Genital Herpes in Women

Question:

Please share your experience with genital herpes.

Comment from: Sarah, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I was diagnosed with genital herpes when I was 21, after a boyfriend cheated and gave it to me. For 9 years now I have struggled to get outbreaks under control. Sometimes it is 3 months between, other times it is every month, to line up with my period. Virasolve ointment helps with sores. I found general physicians give out the usual 'outbreaks lessen with time, we can give medication' but that's it. Wondering if there are other options; or just Valtrex daily.

Comment from: honeycomb, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

I’m 22. After having sex with a man who said he had sex with a girl before me but didn’t get anything (he wasn’t tested after her either), I got body aches, sweats, chills, painful urination, and a super swollen vulva. This was about a few days after we had sex. Then 1-2 days later after the flu-like symptoms, I finally looked at myself and noticed white pus pockets. They are painful. I’m waiting on my test results, and am just super overwhelmed because I feel like I already know I have genital herpes.

Comment from: Gladstone, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

When I was 12 I was raped by two guys. Because of that rape I contracted genital herpes. I am now 45 and have been living with this for a long time. After some years the outbreaks were few and far between. Throughout the remaining years I would get small outbreaks on my tongue, a few blisters here and there, maybe three times a year at that. But now I don't get them on my genitals or my mouth, I have them on the inner part of my calf on my right leg. When it first started happening I went to the doctor.

Comment from: Katya, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 04

I'm 20 years old and I've just been diagnosed with genital herpes. I've most likely contracted it from a guy I was sleeping with regularly, either from his cold sore during oral sex or he had genital herpes without symptoms. I'm in so much pain right now. I'm not too worried about living life HSV positive but I hope the primary outbreak will end soon, the bumps really are extremely painful.

Comment from: Apple12, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

I recently was diagnosed with HSV 2 and I know the last person I had sex with gave it to me. I was just screened for every STD at the end of October and it came back negative. A week after I had sex with him, I noticed a bump on one side of my vagina lip. I immediately was scared and the start of the next week I scheduled an appointment. At the end of the week genital herpes was confirmed. Now I’m going back and forth with myself of notifying him.

Comment from: Female407407, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

Wonder if anyone else gets a cold every time you have a genital herpes flare up. I literally feel like I’m dying.

Comment from: Depresswd, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 30

Wonder if I can have a back and hip pain without the herpes lesions. That’s the only manifestation I have so far of genital herpes.

Comment from: Tamia, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I had a sore on my vagina about four months ago. I went to the emergency room and they told me it looked like genital herpes but the test came back negative. I’ve got sores again yesterday and my doctor told me it’s herpes, and this time the swab test was positive. I’m pregnant and scared. I don’t know how to tell my boyfriend. I love him but I believe he gave it to me. This time my body was sore, I have sores on my vagina, and bad headaches.

Comment from: Hmm_09, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I got genital herpes at 19 after I got sexually assaulted. It’s hard, I’m not going say it’s not. Because you’re adjusting to a new way of living your life but one thing I can tell you is that while you have (outbreaks) be careful when you shower. Clean the open sores with a different towel, never use the same towel, you can transfer it to different parts of your body and you don’t want that. Also drink a lot of water and always wash your towels.

Comment from: Portia, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

My first genital herpes outbreak was over 20 years ago. I’ve had numerous recurrences over the years. About a week (sometimes 2 weeks) before an outbreak, I experience significant fatigue that can last another 2 to 3 weeks following the outbreak. I also have depression so I’m not sure if active virus makes my depressive symptoms worse or if it’s the HSV itself. Information I’ve read doesn’t seem to support 6 weeks of fatigue before, during and after outbreaks.

QUESTION

Is genital herpes contagious? See Answer
Comment from: Herpes Sucks, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I found out I had HSV2 When I was trying to conceive my first child. We had been together for several years with no symptoms and my doctor told me that sometimes birth control can suppress initial outbreaks (still don't know if that's true). Since then, I've had frequent (1 or 2 per month) outbreaks for years. I'm now on 1 g Valtrex daily suppression therapy and haven't had a full outbreak in a while. But I do have chronic nerve pain in the area where I tend to get outbreaks.

