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mandyatm

Feeling "dirty," angry and scared

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mandyatm

Why should I have to feel like this?! After being married all this time...I am still in the poor me pitiful state. I feel like I can't cry to my husband anymore because I know he feels terrible that his past is affecting me like this. He takes total blame and is being really supportive, but I don't want to make him feel worse than he already does because he didn't give it to me on purpose. I am not mad AT him, just at the situation. I have this giant lump in my throat and can't concentrate on anything other than this disease. Not my business, not my kids, I am consumed. I read here that it can only be spread by direct contact with a lesion, but then I read that contact with any area in the "boxer short" region can spread it do to viral shedding, even when there are no lesions. This just sounds disgusting to me, and I guess I can't walk out of the bathroom in my panties in case one of my kids come running in and gives me a hug or something, I know that sounds far fetched but I feel like a walking disease. Like every inch of me needs to be covered so I don't spread it. I shaved well last night just trying to feel cleaner. Then realized I should not have used the same razor for my legs because what if I cut myself and then end up with blisters on my legs too. I am shedding a skin disease, probably all the time now. I can't shake this feeling. I know there are good things about my situation compared to others, but I am still so angry. My husband went over a decade between outbreaks, what if I have them all the time? I cannot deal with that without going insane in my head. I took great pride in being STD free, I did my part before meeting my husband, was so careful and had been tested. I didn't make him get tested, but maybe that is a blessing because I don't know how I would have reacted. It's not that I am uncaring, but I did make my sexual health a priority so I would not have wanted to risk getting this. So I am glad we didn't know he had it in the very beginning, but wish I had found out at some point before getting it. I love him unconditionally and am glad he doesn't have to go through it alone, but God I wish this was just a bad dream. This is causing me so much heartache. This year is not starting off well at all.

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JBnATL

It will get better. The longer you have it the less of a bother it will be. Your outbreaks will come farther apart and shorter in duration.

Have you ever had mono, chicken pox or a cold sore? If so you already had the herpes virus. Do you think people with cold sores are disgusting? It is the same virus.

And don't worry about your kids, they will be fine. They will probably get herpes from their aunt or uncle or other relatives who give them a kiss. 80% of the adult population has hsv.

You do not list where you live. There are many nice support groups out there. This site has a long list of links, click on "Herpes Support Groups" Hopefully there is one near you. The one here in Atlanta really helped me out.

Come to the Chat Room, there you will find many fellow Herpsters who can offer you their support.

Good luck!

JB

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mandyatm

Thank you. I believe I have had mono as a child and yes, chicken pox. I don't recall ever having a cold sore, but I don't think people with cold sores are disgusting. I just want to return to my blissful disease free lady area, that's all. I don't want to always be aware of my bits, like some women on here say they are. I know my feelings are irrational, but I somehow feel l like I have lost something, even my husband said he took away my "pureness" and tainted me. I know he is beating himself up but that didn't make me feel any better.

I live near Houston, TX. I will definitely look at your list, thank you. I tried to enter the chat room, but my computer isn't letting me?

Also, I read a thread on here from a lady with 2 babies born with herpes and I cannot find it now. I really want to chat with her. Do you know what her user name is?

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mandyatm

Appointment did not go well...

So I went in for my testing with the midwife, and lest just say that made me even more of a wreck. I left my previous OB because he was very insensitive and I really liked the midwife, but she wasn't all that sensitive today. I thought I just had the one sore on the outside, but apparently I have a ton of them covering my cervix. She had a girl in training with her and said "Now THAT is herpes." I have never been more mortified in my entire life. She asked a couple different times if I was sure my husband hadn't been cheating on me. I know that he hasn't but I am sure she didn't believe it.

She said to pray that I am not pregnant this month (we only use pull out right now as we were planning to try to get pregnant in a few months). I do pray that I am not. But what if this happened a few months later?! That would be horrific. I am glad it didn't, but really don't think we will try for that baby now. I mentioned that I read that 1 in 4 pregnant woman has it and she said "noooooo, not here anyway, maybe 5%" which made me feel like even more of an outcast.

