Years Of Marriage And Got Diagnosed With Herpes Hsv2
Can you have no symptoms of.herpes.for 20 years and then have an initial outbreak?
Well, after 7 dys total of imense burning itching, pain, and torture, I decided to go see my doctor. She could not see me for 2 more days so I went to the internet for help.and learned about sitz baths. this is the only thing that seemed to help.
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More About The Herpes Virus
The herpes simplex virus is responsible for oral and genital herpes. It usually enters your body through sexual acts, kissing or touching herpes blisters of an infected person. When the virus penetrates the body, it travels to certain nerve where it can sleep until something triggers it. Then, the virus travels down the neural pathway to the first sign of infection, leading to an outbreak, but not always.
Some people with HSV dont experience an outbreak for months or years. But others notice an outbreak immediately after contracting the virus. This depends on many reasons. So, its important to know some things affect the dormancy of a herpes infection.
HSV is responsible for oral and genital herpes
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Can Herpes Lay Dormant For Years
4.3/5Herpes can lay dormantyears
Similarly, how long can herpes dormant?
Herpes dormancy periodThe average is two to four outbreaks a year, but somepeople can go years without an outbreak. Once a person hascontracted HSV, they can transmit the virus evenduring dormant periods when there are no visible sores orother symptoms. The risk of transmitting the virus when itsdormant is less.
Similarly, can herpes show up years later? A person may show symptoms within days aftercontracting genital herpes, or it may take weeks, months, oryears. Some people may have a severe outbreak within daysafter contracting the virus while others may have a first outbreakso mild that they do not notice it.
Likewise, can herpes be dormant for 30 years?
Genital herpes is caused by the herpessimplex virus . Sexual contact is the primary way thevirus spreads. After the initial infection, the virus canlie dormant in the body and can reactivate severaltimes a year.
Is it possible to have herpes and never have an outbreak?
When it does, it is often only once. Then, the personnever has another outbreak even though they stillhave the herpes infection. Their sex partners dontget this infection because HSV-1 infections arealready so common. Some people, however, get genitalherpes outbreaks, often several times eachyear.
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Who Might Get Genital Herpes
Genital herpes affects teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms.
Women are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black women are especially vulnerable. An estimated 1 in 2 African-American women between the ages of 14 and 49 is infected with HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes.
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Why Do Outbreaks Happen In The First Place
If you are one of the people who gets outbreaks from HSV, your first outbreak is very likely to occur a couple weeks after you are infected. This is your body reacting to the new virus inside it. But after that, blisters only pop up every once and a while. They are triggered by a few things that you can do your best to minimize . These include changes in your health, such as an infection, fever, or any shifts in your immune system, changes in your menstrual cycle, sun exposure, stress, and anything that lowers your immune system so that it canât fight off the virus from bursting onto the scene.
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How Herpes Is Transmitted
Active sores leaking fluid that contains the virus are more likely to spread the infection. But the virus can be transmitted even outside of an active outbreak.
Some show symptoms when they contract the virus or a few months or years down the line. But not everyone shows symptoms: The virus can lie dormant in the body for years without causing an outbreak.
There are periods during the herpes virus outbreak cycle when the virus is more likely to spread. This includes when:
- the area of infection begins to feel itchy and uncomfortable
- sores are leaking fluid or otherwise open or moist
Other myths exist about how herpes spreads. Here are some of the facts:
- Herpes can spread even without the presence of active sores.
- The herpes virus can be present even without symptoms once you contract herpes, the virus is in your body for life.
- Herpes can be transmitted through kissing, even if the kiss doesnt involve any tongue.
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How Are Cold Sores Spread
Skin-to-skin contact is how cold sores are spread in most cases. While normal skin is resistant to the virus, it can get into your body through broken skin and mucous membranes such as the moist inner skin that lines your mouth, eyes or your genitals.iv
Most people catch the herpes simplex virus in childhood but often dont get a cold sore for several years. After infection, the virus remains dormant inside a nerve sheath, causing no symptoms until its triggered. Once this happens, the virus multiplies and travels down the nerve sheath, causing a cold sore.vThe virus is spread by:vi
- Kissing someone who has a cold sore or is about to get one.
- Sharing lip balms, lipsticks or other items that have come into contact with the saliva of someone who has a cold sore.
