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Herpes ruining relationships. Rarely heard facts about genital herpes and HSV

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Hello doctor, I am a 24 years old female. I am the mother of a 8 months old daughter also. I am planning to get married soon, with my fiancé who is the father of my daughter. I have been staying with him for long, from about 2008. Now there are some breaches in our relationship regarding genital herpes, which I got an outbreak for the first time on 2008. He believes that I am unfaithful to him and have got relationships with someone else. I never had any other symptoms which make me think that I may have the infection yet. Like me, he also went to different doctors to get tested. For me the result was positive and for him, it was negative. How can this happen? It seems impossible, as we had unprotected sex most of the times and I have read that unprotected sex will surely transmit the virus to partner. I am in a fear that I may possibly ruin the relationship with him. Recently, I had got an outbreak after spending a night out with my friends in town. But his mistook it and thinks that at that time I became unfaithful and had sex with someone else, who has got the infection. But I am sure that I haven’t had any sexual intercourse. By the way, as I told, our daughter is 8 months old and after delivery, I had lost some of my body weight, say 40+ pounds. Moreover, I feels depressed and was prescribed to take anti depressants, as suggested by my OB-Gyn. But I am afraid of its side effects and haven’t taken any, yet. I read and tried to understand the information about herpes. I found that stress and depression can trigger an outbreak in Herpes infected people. Also, from my doctor, I came to know that possibilities are there to get infected long before getting an outbreak. Also, my partner’s doctor told him that test results need not be correct always and being having no symptoms do not mean that there is no virus, necessarily. I recently felt soreness while having sex. I think it was because of a change in tampons I was using, since the soreness was felt just after I came out of my periods last time. It was scented tampons which my body may have rejected. I got my symptoms worse and had to see my doctor. He told that sex, depression, menstruation and combination of any of these factors can trigger out a herpes outbreak. May I have been infected long before? How can it happen so, if I haven’t had sex with anyone with Genital Herpes or cold sores? I haven’t done any blood tests for STDs. Is it necessary to do all STD related tests for me? Can Genital Herpes co-exist with other types of STDs? Can I get some home treatment for herpes? What do you suggest as genital herpes remedy for treating herpes at home? Hope you can help me well. Thank you.


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Category: Family Physician-GP
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Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days ago

HSV or genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted infection now-a-days in US and worldwide. It is affecting millions of people every year. However it is not a deadly disease and not known to have affected with life expectancy of a human being. There are two types of herpes. They are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus of two types. Type 1 and type 2. HSV 1 is transmitted mainly through oral sex and kisses with infected people. It can even be contracted by childhood, from parents to children. Mostly, both of the herpes infections go asymptomatic and you will not even get an outbreak for years. In those who get outbreaks, it will not last more than a few weeks. It will go off by its own and herpes will be not be evident. However, HSV type 2 infection is what causes genital herpes and amount of virus in blood is used to calculate sexual activity of a person. In the entire world, HSV infection has increased many fold since it was found for the first time. It has become a major health concern and being a viral disease, no proper treatment is available till now. It is important to find out the infection in time, to treat it. Preventive measures include avoid sexual contact with infected people. Barrier methods like condoms are not found to be useful, as the infection can transmit through skin to skin contact. Even saliva can transmit the virus and so, HSV is highly contagious. Antiviral therapy is used to shed the virus and no treatment has been proven to be effective in eradicating the virus completely, after getting infected. In general, outbreak will be suppressed by body defence mechanism, without any medical treatment, in 2-3 weeks. In some cases, where patient suffers stress and depression, as in yours, antiviral treatments including administration of voltrox are recommended. Rarely, HSV is seen to create life threatening situations too. Unfortunately, no complete cure is possible and you will have to cope with the disease. Instead of searching for home medication go for professional medical treatment with antiviral medicines, if your outbreaks are becoming severe. Hope my answer helps. Take care.


Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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