She definitely pitied me and made sure I knew how unhealthy I was right now. I didn't deserve for this to happen to me, I just wish I would wake up from this nightmare.

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blackvelvet

She said to pray that I am not pregnant this month (we only use pull out right now as we were planning to try to get pregnant in a few months). I do pray that I am not. But what if this happened a few months later?! That would be horrific. I am glad it didn't, but really don't think we will try for that baby now. I mentioned that I read that 1 in 4 pregnant woman has it and she said "noooooo, not here anyway, maybe 5%" which made me feel like even more of an outcast.

.

I'm sorry it went so rough. I'm in Austin, and I had a pretty bad experience with my doctor. I knew more about it then she did, and I wasnt even nearly as educated about it then as I am now. In regards to that statistic, 1 in 4 women have genital herpes. Your doctor may have perceived you as saying 1 in 4 women have outbreaks during pregnancy? Which would probably be a smaller percent. But the 1 in 4 women statistic is pretty accurate, yet most PEOPLE with herpes don't know they have it. And if the doc doesnt test for it, she wouldn't either.

Also, even if you are pregnant, outbreaks are more of a concern during the third trimester/and birth. If you're having an outbreak when you go into labor, they may suggest a c-section, but apart from that you can have a standard ol' natural birth. I think theres a whole section for pregnancy and herpes--you should check it out.

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hopeful2010

mandy it sounds like this fool needs a little education! if i were you i would make sure to put in a formal complaint. there is nothing worse than misinformation delivered by people in the medical field, let alone judgement, rudeness and plain ignorance. Posts like this make me very angry! i hope you have not been disheartened by your experience...

judging by the statistics, it is those of us without herpes that are the 'outcasts'!

take care.

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mandyatm

No from my understanding, contracting herpes or having a FIRST breakout during pregnancy causes birth defects. So as long as I am not pregnant now then we should be okay to get pregnant later. And she did say as long as I wasn't having an outbreak that I could have a vaginal delivery. But yeah, maybe she just hadn't tested people so only 5% were known cases.

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Dogwatch

Hi Mandy,

That midwife sounds like a complete fool, utterly insensitive and a total ignoramus. Frankly, she shouldn't be doing that job. And from what you've quoted her as saying, there are amoeba on Saturn that know more about herpes than she does.

Statistically, approximately one adult in four has genital herpes. This has been established over many surveys conducted over many years, and is a figure that most experts in the field agree upon. So on that basis, it also holds true that approximately one in four women has genital herpes, and (logicaly) that in turn one in four pregnant women will be carrying it. Statistically at least.

It may be that at that particular clinic they test every pregnant woman and that that they have indeed come up with a figue of 5% for that particular clinic (though somehow I very much doubt that).

But even if that were to be the case, the bottom line is that in the population as a whole, you're a "one in four". So you're right and she's wrong.

My understanding is that herpes only becomes a potential problem for the baby if the expectant mother acquires a new infection during the last trimester. Don't take that as gospel because I don't claim to be an expert (just an interested and - I like to think - reasonably well informed layman). But from what I've read, if you already carry hsv genitally, the medics can put you on suppressive therapy to keep it at bay during the critcal period, and can keep a constant eye out for any signs of a flare-up. I also believe I'm right in saying that the main danger to the baby comes not while the baby is safely ensconsed in the womb but during the birth if there are lesions present in and around the mother's genital area. At that point, a caesarian section becomes necessary.

And don't worry about passing genital hsv on to your kids in the manner you describe. That would be a medical impossibility - it simply doesn't work like that.