- Oral sex with someone who has an outbreak of genital herpes.
- Touching your cold sore and then touching broken skin, eyes or genitals.
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Can It Lie Dormant
The herpes virus can lie dormant in the body for years before people experience any symptoms.
After people have the first outbreak of herpes, the virus then lies dormant in the nervous system. Any further outbreaks are due to the virus reactivating, which causes symptoms to appear.
Symptoms are usually less severe during repeat outbreaks. Sores also clear up more quickly, often within 37 days. This is due to the antibodies the body produces to fight the first outbreak of herpes. The body can then use these antibodies to respond more quickly to future outbreaks.
There is currently no cure for herpes. Even if a person stops experiencing symptoms, the virus will remain inside their body.
It is also important to point out that herpes is transmissible even when no sores or other symptoms are present. For this reason, early prevention is advisable.
Condoms and dental dams do not offer complete protection against the herpes virus, as herpes can live on areas around the genitals. However, these methods do reduce the likelihood of contracting the infection or passing it on.
Both people can then take additional steps to reduce the likelihood of transmission. These steps may include:
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Suppressive Therapy For Recurrences
To suppress outbreaks, treatment requires taking pills daily on a long-term basis. Acyclovir and famciclovir are taken twice a day for suppression. Valacyclovir is taken once a day. The doses for these antiviral drugs are reduced in people with impaired renal function.
Suppressive treatment can reduce the frequency of outbreak recurrences by 70% to 80%. It is generally recommended for people who have frequent recurrences . Because herpes recurrences often diminish over time, you should discuss annually with your provider whether you should stay with drug therapy or discontinue it.
There is some evidence that valacyclovir may help prevent herpes transmission, particularly in situations where one heterosexual partner has HSV-2 and the other partner does not. However, this drug does not completely prevent transmission. While taking any suppressive therapy for genital herpes, it is still important to regularly use latex condoms and to avoid any sexual activity during recurrences.
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Can Women Who Have Sex With Women Get Genital Herpes
Yes. It is possible to get genital herpes, or any other STI, if you are a woman who has sex only with women.
Talk to your partner about her sexual history before having sex, and ask your doctor or nurse about getting tested if you have signs or symptoms of genital herpes. Use a dental dam during oral sex and avoid sexual activity during an outbreak.
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How Can Herpes Be Prevented
Correct and consistent use of latex condoms can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of transmitting or acquiring genital herpes because herpes virus shedding can occur in areas that are not covered by a condom.25,26
The surest way to avoid transmission of STDs, including genital herpes, is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested for STDs and is known to be uninfected.
Persons with herpes should abstain from sexual activity with partners when herpes lesions or other symptoms of herpes are present. It is important to know that even if a person does not have any symptoms, he or she can still infect sex partners. Sex partners of infected persons should be advised that they may become infected and they should use condoms to reduce the risk. Sex partners can seek testing to determine if they are infected with HSV.
Daily treatment with valacyclovir decreases the rate of HSV-2 transmission in discordant, heterosexual couples in which the source partner has a history of genital HSV-2 infection. 27 Such couples should be encouraged to consider suppressive antiviral therapy as part of a strategy to prevent transmission, in addition to consistent condom use and avoidance of sexual activity during recurrences.
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Hiding Is Better Than Fighting
Creating a vaccine for HSV is difficult because it hides within the nervous system. HSV travels to the nervous system so quickly that it is challenging to have an effective immune response that will prevent it from entering our nerves. One solution to this problem may be to keep HSV latent so that it never wakes up from its deep slumber. This could prevent the virus from causing disease. For this solution to work, we must understand why HSV goes into latency in the first place. Studies like this one are just a start, we still have a lot to learn about what viruses do while they are sleeping.
Additional images via Wikimedia Commons. Chickenpox image by Jonnymccullagh. 3D herpes virus by Thomas Splettstoesser.
Dormancy In Between Outbreaks
If someone has already experienced an initial herpes outbreak, then they might wonder how often you should expect to get them in the future. There is no exact science for this either, but the average is two to four HSV-2 outbreaks a year.
However, there are always exceptions. According to the Mayo Clinic, a herpes patient can live outbreak-free 40 years after their first one before having another!
- Women can have outbreak recurrences on their cervix without knowing it. .
- Recurring outbreaks have fewer systemic symptoms than the first outbreak.
