hell on 17/07/2011 at 11:06

I have been breaking out lately(on my chest). On top of that my left nut has a bump on it. The bump is irritable as hell and if I squeeze it bloody pus pours out. Any thoughts?

Posted by Optional on 10/04/2011 at 12:42

I have a question, I touched a womans vagina with my hands/fingers (predominantly outside, bit a little inside) who stated she had herpes, but had not had an outbreak in a long time, nor were there any symptoms blisters, sores, anything on her genitals. I know that herpes virus dies almost instantly with exposure to air so I wan't very concerned, but still a little. I've had no symptoms on my fingers, or hands, no burning, no anything. I just want to make sure there's no way that my fingers could be a carrier. Do you think I'm safe?

Posted by Optional on 16/03/2011 at 01:40

Hi, Okay i know this may seem very weird but about 2 weeks ago I had a very bad ear infection, this just came from no where. At moreless the same time I woke up the next morning, with ear pain still and like one of my labia lips was really large, sore and painful to touch. It went away with a day though, and the doctor took a sample of my pee but have not got back to me yet. But on friday I notcied the ear infection coming back and just now getting changed for bed I have notcied not as bad swelling or redness, but the same labia lip as before is enflamed and sore. I do shave a lot, but I think it is weird. Please someone help me! do i have herpes?

Posted by Becoming more Optimistic! on 28/01/2011 at 09:44

IT DOES GET BETTER!! I realised I contracted it last year after having 5 recurring outbreaks over a 2 year period in the same place of what I thought was an insect bite. After the 5th occasion I grew suspicious and after a bit of research realised it was Herps. There are loads of really helpful forums out there and I strongly recommend anyone who has been recently diagnosed to get on the internet - you can remian anonymous and I have recieved not only plenty of handy tips, but also a lot of much needed reassurance. I have found that L-Lysine (which you can get in tablet form and cream from Holland and Barratt) has really helped and studies show that it can reduce the outbreaks - when I feel one coming on I take 2-4 tablets a day and apply the cream, if it gets to the stage when a blister occurs I then apply Blistex - this has reduced the outbreak period from 10 days down to 3. Another good thing to try is Body Rock deodarant powder available from Body-Rock.co.uk - this dries out the area which speeds up the healing process. I never thought that I would find someone who would accept me for my condition and it really put me off having another relationship but I found a great guy and finally plucked up the courage to tell him and he was completely lovely and didn't judge me at all; we aren't together now but it gives me hope that there are people out there who don't see it as a problem. I haven't had an outbreak for ages now and only get the tingling which doesn't come to anything, you just need to try not to get too stressed, get plenty of sleep and try and eat healthily. I still have my down days when you think 'why me' and you feel dirty and sorry for yourself but then you have to put it into perspective: it's a bloody cold sore - you just happen to get it on the wrong lip! :-)

Posted by Optional on 02/01/2011 at 09:07

I was diagnosed with GH after seven years of marriage. I was horrified. I went through denial for months. The first outbreak was horrible I was sick for at least seven days. It pretty much attacked each part of my body, migraine headache, chills, body aches, one small blister in my genital area, vomiting, painful urination, etc. I went to the Dr. did the blood test and other testing to confirm it was herpes. The Dr. explained to me this virus can lay dormant in your body for several, several years. There is no way to really tell how you obtained it unless each partner you've had gets tested and you find out the results. The fact is once your diagnosed your diagnosed and you move on with your life. If you think it is the end of your romantic life your wrong.

Posted by Optional on 29/12/2010 at 09:16

I have had cold sore in my whole life. I got used to it now. But since last year i got infected with Herpes. I have just had a second outbreak last month. Since last week I am having the second our break. This one is realy painful. I have had the pain all day today. I do not know how long I am going to have this pain for. It is a horrible pain.

Posted by Optional on 24/10/2010 at 02:51

my girl friend sucked my penis for some time,but i never had sex with her that day,after some few hours i felt some itchy and pains in my penis.could it be that i have contracted the virus.