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mandyatm

Thank you all so much. It is so nice to get this out. Dogwatch, I do think that all of your assumptions/statistics are correct. The midwife did recognize the herpes right away and did seem very knowledgeable about the symptoms and treatments. I think she just doesn't see how many people have it because she doesn't usually know they have it. She also mentioned that the discharge I had at the exam got on my leg a little, and while it is unlikely that I will get sores there, I need to keep in mind that the discharge (which is from the sores on my cervix apparently) can possibly spread the virus. THAT freaks me out, like I have this toxic vajaja leaking virus on myself!

Ahhhhh, I have my husband so stressed over this. He was NOT careful when he was younger though, having many sexual partners and rarely ever worrying about protection. To me that is so irresponsible. I could understand if he at least tried to protect himself and got it anyway, or got it from someone he had been with for a while, but he pretty much admits he never tried to protect himself. Which means he never cared about protecting anyone he was with. My husband is such a caring man and loving father, but this was not a nice thing he did all those years before me. But, I knew he had a long sexual past and I did not make him get tested, so I am at fault as well I guess. When I got tested in my pregnancies and had nothing, I thought I had gotten lucky and escaped everything, never thought this would happen. I wish I could go back in time about a month or so!!!

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RealisticGal
No from my understanding, contracting herpes or having a FIRST breakout during pregnancy causes birth defects. So as long as I am not pregnant now then we should be okay to get pregnant later. And she did say as long as I wasn't having an outbreak that I could have a vaginal delivery. But yeah, maybe she just hadn't tested people so only 5% were known cases.

Oh, man. I join the others here who are saddened by a medical "professional" giving out information, which she undoubtedly believes to be true, but she is misinformed.

I would suggest you take a look at the links on the right side of this page. There is one which addresses having children.

Birth defects are not the issue. The issue is that the child could be born with congenital (acquired at birth) herpes simplex infection, because of being exposed to active virus during the process of birth. Because a newborn has an immature immune system, that is much more of a problem than it would be for an adult.

Dogwatch is right --- the most risky time to have a new infection or primary outbreak or recurrence is during the third trimester of pregnancy. However there is some level of risk when HSV is acquired (by the mother) at any point in a pregnancy.

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RealisticGal
I know that sounds far fetched but I feel like a walking disease. Like every inch of me needs to be covered so I don't spread it. I shaved well last night just trying to feel cleaner. Then realized I should not have used the same razor for my legs because what if I cut myself and then end up with blisters on my legs too. I am shedding a skin disease, probably all the time now. I can't shake this feeling.

Sorry you are having such a difficult time with this. It's pretty normal to feel that way, but with time and education about herpes, you should feel a lot better.

Herpes simplex virus doesn't shed all the time. The case studies show that a person with a new infection probably sheds about 10% of days, but not even all the hours of any given day when that is happening. As a person has the infection longer, the frequency of shedding generally drops. So no, you are not sheding "all the time now."

I took great pride in being STD free, I did my part before meeting my husband, was so careful and had been tested. I didn't make him get tested, but maybe that is a blessing because I don't know how I would have reacted. It's not that I am uncaring, but I did make my sexual health a priority so I would not have wanted to risk getting this. So I am glad we didn't know he had it in the very beginning, but wish I had found out at some point before getting it. I love him unconditionally and am glad he doesn't have to go through it alone, but God I wish this was just a bad dream. This is causing me so much heartache. This year is not starting off well at all.

No offense intended, so please don't take any...

There is no reason to have "pride" in being STI free --- not any more than a person should feel dirty or ashamed or ugly if they do have an STI. If we accept one premise (that STIs do not make us dirty), then we must accept that not having one also does not make us somehow superior.

Many STIs have little to no symptoms, so they are hard to recognize. And many can be spread even with precautions. So if you are having sex at all, there is always a risk of getting an STI.

I'm just trying to make the point that you have no reason to feel bad about yourself or your husband over this situation. HSV is a virus. Viruses are organisms that all types of animals get, not just humans (though HSV is specific to humans). The only reason this particular virus gets such a bad rap is that it can be transmitted by way of sexual contact, and we live in a society that still clings to certain attitudes when it comes to sex.