- Herpes outbreaks are more frequent within the first 4-5 years of having the virus in most people. They taper off, and sometimes stop occurring altogether. This isnt always the case for all patients, though.
- Some women experience outbreaks in conjunction with their menstrual cycles, which for them would be a trigger.
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Tips To Soothe The Pain
- Take aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
- Place lukewarm or cool cloths on the sore place.
- Take lukewarm baths.
- Keep the area dry and clean.
- Wear cotton underwear.
Questions to ask your doctor
- What is the best treatment for me?
- Are there any side effects to my treatment?
- Is it safe to have unprotected sex if I dont have any sores?
- Can I give myself genital herpes if I also have oral herpes?
- Can I give someone else herpes even if Im not having an outbreak?
- What is the best way to prevent herpes outbreaks?
- Can I live a normal life with herpes?
- Am I at risk of developing any other diseases?
- Are there any support groups in my area?
- If I give my baby herpes, what is the treatment?
Types Of Tests Used To Diagnose Herpes
There are a number of tests used to diagnose herpes, depending on whether lesions are present.
- Symptomatic testing: Samples taken from lesions can be used to detect the virus with a viral culture or nucleic acid amplification test . Of the two, NAAT is more sensitive . A polymerase chain reaction test may be used if herpes is suspected as the cause of a systemic or central nervous system infection, such as encephalitis or meningitis.
- Asymptomatic testing: A blood test may be used to detect HSV antibodies. This is an option for people who had a previous outbreak or had recent exposure. Very recent herpes infections may not be detected. Retesting in a few months may be necessary for accurate results. Some blood tests can also specifically identify an HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection.
Due to the high rates of false-positives, screening for genital herpes in asymptomatic adults and adolescents is not recommended.
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What Can I Do If I Have Herpes
Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing they will always have the virus and can give it to others. But you are not alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the US and worldwide. Exact numbers of people affected are not known. This is because many people dont realize they have it, especially if symptoms are minor and are not bothersome. If you have herpes, you should:
- Learn all you can about it. Information will help you to manage your disease and feel better about yourself.
- Talk about your illness with your doctor.
If you have herpes, you can still:
- Have sex if you use a condom , and you tell your partner about your illness. Some couples, who have sexual relations only with each other, may choose not to use condoms even though one partner has herpes. Because each situation is different, you should talk to your doctor if this is a right choice for you in your relationship.
- Have children. Women with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your health care provider.
If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .
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Is It Bad To Take A Suppression Medication Every Day
While oral herpes isnt curable, if you take suppression medications daily, it can suppress your HSV. That means that it’s very likely you won’t get any more sores, or at least not nearly as many or as often. Second, suppression medication can also help prevent the spread of your herpes to your partners. Research has found that if you take these antiviral drugs daily, they can reduce transmission . Usually your doctor will only prescribe this if youve had a certain number of outbreaks in a short amount of time, but you can also talk to her if youre particularly worried about passing your HSV along.
No medicine comes without its downsides. For instance, Valtrexs possible side effects include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, depression, pain in your stomach, joints, or uterus, and rash. Just because these side effects have been identified doesnt mean youll get them, but you might so they are good to know about. Its also possible for you to develop a tolerance to the available drugs over time, although this seems to be very rare.
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When Can You Get Tested For Herpes
If you run to the clinic the day after a possible transmission event, your results might not be legit. Herpes antibodies wont show up until youre out of the incubation period . But you dont have to wait to be tested if you already have symptoms.
If youre worried you came in contact with HSV, here are some tips:
- Stop all sexual activity until you know for sure you dont have herpes.
- Schedule an appointment with your doctor or a clinic once the incubation period is over.
- Remember, everything is going to be OK . Even if you have herpes, its nothing to be ashamed of.
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How Long Will I Need To Take The Treatment
Many people who use suppressive therapy say that they get so used to taking the tablets or capsules they are happy to continue with the treatment.
If you choose suppressive therapy, you do not have to stay on it permanently. If you prefer, you can take it until you feel in control of the herpes infection, but this is usually a period of 6-12 months initially. Your doctor may suggest you stop the suppressive therapy for several months after you have taken suppressive therapy for some time, in order to assess how active your genital herpes remains. If you are still having problems with herpes recurrences, you and your doctor may then decide that you should start suppressive therapy again.
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