Comment from: Gretch, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

I've had the herpes simplex ii virus for almost 40 years now. I got it when I was seventeen from another teenager who didn't know that he had it. At that age I thought that it was the end of the world for me! Back in 1978 there wasn't that much known about herpes; my relief came not from medications (there was no treatment back then, albeit I had heard about 'heat lamps' for males), but from a support group out of Palo Alto, California, who mailed me information, very discreetly, after I was finally medically diagnosed. From their mailings I learned hopeful things, like my body would eventually build up immunity to the nerve virus, causing less breakouts over time, and that I wasn't ruined for life. From the school of hard knocks I learned to tell my partners up front about my disease, and I have led a relatively normal life, since. I ended up giving it to my boyfriend, because I had some bad advice from my mother to not tell him. We ended up marrying and that's when I found out that passing it back and forth without treatment nor protection was harmful to our health, but we were young and ignorant. I simply didn't know that I should be telling people that I have it, until I was older and divorced. The only other person I ended up giving it to is my current husband of 13.5 years, in a 15.5 total years of our relationship, but he was made aware of it early on, and although we tried to prevent it, he got it anyhow, a year before we were married. I'm writing all this so that readers may have hope that there is a (healthy) life after contracting herpes. The only thing that I'm confused about today is that finally, after 39 years of carrying the virus and suffering through the early breakouts, I ended up having apparently enough stress (and the worst leg cramp I've ever had which may have led up to this outbreak) to end up having what can only be described as a first and worst breakout in a totally different spot (on the outside of my right-side labia instead of deep inside my vaginal wall on my right side (where it had originally implanted itself in the nerve). So I could finally actually see it after four decades of not seeing it, which is surprising, because it goes against the grain of what I've learned all my life about herpes; it's supposed to get better, not worse. Let's hope this was just a one-time incident; I'll keep you all posted.

Comment from: Jill, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I have only had one partner, my husband. He left me 15 years ago. I noticed blisters on my labia about 8 years after last having sex with him. My doctor told me it was herpes. I tried antiviral medication but I did not notice any decrease in my outbreaks. I usually have one every month around the same time as my period. I have been celibate since my diagnosis. I am scared I will give it to someone else and I am very ashamed. I now get blisters on the soles and sides of my feet. I get the tingly itching before the blister forms and it is very itchy. How did the herpes spread to the bottom of my feet! I don't want it to spread anywhere else.

Comment from: dottie9999, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I am 57, I’ve had herpes since I was 18. My left side outbreak was the worst! Next 8 to 10 years I had minimal outbreaks even in my buttock cheeks. Then it started traveling, I had nerve pain in the left side 6 to 8 times a year lasting 7 to 10 days. Valtrex 1000mg daily helps. If I have an injury, a sprained ankle, scratch, mosquito bites, it attacks any old injury and travels on the left side. I have lost 4 teeth left side but none on the right side and since 04' my femoral nerve is damaged. I have several herniated discs, it's attacking my nerves, base of head, spreading down shoulder, arm, ear, jaw, eye and sinus and causes facial numbness. I have chronic pain, fatigue and heavy muscles. If I could go back I would never have had unprotected sex or sex at all. I currently am on disability for 6 months and just out of hospital after 6 days. I have pain medications that help but my health has been impacted!

Comment from: Tierra , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I was just diagnosed with genital herpes, HSV 2. I am 19 and I am very emotional and ashamed of myself. Herpes was always something I never wanted but unfortunately I caught it. I am more concerned about my boyfriend, he probably was clean and I passed it to him and now I can’t live with myself. I love him so much, he really did a lot for me, and all I gave him in return was an incurable infection.

Comment from: Jake, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 09

I have had HSV1 for over 10 years. I was recently diagnosed with genital herpes, HSV1 (didn't know I had it and thought it was very uncommon). Two out of 3 people in America have HSV1 it is very common. I would appreciate if US, in the positive population, would be more encouraging and less stigmatizing! HSV is not a life sentence. It is a minor skin condition that has not and will not control my life. I have used it to motivate me to live a healthy lifestyle, keep my immune system up and get rid of stressors. Live your life!

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Comment from: me, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 03

I was sexually active before I met my husband of 42 years. I am 4 years older than he is. I have never had any symptoms of genital herpes, but he has and does. I did not realize that he had this because as he has some other health problems I wait for him to initiate sex. He did mention this several years ago but I did not realize he was positive. I know that I was the first sexual partner he had, and I believe him totally that he has never had an affair and neither have I, I don’t understand how I can remain symptom free when he has flares often! My husband thought that I would be upset about this conversation and did not bring it up until today!