But you know what? Everyone has sex. Almost everyone, anyway. You contracted herpes through marital sex. How in the world can that be seen as dirty or shameful?

As for the stigma surrounding herpes, are you aware that it did not exist until fairly recently? When I was a kid in sex ed classes, they didn't even bother to mention herpes, even though it has been around for thousands of years!

Another member here recently posted that herpes was no big deal until the discovery of acyclovir. Now that is something to think about! It would certainly benefit the pharmaceutical companies if something they have a drug to treat were suddenly considered a horrible thing, so more people would seek the treatment, you know?

Do you know whether you have HSV1 or HSV2?

Anyway, I hope you will avail yourself of the links on the right side of this page. They should help you better understand HSV, which should go a long way toward easing your mind. Knowledge is power! :wavey:

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mandyatm

No offense intended, so please don't take any...

There is no reason to have "pride" in being STI free --- not any more than a person should feel dirty or ashamed or ugly if they do have an STI. If we accept one premise (that STIs do not make us dirty), then we must accept that not having one also does not make us somehow superior.

Oh I didn't think I was superior in any way, maybe pride wasn't the word, maybe thankful is a better word. I was thankful that I made it to marriage without contracting anything. I thought I could stop worrying. But you are right, I could have gotten it even if I was protecting myself. I got lucky before.

I am not ashamed really as I did contract it through a loving relationship with my husband, but I feel "dirty" because I feel like I will spread it. I know it is supposedly unlikely, but there are a couple other threads on here where people's kids DID get it and they were taken away! And a link to a thread on diaperswappers.com where a few people said their kids had it. I would DIE if my babies got it, especially if someone took them away! I had a crazy amount of water discharge that leaked through my pants onto my sheets before I knew. My kids get in bed with me in the morning. Or maybe I touched myself because I was itching and didn't wash well enough before changing her. My husband does not always wash his hands with soap after going to the bathroom, and he changes my daughter's diapers and puts cream on her diaper rash all the time! He didn't know he had it, it seems likely that he could have passed it to her. I know it is unlikely, but how are these kids getting it? That is what feels gross to me. Not the stigma of it all.

I do not know which type I have. I don't recall ever having a cold sore and I hubby said he doesn't think he has either, so I assume HSV 2, but they haven't told me the type yet. Thank you so much for your help.

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RealisticGal
Oh I didn't think I was superior in any way, maybe pride wasn't the word, maybe thankful is a better word. I was thankful that I made it to marriage without contracting anything. I thought I could stop worrying. But you are right, I could have gotten it even if I was protecting myself. I got lucky before.

"Lucky" definitely covers it. If more people understood that it really does come down to the "luck of the draw" for most folks, the stigma might not be so persistent. It really is just like getting the flu each season. Some folks do, some don't. It's (mostly) the luck of the draw.

I feel "dirty" because I feel like I will spread it. I know it is supposedly unlikely, but there are a couple other threads on here where people's kids DID get it and they were taken away!

Yes, I know. I've been actively involved with trying to help a young gal in that situation, and I wish she would pay more attention to what many of us have been telling her about the child protection/court system.

That said, let's revisit this whole "dirty" thing. Would you feel "dirty" if one of your kids got a cold or the flu from you? Those are both caused by viruses too.

Would you feel dirty if you had an outbreak of shingles and someone got chickenpox by being exposed to you during that time? That is caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus, which is even in the herpesvaridae family, but nobody thinks of that as "dirty."

Let's hone in even closer to home. What about oral cold sores? Do you think of them as "dirty?" Do you know that about 80% of the adult population of North America has oral herpes, usually caused by HSV1, mostly acquired prior to teenage, and that the majority of them got it through casual (non-sexual) contact like a kiss on the cheek from their old auntie or by sharing a saliva-covered toy with another child?

And a link to a thread on diaperswappers.com where a few people said their kids had it.