Posted by Mr. Charlie on 20/10/2010 at 05:01

I had oral sex with a "P" and then two months latter after starting a running routine, a trip to Japan, and shaving my pubic area/thighs and all, I get to patches of blisters on my thighs and red bumps on my scrotum. The blisters and bumps when a way in a matter of three weeks but I have been having pain down there and around my anus for almost 7 weeks now. It feels like stinging but no signs of blister or such. Other than herpes could this be something else?

Posted by Optional on 18/10/2010 at 07:06

Well when i first discovered i had genital herpes me and my now husband where in sexual relationships with other people but also with each other than he told me that the condom burst with the other female. About 1 1/2 weeks after i had all these sores in my anal area and on my labia. It burned like hell to pee but it was worst when i had to pass a bowel movement. I didnt have flu like symptoms or anything but it hurt. so i went to the hospital and was diagnosed with herpes aand when i went home my husband had very terrible sores on his shaft and head of his penis but when he looked in my rectum area he said mines was by far the worse thing he has seen in life. After it went away i have had about 2 mild outbreaks but none since then. my husband got them until he stopped smoking and now he doesnt get them as often. But neosporin helps relieve the pain alot so if your in it use it.

Posted by Optional on 26/09/2010 at 11:11

I have been reading a lot about HSV lately after being diagnosed with genital HSV. I was carrier of lip HSV 1, and my first outbreak was not severe. I would suggest infected people to look into the benefits of Calcium elenolate, a substance contained in olive tree leaves. This is a natural product that can reduce significantly the HSV and may prevent outbreaks as well as transmission of the virus.

Posted by Sarah on 14/09/2010 at 04:45

I've had herpes for 3 months. The first outbreak was a nightmare and i've had 2 since then, no less painful but without feeling fluish. So my doctor had me take a genetic test called HerpesDX to find out how often I will get outbreaks, and it turns out I am at high risk for frequent outbreaks. I am now taking daily valtrex, which at first I wasn't sure if I should take, but the meds seem to be helping alot...I haven't had an OB this month!

Posted by Optional on 12/09/2010 at 06:07

I've been married for 18 years and only started getting noticible outbreaks in the last 6 months. Is this one of the sexually transmitted diseases tested for in pregnancy? my daughter is 16 months old. I want to be sure I've not given anything to her. I'm also a little confused as to how I caught this as neither of us has been unfaithful. my husband did have a very bad cold sore some time back

Posted by Optional on 26/08/2010 at 01:54

after being cured i feel itching in vagina too much what should i do to get rid of it

Posted by Optional on 25/08/2010 at 08:48

I was in a relationship and I developed HSV-1. I've always been exceptionally careful practising safe sex and have always made sure after one relationship finished I went to the GUM clinic to get have a check up. I was absolutely devastated, still am. This is without a doubt the worst thing that has ever happened to me. As I write, I'm going through an outbreak that has lasted 4 weeks and I'm at my witts end! I believe my last partner gave it to me and for that I am full of upset and anger. Washing with sea salt diluted in warm water helps as well as using the essential olis Lavender, Bergamont and Niaouli dabbed locally. I've resigned myself to the fact that I will not have a relationship ever again because this is not something I want to be telling anyone ever.

Posted by cyber3 on 18/08/2010 at 10:34

does std or hiv pop up on a normal hospital or docter blood work!

Posted by Optional on 04/08/2010 at 10:58

i just recently got some minor scabs on the outside of the foreskin i woke up an it kinda hurted to pull the skin back but i cleaned it and it felt a little better..it dosent hurt to peeand no itching going on.So wut is wrong?

Posted by elle on 26/06/2010 at 09:56

I was in the emergency room with my first outbreak several years ago with a Pelvic Immflamitory Disease. Now I have only a couple mild outbreaks a year. The first year and a half I had less severe outbreaks about every other month. I think my boyfriend is just now getting it from me. It is not the end of the world. It is hard to date and tell someone about it, but you'll eventually find someone who'll love you anyway and if you don't then that person probably wasn't worth it anyway. I've tackled it and moved on. :-)

Posted by Optional on 04/06/2010 at 05:29

i just want to ask if it is possible to have genetal herpes if you are just frequently masturbating as in Everyday?

