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Herpes from sexual assault

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Hi, has anyone on here been diagnosed with HSV2 because of a sexual assault? I am really struggling with the severity of a first outbreak but also the fact that I contracted this from being assaulted and am just in a terrible mental place right now. I feel like my doctors don’t understand and I am just mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted and suffering and I have no one to talk to about this except for a select few trusted family members but even then, they can’t possibly understand the pain I’m going through with this outbreak and the way it happened. Thanks in advance, just looking for some support.

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I’m really, really sorry this happened to you. I can only imagine what it must feel like to be a survivor of sexual assault, while simultaneously being a victim of HSV-2. You are stronger than you know, and I applaud you for reaching out for support. You are not alone ❤️

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Hi @MG_25 and I'm so sorry this happened. I have met a lot of women in my coaching practice who have gotten herpes by sexual assault. It can certainly feel like sexual assault is already enough to process and heal from, then herpes on top of that can feel like too much. But you will get through this. You deserve to be treated not just with respect, but with deep love and reverence. Feeling safe, considered and taken care of in relationship is what I wish for you above all. And like @~Minerva~ said, the fact that you are reaching out for support shows you are committed to your healing. It takes courage and it takes patience. Have you perchance tried contacting your local rape crisis center? They may not be able to fully empathize with the herpes part of this, but they will be able to help in a big way around the sexual assault part. 

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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Thank you both for your replies. @minerva, thank you for your kind words and @mr_hopp, yes I have reached out through my doctors and am waiting to get an appointment with a therapist. I found your website actually because I was mostly looking for answers to a lot of physical problems I was going through as a result of the HSV 2 diagnosis that I felt like all of my doctors weren’t really helping with, and I’m great for these forums because it made me feel like it wasn’t “all in my head” as I was being told and that other people were going through it as well. This initial outbreak lasted for almost three weeks and was so severe even with 2 grams a day of Valtrex that I feel like it destroyed everything. I cried every time I had to go to the bathroom, I developed urinary retention out of nowhere on week 2 requiring a catheter and constipation so bad that every over the counter laxative and no amount of water or fiber helped. I asked if it could be related to the Valtrex because that’s when it seemed to start happening and was told people usually get diarrhea and that I just needed to relax and it would get better soon. I went off the Valtrex for a week to see if it would get better but the UTI are retention started again and I had to start self catheterizing at home. I did some research and found some studies linking HSV 2 to colon and bladder malfunction and decided to go back on the Valtrex at a prophylactic dose (500 mg) and now that I’ve been back on that for 5 days, I’m finally peeing normally again. 

I just feel like this disease and assault has truly turned my life upside down. I am a nurse and I appreciate the fact that no, it’s not HIV or AIDS, it’s not cancer and it’s a disease “you can live with,” which is what I have been told by every doctor I have been seeing in the last month. And I get that. But I also can’t get over the fact that...it’s an incurable disease. It will never go away. I’ll never be the same as I was the month before this happened to me.  To feel like you’ve been assaulted against your will which is cruel and damaging enough to live with and then also be told you now have to live with the physical pain and reminder of that for the rest of your life is unthinkable. But what really was a low for me was having to cry every time I had to pee. LOSING the ability to pee and having a catheter put in. Such simple, simple things in life that babies can do, and now as an adult I can’t. I’m terrified of eating the wrong thing with too much arginine, I’m terrified of stopping the valtrex even though I feel like it’s making me not sleep well but even more terrified of having another outbreak. I couldn’t sit, walk or drive for WEEKS. I felt like, in a sentence, this disease has made me totally lose all control over my life. 

Did anyone else have these problems with their first outbreak? Does it get better? 

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I’m glad you’re working on finding a therapist; I think the right one can really help you work through the feelings surrounding this. 
I have heard stories from people saying they were told “be happy it’s not HIV”, which I find to be dismissive and quite honestly, cruel. You can relieved you don’t have HIV while simultaneously being dismayed that you have HSV-2. I, luckily, was never told anything like that by the doctors I’ve been treated by, but I would not take kindly to a comment like that. I’m sorry you’ve been spoken to that way. 
My initial outbreak was more systemic- really high fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, etc and much less about the actual outbreak. I have not had another one since, so I can’t speak to them getting better, but everything I’ve read says they will get less severe as time goes on. The fact that you’re on a daily suppression regimen should also help. 
Again, I am so, so sorry this happened to you. You are strong and you will get past this. Wishing you all the best. 

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  • 1 month later...

I tested positive almost exactly a month ago. I just started feeling better from my initial outbreak last week. While all the sores are gone I do have some lingering things that I am sure is from the herpes although I've been told its all in my head. Nope I have never experienced this before. The first two weeks of my breakout were bad - severe leg/foot pain, sores (breakout after breakout), exhaustion so bad I couldn't function for almost two weeks, extreme nausea from the Valtrex (it subsided after about 5 days but sucked), severe itching that was so bad it made sleeping impossible. I was told to use cold compresses, ibruprophen and benedryl to help with the pain and itchiness. It didn't help that much. I was taking 1000 mg of Valtrex 2x a day for the first two weeks. The absolute worst was the constipation. I had to take laxatives just to go a little bit. I always felt pressure like I had to and would get abdominal cramping so bad because I had to go and couldn't. One day I was doubled over in pain on the bathroom floor contemplating calling 911 it was that bad. 45 minutes later I was finally able to go some and get some relief. Peeing didn't burn but it was weird. I knew I had to pee but I would sit on the toilet and really have to will myself to go. It was almost like the brain wasn't talking to the bladder. That too has gotten better. I still need to take Miralax to go to the bathroom but it usually only takes one night and I can go in the morning. Most of my symptoms are much better and I can actually wear pants without feeling so raw. I still have some numbness in my vaginal area and my anal area. The thing that drives me crazy though is my ass cheeks itch like all the time. There are no sores, not even a pimple but man does my ass itch. I have tried cortisone and it helps a little but not for long. I hate the itching because I'm afraid scratching will cause an outbreak. I actually wear socks on my hands at night so I don't scratch too bad if I do it in my sleep. I keep hoping this will all settle down when I develop antibodies. This virus sucks and I too would love my old life back. Hugs to everyone who needs it. At least we are not alone. 

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