Diaper swappers? I haven't visited that site and don't know what it is, but it sounds sorta yucky to me. Did the folks there say specifically that their children had genital herpes?

I would DIE if my babies got it, especially if someone took them away! I had a crazy amount of water discharge that leaked through my pants onto my sheets before I knew. My kids get in bed with me in the morning. Or maybe I touched myself because I was itching and didn't wash well enough before changing her. My husband does not always wash his hands with soap after going to the bathroom, and he changes my daughter's diapers and puts cream on her diaper rash all the time! He didn't know he had it, it seems likely that he could have passed it to her. I know it is unlikely, but how are these kids getting it? That is what feels gross to me. Not the stigma of it all.

Gosh, yes. Reading horror stories about losing your children must be terrifying. But really, I have not seen very many of them. And for the most part, I'm betting that the majority of those cases really did involve abuse of the child.

Because really, the chance of that happening without sexual contact is so minimal! I'm sure that doesn't apply to you. Intimate, sexual skin-to-skin contact is unlikely to happen with your kids and you, right?

The chance of your husband passing herpes during diaper changes because he didn't wash his hands thoroughly is very minimal, but he really should change his practice on that for other reasons! There are a lot of things out there that could be a problem. It's just that HSV isn't really one of them.

I've done a lot of reading. The experts say it is really necessary to have direct skin-to-skin contact with the actual area that sheds virus, not an area (like hands/fingers) that has touched that area and then touches the other person. And if your child had a brief contact with your unclothed boxer short area, they would need to have a break in their skin right where it touched the sores for it to be even remotely likely.

I do not know which type I have. I don't recall ever having a cold sore and I hubby said he doesn't think he has either, so I assume HSV 2, but they haven't told me the type yet. Thank you so much for your help.

It doesn't matter whether either of you ever remembers having a cold sore. It is estimated that about 70% of those who have herpes do not know it because they have never had any recognizable symptoms. Another possible scenario noted by experts is that some folks may not realize that they have oral herpes because their first (and perhaps only) outbreak was when they were so young that they have completely forgotten about it. Of course, there are also many who do not realize that the cold sores/fever blisters they get are caused by the herpes simplex virus, but I realize that does not apply to you.

One reason herpes simplex virus spreads easily is because so many folks do not realize they have it. It is entirely possible that your kids could get oral herpes in the way many humans do, through no fault of your own, from some other friend or family member.

While the most risky time for transmission is during an active outbreak, the experts say that probably MOST cases of transmission occur when a person is NOT having an outbreak, but shedding asymptomatically. I know that isn't exactly reassuring. I'm just saying, there is really no way to say that it would be your fault if your kids got HSV.

Bottom line --- excessive worry won't be useful. Stressing out is likely to cause you more outbreaks, but won't prevent spreading herpes. A few sensible precautions will lessen the chances. And if you ever do spread it, clearly it will not have been your intent, anymore than it would be your intent to give someone else the flu virus.

Try to cut yourself some slack, hon. We all do the best we can, but we can't control every little thing that life throws our way. :wavey:

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RealisticGal

P.S. what type of testing was done to diagnose you and your husband?

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mandyatm

No I don't think cold sores are dirty and would not if my kids got them, but if they got a virus that came from my genital area, I would feel very dirty yes. Not dirty that I have a virus, but dirty that they somehow got it and that's where it happends to live on my body. No, intimate skin-to-skin contact is NOT going to happen between us and our children of course! And my husband washes his hands after going to the bathroom, but doesn't always use soap. I have already talked to him about that, and actually probably REALLY freaked him out that he is going to pass it to the kids and they will be taken away. That was probably not a great thing, but I bet he washes his hands with soap now. :rolleyes:

But like I said, the large amount of fluid soaked through to my sheets and my kids end up in our bed in the mornings. Half the time my youngest runs around with her clothes off (not her diaper usually, but that has happened before as well). I just feel like they shouldn't be that close to us anymore. I am not saying we are all dirty because we have a virus, but if my kids contracted a virus on their genitals from me that is on my genitals, yes that would be disgusting to me. I know that is the worst case scenario but it seems like I have been reading a lot of instances of it. And I NEVER thought I would be told I have herpes after all this time, but here I am, so nothing is impossible to me right now.