Posted by mize on 25/05/2010 at 06:55

I got married for the thired time, and after 3 monthes of my last marriage i found the frist infection my wife does not have any simpthoms of the desease but i have, attacks may be 3 to 4 times every year, the frist one was very bad , but now it's only 3 to 4 days treatment,cold tea bags and bills of aciclovir drinking a lot of water is very helpful

Posted by Optional on 20/04/2010 at 08:04

My partner has herpes outbreaks on his scrotum.I don't have herpes. I've searched the internet and can't find any soloutions to protecting myself even when he isn't having an outbreak. The condom doesn't cover his scrotum. Any ideas or insight on what I could do?

Posted by Optional on 10/04/2010 at 06:54

I first contracted genital herpes at 30 from a cheating boyfriend who later admitted he'd passed it on to me. I'm now 44 and after a weekend of excessive oral and normal sex with my partner of 2 years I find myself having a 2nd attack. This may be positive feedback to someone who like me at the time with my 1st, thought I would be having attacks several times a year.

Posted by Optional on 13/03/2010 at 07:21

i am having what i think is a 1st sign of herpes i have finished with my partner so he can go on and find someone decent and will go to the doctors on monday to have it confirmed. a friend thinks i've caught shingles from her but i'm doubting it is so i'm sure its herpes all the signs like nerve pain now blisters everything was going great in my life now its all changed :O(

Posted by Optional on 08/03/2010 at 02:28

i had my first outbreak of herpes last may, and my god it was the worst pain i have ever felt!! i think i contracted it after my partner had a coldsore. i started off having bk pain. and i then felt itchy down there thought it was thrust went to the doctors who just diagnosed it as severe thrush, without even looking at me! i knew it was more than this as i was in tears with the pain. everything was swollend down there i could not wee and at one point i thought i would have to go to A+E to be catheterised as i hadnt been able to pass urine for nearly 18hours and i usuallygo evry half hour! i went the GUM clinic just cus i knew they wud no n they gave me antiviral tablets which started to work after 48hrs. ive never felt so bad, i couldnt walk, or sleep or eat, as i felt that bad. i lost half a stone in a week!! and to top it off they gave my co-dydramol for pain as paracetamol was no good and that just made me constipated. i had one more out break about 5 weeks after the first but it was no where near as bad!! i advise any1 to go the gum clinic do not be embarrised!

Posted by k on 22/01/2010 at 09:40

i have just been informed a member of staff has genital herpes she has no visible signs on her face but has apparantly had a couple of breakouts in a small amount of time, her job as a beautician involves a lot of skin to skin contact ie when performing facials for example can this be passed on to ,y clients???

Posted by Anonymous on 10/12/2009 at 08:33

I think that i too have my first outbreak. I am married as well but now have doubts as to where i could have got this from. My husband does get cold sores round his mouth and i am wondering whether this is how i got it but he has not had a cold sore for a while. I just know i feel dreadful

Posted by anonymous on 21/08/2009 at 09:17

i am having i think my first outbreak of genital herpes, as i am married and have had no other partners, i do not suspect my husband has had any other partner since we got together either, i know it is possible to have the virus and show no symptoms, but if i did not get it from my hudband at th start of our relationship some two and a half years ago, why would i be catching it from him now?

Posted by Nurse on 17/08/2009 at 03:06

Lucy, you cannot catch genital herpes from sharing a cup with someone. If they had an active cold sore around the mouth, you would be able to see this so there should be doubt!

Posted by lucy on 25/03/2009 at 07:11

i think someone has herpes and i had a bit of his drink after he had already drunk it, i am not with this man but i shared his drink can i catch herpes from this?

Posted by Anonymous on 12/01/2009 at 06:10

i am having my first bout of genital herpes but i have severe back pain where i cant even get out of bed is this normal?

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Fascinating facts

In the UK in 2007, more than 26,000 people visited a clinic for a first attack of genital herpes

In the UK, genital herpes increased by 20% between 2006 and 2007

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