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HOL11

Diagnosed last night in the ER

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HOL11

Hello. My fiancée took me to the emergency room last night with what we thought was hemroids, chills, and nausea. Turns out it was genital herpes instead. Right then and there, I lost it. Bawled my eyes out in the hospital bed for 30 mins. My fiancée just sat there with a blank stare on his face. The doctor and nurse were so rude about everything. My fiancée and I have been together for 3 years with no problems. The doctor said some rude comment about "well when we're young we make stupid mistakes about who we sleep with". When the nurse came back in she didn't even acknowledge my fiancée, as if this was his fault or something. Then when I started asking the nurse questions, she shoved a Herpes FAQ sheet in my face and told me to look on the internet for more answers. This whole thing has been a horrible experience so far.

Thankfully my fiancée is being extremely supportive, but we are both so confused. I have only been with one other person in my life, 4 years ago. He has been with six. In the 3 years we have been together, neither of us have had a single sign of herpes. We don't know if I got it from my ex, or if he has it but shows no symptoms. He is feeling really guilty, thinking this is all his fault, since he has been with more people than I have. I called my mom in pain last night before we went to the ER, then had to lie to her and tell her I had an allergic reaction to something, because she would freak out if she knew the truth. I just can't believe that 5 months before our wedding, I find out I have an STD. So now I have some questions....

1. Can someone be a carrier of herpes?

2. If I got it from my ex, why did it take 4 years to break out?

3. They say the first outbreak is the worse, right? Because I'm on loritabs and lidocane gel right now and can still feel the pain.

4. How often can I expect to have an outbreak?

5. Will this affect my ability to have children?

6. If my fiancée doesn't have it, is he basically guaranteed to get it now?

7. Can he get tested to see if he has it right now?

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Kitty123

Hi HOL11,

Herpes can be a scary thing! Especially it being a blow to the face when you can't see any logical explanation of how you contracted it.

But thats just it. Herpes - when you contract it, can show up WHENEVER it wants. It can take on average 2-20 days to have an inital OB for some, and for others, you can contract it but it can lay dormant for months or even years.

So, before you assume the worst (i.e, did my fiancee cheat?) think twice. Either your fiancee has it and didn't know it (many men get no symptoms and mistaken bumps for shaving or jock itch or just dismiss it altogether), and they may never know they carry it, or you perhaps could be a carrier and have mistaken past outbreaks for yeast infections. OR - it could have simply been dormant all this time.

3) yes, the first ob is the worst, but even at its 'worst' some people's first outbreaks can be mild in comparison - this is why alot of people don't know that they have Herpes.

4) It depends on your immune system and the strain that you have. HSV1 (oral Herpes) loses most of its punch in the genital area and is contracted from oral sex. SOME people if not most, only really have 1 OB and never see another, but some experience scattered ones...but from what i've heard, GHSV1, tends to OB less because there is less viral shedding.

GHSV2 (which is what I have) - tends to be at its worst in the first year, and from experiences I've heard, the viral activity lessens after that. But then again, if you are on suppressive therapy, you can lessen your OB's and if you DO get an OB, you may have many, and then again, you may barely have any. It all depends on your immune system and how healthy you maintain your body with stress levels and your diet. Etc. Personally, IF I HAVE had any OB's, they've been barely noticeable, and I don't even see sores. Never have. Not even on my first OB. Some people can have OB's without sores. This is why it's such a tricky virus.

5) This will NOT and I repeat NOT affect your ability to have children. I've heard of women delivering vaginally providing that they are not having an OB at the time. If you are experiencing an OB at the time of delivery, they will deliver your baby via C-section.

6) There are no guarantees. He may not get it for a long time, but there is a chance that he will eventually, if you are having unprotected sex. The transmission rates from female to male are lower than male to female. I've been with my bf for 4 years, and as of last October, he still doesn't have it. You just have to start recognizing the symptoms and refraining from ANY sexual contact when you feel it coming, and of course, its wise to go on suppressive therapy.

7) Might be a good idea to have your fiancee tested. You never know. He could very well be a carrier, and have never known it. Or he could also be negative.

Its a very common virus. I know its hard at first, as with anything, and it may be hard to wrap your head around it. You'll have good days and bad days, but the bad days will diminish over time.

I'm not even done my first year of being diagnosed. And if pain and tingles and discomfort is all I feel on occasion, well then - to me - that's liveable.

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fullofregret

I'm so sorry your experience with the ER staff was so horrible. It never ceases to amaze me how insensitive the medical profession can be. How were you diagnosed? Did they take a swab of your sores? If not, get to a doctor asap and have them do that so a culture test can be done. Visual diagnosis is notoriously unreliable. I would also have a blood test done to find out what type you have. This whole thing is very traumatic for most people and you'll most likely go through a whole range of emotions... just remember, we've all been there and we're here to help. I came here 4 months ago after I got my diagnosis and, honestly, I don't know how I would have gotten through it without all the really great people here. You can learn a lot from them and the support here is amazing. As for your questions....