The lady you are trying to help is one of the threads I read I think, and the diaperswappers link was posted there as well. Diaper Swappers is a website for people who use cloth diapers for their babies and they also have a forum. It's about a lot more than cloth diapers though (parenting in general, organic eating, special needs issues, etc). I have been to that site before so I clicked the link, here it is:

http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69799

Several people in the thread said their kids tested positive for HVS2 and were trying to figure out if it happened at birth or what.

As far as testing, they did a scrape of the blisters and did a blood test. She said the name of the blood test but I forget, it was initials, igm maybe? It is my first outbreak so I didn't think it would show up on a blood test but she thought it would, still waiting on the results of that.

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RealisticGal

As far as testing, they did a scrape of the blisters and did a blood test. She said the name of the blood test but I forget, it was initials, igm maybe? It is my first outbreak so I didn't think it would show up on a blood test but she thought it would, still waiting on the results of that.

I hope your doctor didn't do an IgM-only test. That is old, unreliable technology that is not recommended because it often produces inaccurate results. The newer, more accurate tests are Type Specific IgG-based blood tests. One example is the Herpeselect test, which is the most used one here in the USA.

Here's some info about the problems with IgM-only testing:

Introduction to blood tests

Blood tests can be used when a person has no visible symptoms but has concerns about having herpes. Blood tests do not actually detect the virus; instead, they look for antibodies (the body's immune response) in the blood.

IgM vs. IgG

There are many older blood tests commercially available, but most are not accurate because they cannot accurately distinguish between antibodies for type-1 and type-2 herpes. This makes it possible to get a false positive result, especially for HSV-2.

When an individual contracts herpes, the immune system responds by developing antibodies to fight the virus: IgG and IgM. Blood tests can look for and detect these antibodies, as the virus itself is not in blood. IgG appears soon after infection and stays in the blood for life. IgM is actually the first antibody that appears after infection, but it may disappear thereafter.

IgM tests are not recommended because of three serious problems:

1. Many assume that if a test discovers IgM, they have recently acquired herpes. However, research shows that IgM can reappear in blood tests in up to a third of people during recurrences, while it will be negative in up to half of persons who recently acquired herpes but have culture-document first episodes. Therefore, IgM tests can lead to deceptive test results, as well as false assumptions about how and when a person actually acquired HSV. For this reason, we do not recommend using blood tests as a way to determine how long a person has had herpes. Unfortunately, most people who are diagnosed will not be able to determine how long they have had the infection (see reference 1).

2. In addition, IgM tests cannot accurately distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies, and thus very easily provide a false positive result for HSV-2. This is important in that most of the adult population in the U.S. already has antibodies to HSV-1, the primary cause of oral herpes. A person who only has HSV-1 may receive a false positive for HSV-2.

3. IgM tests sometimes cross-react with other viruses in the same family, such as varicella zoster virus (VZV) which causes chickenpox or cytomegalovirus (CMV) which causes mono, meaning that positive results may be misleading.

The accurate herpes blood tests detect IgG antibodies. Unlike IgM, IgG antibodies can be accurately broken down to either HSV-1 or HSV-2. A recent study corroborates this finding: labs that used non-gG-based tests for herpes had high false-positive rates for HSV-2 antibodies (14-88% saying the blood sample was positive for HSV-2) in samples that were actually only positive for HSV-1 antibodies. But 100% of the labs using gG-based tests accurately reported that the blood sample was negative for HSV-2 (see reference 2).

