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Questions about dealing with my first herpes outbreak

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I just found out yesterday i have herpes type 2. I don't want to post in the 'just diagnosed' section, as all the doom and gloom posts are getting me down. Yes this is hard and everyone is entitled to their feelings, but reading that stuff isn't helping me. I'm sad, but i'm not ashamed, and i would like to immediately get on track about the lifestyle changes i need to make and how to deal with this first outbreak (which has been rough).


I feel like there has been some contradictory information between what my doctor has said and my research. It's also hard to get straight answers out of the interest it seems. So i'm looking forward to hearing from people who have experience living with herpes.

Sorry if this is really long.




1. It's been an intense breakout around my pubic area. It's been over a week now and feels like its spreading a little. I am having about two - three baths a day, washing the area and then putting calendula ointment on it. Is there anything else i should be doing? Also, just in the past couple days my glands have become swollen and sore. Is there help for that?

I am also taking Lysene and oil of oregano. I read someones forum post about oil of oregano applied topically really helped them with their first outbreak, so i will try that as well.


2. I've been down in the dumps. But tonight is a popular art party that happens annually in my city and i was really looking forward to going with my best friend. Part of me wants to stay inside and curl up in the fetal position. Another part of me wants to enjoy a night i was looking forward too. However, if i go out while experiencing an intense outbreak, can i drink alcohol? Even just a couple glasses of wine?


3. Something my doctors/nurses said to me is confusing me based on my what my research is telling me. Firstly, my clinic is a very sex positive environment, so they have been great so far with going about the diagnoses. When i first came to them with my symptoms, they had several doctors and nurses look at me, and they all thought what i was experiencing was really bad ingrown hairs, but we did tests anyway.

One of things they said isn't making sense compared to my research: I last had sex about two weeks prior to my outbreak... They said "well its more typical for herpes to show up just days after contact, and two weeks seems too long." But according to my research herpes can be dormant for years before an outbreak. So i guess my question is, whats up with that?


Now here's the thing. I have been a very sexually active person, but also VERY cautious. I have always been paranoid about sti's (one of the reasons this came as a shock to me, because i have been so careful!)... I get tested about every two or three months. I'm learning now though that i may not have been tested for herpes everytime, apparently its something to have to specify...So i will have a better idea of the timeline, when and who i may have caught this from, when i find out when i was last screened for it on Monday.


4. Diet and lifestyle changes... Please set me straight on this. I was drinking coffee and then read during my research "don't drink coffee!"... I feel like i have a really good diet to begin with. But some of my research is making it sound like i have to get super strict with diet.


5. Medication. I've never been a fan of vaccinations. I want my body to build its own defenses. I read something about a medication that prevents the cells from shedding as much and is a better precaution for people with partners who are herpes free. What are your thoughts on this? What is working for you?


6. So far my partners i have told have been pretty amazing. I was scared some might react very negatively towards me. ALL of them have responded however "i don't think its me though... (and then gives me their reasons why)"... well i know i didn't manifest this on my own... these comments have felt hurtful...but its followed by "i'm here for you." "i still think you are wonderful/sweet/a gem." One partner in particular has been the most amazing... perhaps this happened for a reason (as much as i wish it didn't)... he has been the most supportive. Didn't even bat an eye when i told him. And when i did tell him...he pretty much told me he was in love with me (secretly i have been falling for him hard. He's a hell of a guy).


Are there forums that exist for couples where one has herpes and the other does not? I can tell he really wants to be there for me, but he has questions of his own. I'm reading alot of stories about couples where one has herpes and the other does not, and its giving me hope. Any advice in this area?


Thank you so much for your time everyone.

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Heya Angie!


I appreciate your positive outlook and wanting to move into taking care of yourself and living your life. That's what the Herpes Opportunity is all about. Learn what you need to learn about herpes and then about yourself to move into living the best life you possibly can. So you're already on the right track. Happiness is a choice. You're already making that choice. And that's super powerful.




1. Here are a few blog articles/video that will help you with this one:

http://herpeslife.com/herpes-medication/ (see further down in the article)




2. You can drink alcohol if you want. Only thing is alcohol lowers the immune system, so it will make outbreaks last longer (longer healing process) and possibly bring on more outbreaks in the future.


3. The first herpes outbreak does tend to occur within a week after first being exposed to it, but there are many, many instances where the first outbreak pops up afterwards (it took years for me to have my first outbreak). You won't be able to find out timeline based on a blood test for herpes, unfortunately. You can make a guesstimate based on the amount of antibodies in your bloodstream if you're also having an active outbreak. What I mean by this is if you're having an actual herpes outbreak, but you don't have a lot of herpes antibodies in your bloodstream, that means you got herpes very recently since the antibodies haven't had a chance to catch up. It usually takes 3-4 months before herpes will show up on a blood test after a first exposure.


4. I personally feel that me eating healthy and enjoying what I eat is most important. The whole lysine/arginine debate has people on both sides of it. I say develop more and more self-awareness with your body and what triggers herpes outbreaks. You're going to have herpes outbreaks regardless of what you put in your body (I have about one per year on average now), but if you are super healthy anyway and exercise, then your immune system is in tip top shape. It's all up to you and what you notice helps and hinders you. My personal opinion is enjoy life. Including your coffee. ;)


5. I only take medication in 2 situations only. I don't want to unnecessarily stress my liver and take medications that I don't know what the long-term side effects are. That's just me. Here's the article I wrote on that:



6. Yes, you've found the forum for couples. :) Have him join and ask away! And FYI, my last relationship lasted for 3 years. She didn't have herpes. I did. We decided to not use protection, but I did take suppressive therapy. Technically, it's about twice as likely as a woman to get herpes from a man than a man to a woman (more mucous membrane vagina vs. penis). So, if you take suppressive therapy and use condoms, there's a 1% chance of passing herpes to him. There's more of a chance of getting hit by a car if you cross the street. :) But yes, there will always be a risk. The question is, what's worth it? And is it worth it to worry?


Here are some handouts that both of you should read so you can get all knowledgeable. I tried to answer all the possible questions and give all the facts and figures that you and your partner should know. That way you can go straight to enjoying your connection ... and sex. :)



Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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