1. Can someone be a carrier of herpes? A person can be have herpes and never know it.

2. If I got it from my ex, why did it take 4 years to break out? HSV can lay dormant for years before showing itself... even decades.

3. They say the first outbreak is the worse, right? Because I'm on loritabs and lidocane gel right now and can still feel the pain. In most cases the 1st OB is the worst. Some are even lucky enough to never have another OB.

4. How often can I expect to have an outbreak? Everyone is different. Some struggle with regular OB while some never have another after the initial. I think it's most common a few times a year.

5. Will this affect my ability to have children? There are precautions you should take if you decide to give birth vaginally, but women with HSV can have healthy babies!

6. If my fiancée doesn't have it, is he basically guaranteed to get it now? It depends on how much protection the two of you choose to use. Even with protection there is a slight chance, but if you are on antivirals and you're very careful not to have sexual contact while you have any symptoms, he could stay negative. That's something the two of you should discuss and decide together how to handle it.

7. Can he get tested to see if he has it right now? Yes, and he should. He should get a type specific IgG blood test. If the results are negative, he should wait 3 months and get tested again in case he was exposed during your OB.

This is definitely not an easy turn of events, but you're in the right place. Good luck!

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fullofregret

Looks like Kitty and I were working on our responses at the same time. ;)

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package deal

1. Can someone be a carrier of herpes?

2. If I got it from my ex, why did it take 4 years to break out?

3. They say the first outbreak is the worse, right? Because I'm on loritabs and lidocane gel right now and can still feel the pain.

4. How often can I expect to have an outbreak?

5. Will this affect my ability to have children?

6. If my fiancée doesn't have it, is he basically guaranteed to get it now?

7. Can he get tested to see if he has it right now?

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Hurting67

I was diagnosed 1 year and 4 months ago and I found out when I went to the doctor thinking I had a uti infection. Well, did I ever get the biggest shock of my life. As of last night I found out I'm having another outbreak now...it is sooo painful so I decided to go on the internet and see if I could find some help and that is how I ended up here :) I have put tea tree oil (walmart $8.00) I put it on a q-tip and put it on the sore that has eased the pain some. And I take my medicine everyday and have never missed a pill but still got a outbreak. I'm glad your bf is very supportive of you. I wish you the best!

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RadioLove

I am so sorry about your experience in the ER. I guess sometimes even professionals forget that a big part of their career is based on treating people and not poking pig carcasses in lab class. We have a few hospitals here that a lot of people straight up avoid because of this behavior.

Its wonderful that he is supportive and that helps a lot.

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fscjelliebean

Hi HOL...I went to the ER last night and was diagnosed with it as well. Fortunately, the staff there was wonderful to me and even called today to check up on me...I am sorry to hear you didnt receive the same treatment. I am scared and dont know what to think either... :( this is definitely a scary thing.

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  • Posts

    • WilsoInAus
      That's exactly right, you can return to your life and get the blood test as a sleep easy in 12 weeks time (from the last episode).
    • Laurenhelena
      Him and his ex have regular breakouts with all the traditional symptoms and I believe he was swabbed.  So I can return to life as it was before all of this drama ? I may still look into a blood test is I am confident it is accurate 
    • WilsoInAus
      @Laurenhelena how is this guy sure he has herpes? All sounding a bit odd to me. Yes it is very unlikely you will develop lesions now. Rubbing skin to skin is required for any feasible transmission chance. The odds of transmission with unprotected vaginal sex are of the order of 0.08% per epsiode. Halve this if a condom is worn. Compare that to chamydia that has about a 33% chance of transmission with unprotected sex; now that's contagious!
    • Laurenhelena
      I just feel that it’s known as such a contagious STD - I’ve been lying to my family cause when I tried to talk about it they became very anxious and begged me to tell them I hadn’t slept with him when I had - If someone told me that they slept with someone with genital herpes my mind would instantly think they had it.  So it’s unlikely then that I’m going to get symptoms now? I’m not going anything further with that guy but we have cuddled and kissed in bed with underwear on, is that ok?  Im quite sure he has hsv2 given that his ex gave it to him through a threesome  I’ve never had a cold sore   
    • WilsoInAus
      Hey @Laurenhelena i think by your own admission you are letting fear get the better of you. Any flu symptoms (immune toxic shock) happen after the lesions, not before. Remember that most instances of sexual activity do not result in transmission of herpes. In the end it takes one exposure... but how many times has the person received oral sex from someone with HSV-1? or had sex with someone with HSV-2 even if they didn't know it was present? The UK has amongst the lowest incidence of genital HSV-2 in the world! There's a very good chance he has HSV-1. This means much lower transmission chances than you might think and even a chance it is near zero if you have an oral HSV-1 infection yourself!
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