The challenge here is that the time it takes for IgG antibodies to reach detectable levels can vary from person to person. For one person, it could take just a few weeks, while it could ta ke a few months for another. So even with the accurate tests, a person could receive a false negative if the test is taken too soon after contracting the virus. For the most accurate test result, it is recommended to wait 12 - 16 weeks from the last possible date of exposure before getting an accurate, type-specific blood test in order to allow enough time for antibodies to reach detectable levels.

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mandyatm

Wow, that is a lot of great information, thanks! She did a scrape of the actual sore as well, so I am sure that will give definite answers. There is no doubt in my mind that I have genital herpes. It won't be spread past my husband and me so I am not sure why it matters what type it is? I am pretty certain this was my first outbreak (God it HAS to be as bad as I felt), and it came right after my husbands break-out, the only one he has had since meeting me. He thinks he has had his for 13 years, but does it really matter at this point? Won't the treatment be the same?

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RealisticGal
Wow, that is a lot of great information, thanks! She did a scrape of the actual sore as well, so I am sure that will give definite answers. There is no doubt in my mind that I have genital herpes. It won't be spread past my husband and me so I am not sure why it matters what type it is? I am pretty certain this was my first outbreak (God it HAS to be as bad as I felt), and it came right after my husbands break-out, the only one he has had since meeting me. He thinks he has had his for 13 years, but does it really matter at this point? Won't the treatment be the same?

I hope you do get a definitive diagnosis one way or the other. Unfortunately, it oftentimes happens that folks don't, at least not at first. Timing of the tests can make a difference and could cause false negatives.

Treatment can vary a bit based on the type/location. Course of the virus (frequency/severity of future outbreaks) can also be expected to vary depending on whether or not the type you have is in it's "home court."

Specifically, HSV1 is at home in the facial/oral area and the trigeminal nerve ganglia, while HSV2 prefers to hang out in the genital area and the sacral nerve ganglia. When either type is out of place, it tends to cause less outbreaks.

The main reason I could see it making a difference, however, is as it pertains to your kids. If it happened that you have HSV1, and any of them got it (from you or otherwise), the powers that be would be far less likely to consider that a problem. HSV2 carries the bulk of the stigma, since it is "usually" (though not always) genital.

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Easton1234

I know exactly how you feel. I just went to the doctor yesterday and confirmed that I was in fact having an outbreak. I feel violated, angry, nasty and am still in a daze over this whole thing. Why me? Why....

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mandyatm

I hope you do get a definitive diagnosis one way or the other. Unfortunately, it oftentimes happens that folks don't, at least not at first. Timing of the tests can make a difference and could cause false negatives.

Treatment can vary a bit based on the type/location. Course of the virus (frequency/severity of future outbreaks) can also be expected to vary depending on whether or not the type you have is in it's "home court."

Specifically, HSV1 is at home in the facial/oral area and the trigeminal nerve ganglia, while HSV2 prefers to hang out in the genital area and the sacral nerve ganglia. When either type is out of place, it tends to cause less outbreaks.

The main reason I could see it making a difference, however, is as it pertains to your kids. If it happened that you have HSV1, and any of them got it (from you or otherwise), the powers that be would be far less likely to consider that a problem. HSV2 carries the bulk of the stigma, since it is "usually" (though not always) genital.

Oh ok, that makes sense! Well I hope for HSV1 then, lol. I guess it's not that unlikely considering how infrequent my husband gets sores and how mild they are. Can they tell what type from the culture?

My husband had his tests today, they could only do bloodwork on him since he isn't having an outbreak, but if he really has had it for many years than I would think it would show up. He said his doctor was much more easy going than mine was, saying that 1 in 4 had it and it didn't mean someone had to be unfaithful either. He was much more concerned about some other spot on his chest that he wanted to biobsy. He said he was pretty sure it was benign, but wanted to make sure.

Easton, I am sorry to hear of your news and I hope you feel better soon. The people here are full of information (as I guess you can tell) and have already made me feel much better.