Comment from: dottie9999, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I have had genital herpes 40 years next month, no party but. I had to retire early, sad my mind still works well (occasional short term memory loss due age). I have had a lot of time to remember, in 91 I fainted because of anemia with a bruise 1.5 inch diameter on left outer thigh, and sunburn on thigh through jeans. After the injury in 91, HSV2 (herpes simplex virus 2) attacked and has setup a home. In 94 I had left lower dental work and there was a 3/8 inch diameter mass. Doctors said nothing, it is still there. I had a dental implant in 2010, implant is fine, no problems, but my health has declined. My left side upper body from head down there is burning traveling along nerves and connective tissues. Most bumps cuts and scratches will cause attacks. I was diagnosed since 2000 with fibromyalgia, but I didn’t accept till 2013. Still HSV2 has hot spots throughout the body.

Comment from: curious, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I am 26 years old. I was in a relationship for almost 3 ½ years. We were off and on for that time period. I never had definite proof, but I know he cheated – or I think he did. Anyway, during our split-up, for a short time I dated two guys (we did sleep together). After my boyfriend and I broke up, I was single for 1 year, 9 months, and didn’t have any partners. Recently, I’ve gotten into a relationship and we had sex about three weeks ago. Last week I noticed some tears, burning, and itching. I thought it was from friction – maybe things were a bit too rough. They’ve gotten more painful and look like ulcers in a cluster. We haven’t had intercourse until yesterday. They weren’t that sore and I thought I was healing. Well, today I feel I’m back at square one and they aren’t as painful and the coloring is slightly different. I’ve also developed a pain on the right side of my groin. My legs feel like I have a rash and there are three red bumps. I’m wondering what I have and what I should do. I think it might be tears (rips) that got infected, but I’m concerned, scared, nervous, and freaked out.

Comment from: Badthingsjusthappen, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I am a 19 year old female who recently was diagnosed with gential herpes. For many other people like me this news was heartbreaking, thoughts flooded my mind about who I contracted the virus from and how it would effect my life. My symptoms were similar to shaving irritating, I had NO oozing open sores or discharge or pus. Just a few small red bumps on the right side if my outer labia. With in a few days they became very painful and irritated with a lot if pain while urinating. My boyfriend looked several times and said nothing looked too abnormal. I visited my gynecologist who knew immediately what I had. I was overwhelmed by emotion of what would happen in my relationship and with my life. I spoke with my partner about it and due to my recent exposure he was the one who gave me the virus. REMEMEBER almost 80% of people with genital herpes do no show symptoms and are unaware that they may be infecting others. We discussed it and decided there is no one to blame and that we both should have been more cautious. Once I took the prescribed acyclovir my symptoms subsided in 2 days. My initial outbreak about about 3 weeks ago. I have had no symptoms since and have decided to go in suppression therapy to decrease my outbreaks. Emotionally this has been absolutely deviating. In time I know the feelings of dirtiness and shame will fade but it may take some time. If your reading this know you are not alone and if you suspect anything out of the ordinary go get checked by a medical professional.

Comment from: notsooolucky13, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

I contracted genital herpes as a teenager. I had red, itchy blisters. I wasn't officially diagnosed until I was 21 years old. I didn't have any outbreaks until then.

Comment from: sweetheart8519, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

well i was diagnosed with herpes when i was 23 years old got it from my ex husband at the time i found out i was in love and engaged to the man that gave it toe so it didnt bother me but now that i am divorced from this man i am struggling with having the disease. i just feel like no one will ever love or want to be with me.

Comment from: surprised, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I am 59 and have just found out I have herpes. I have been with my current husband for 13 years; no other partners. What a bummer. The bad part was that I was on a three-day business trip when the symptoms appeared: flu-like malaise, headache, and then the blisters. But I still had to hobnob with people and wait until I got home to get an appointment with the doctor. She said it was unfortunate because the results of the Valtrex are better if you catch it within the first 24 hours. Now I have to sit down with hubby when he gets home from work tonight to talk about all this. I’m wondering if he should also get tested, and what this means for our sex life.

Comment from: Amanda, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I contracted the virus from my husband 12 years ago. I knew something was wrong with him. However, because of our living situation, and my stupidity, we had sex. I was terribly sick afterwards. My gynecologist diagnosed me with herpes simplex type 2 and I was crushed. I rarely have outbreaks, maybe 1-2 per year. I found that when one is occurring, it is best to apply hydrogen peroxide to it whenever you go to the bathroom; this helps dry the closed blister (multiple bumps), which forms a crust within hours and goes away in a couple of days. I thought I might share this remedy because it works for me.

Comment from: boostie70, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I have itching inside my thighs and a lesion on the side of my vagina, but no burning.

Comment from: Lala, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I had sex with my boyfriend. Occasionally I get something that looks like ringworm in my mouth. Last year I had ringworm on my right hand but I never sought medical help because I’m afraid of the result. For the past four days I’ve had frequent urination. Please help: could this be HIV?

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