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boopboop

youl be fine...its normal to have herpes :)

Also best not to shave there when u have an ob... dont want to make ur lady parts more angry than they already are! Its not "dirty" just another skin condition.... Just wash with water or a ph balanced soap for that area!

Chin up, it gets easier with time! x

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RealisticGal
Oh ok, that makes sense! Well I hope for HSV1 then, lol. I guess it's not that unlikely considering how infrequent my husband gets sores and how mild they are. Can they tell what type from the culture?

Cultures can be typed, but the doctor must specify that to the lab. Maybe you could call and ask him to make sure he does that?

My husband had his tests today, they could only do bloodwork on him since he isn't having an outbreak, but if he really has had it for many years than I would think it would show up. He said his doctor was much more easy going than mine was, saying that 1 in 4 had it and it didn't mean someone had to be unfaithful either. He was much more concerned about some other spot on his chest that he wanted to biobsy. He said he was pretty sure it was benign, but wanted to make sure.

It's nice your husband's doc treated him humanely and professionally. Too bad the same can't be said for yours!!! :madd:

I sure hope that spot is benign, but either way, I guess this is a small silver lining to the need for herpes testing --- the doc caught that spot!

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RealisticGal
I know exactly how you feel. I just went to the doctor yesterday and confirmed that I was in fact having an outbreak. I feel violated, angry, nasty and am still in a daze over this whole thing. Why me? Why....

How did your doctor confirm it, Easton?

Visual exam?

Swab and culture?

Blood tests?

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mandyatm

Ok so the midwife called today with my results, and guess what, I have herpes, lol! I asked her what type though and she said that they didn't type it, but my bloodwork levels were 3.0 or something, which was "very positive" in her words, and of course the culture was positive.

I told her that our primary doctor said it was normal to go years between outbreaks and that it didn't mean my husband cheated. I went on to tell her why I knew my husband does not cheat and she seemed to believe me, but WHY do I feel like I should have to explain to my midwife that my husband doesn't cheat?! I guess I thought it was important for other women. I mean, if I were less trusting or if he had a job where he traveled a lot, she would have me thinking he was having an affair! That's just not right. And we will be there a lot if we have another baby and I don't want her looking at me like I am this poor pitiful woman with a cheating husband...and although my husband gave me herpes, he doesn't deserve to have to go in there feeling like they all think he is a cheater.

She said not to have sex with him if he has a sore because it will trigger an outbreak in me, is that true? I said this whole thing sounds no fun, and she replied, "yes, it's really aweful." Still makes me feel like a freak! Grrrrr.

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Dogwatch
She said not to have sex with him if he has a sore because it will trigger an outbreak in me, is that true?

In a word - NO.

Once you have herpes, you have it. You can't "get it again" or keep passing it back & forth.

It is true to say that intercourse can trigger OBs in some people, but that has nothing to do with whether their partner has an open sore or not at the time. It's more down to friction, mucosal membrane trauma etc. And given that the great majority of people with hsv are asymptomatic anyway (or experience only minor symptoms), it probably isn't all that common (though I can't cite any figures for it).

The main reason for a hsv+ couple not to have sex when one of them has an active outbreak is probably more to do with comfort than anything else, given the general bumping & grinding involved, and the associated friction.

I said this whole thing sounds no fun, and she replied, "yes, it's really aweful." Still makes me feel like a freak! Grrrrr.

Silly, stupid woman. What she should have said is that yes it's better not to have hsv than to have it. But in medical terms it's only a very minor skin condition for most people, is extremely common in the general population and of all the STIs is practically the only one that won't do you any long-term or further damage: It won't make you sterile, it won't cause cancer, it won't turn your brain to jelly and it definitely won't kill you.

She should have offered you reassurance - not blown it out of all proportion by saying "yes it's really awful". Ignorance like that from so-called professionals who should know better is one reason why this (for most people) trifling, self-limiting skin ailment has been hyped up and falsely stigmatised as some terrible affliction.

That such idiots are allowed to work in the medical profession is really quite worrying.

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