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Viral shredding

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I’m reading more in the topic and this may be a dumb question. When you are “shedding” is this something you can see? Like a film/discharge? Also how long should you wait to have sex after an outbreak? This is my first outbreak and today is my last day of the 10 day medication. The sore has healed but I’m so nervous to do anything. My bf is getting tested today because I think I got it from him.

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Hi @Gypsy86! Great question. This is one with a lot of confusion around it. The full term is "asymptomatic viral shedding" which means there can be literally no signs or symptoms at all and small amounts of virus can be shed from the original site of infection. There's unfortunately not a way of knowing when this shedding is happening, but there have been studies that swabbed a known outbreak zone of herpes-infected people daily over the course of a year, and they have determined the rates of shedding of HSV-1 or HSV-2 whether on the genitals or mouth. Different shedding rates per different zone/strain. 

For more details about the shedding rates, you can grab the free handouts that come with the e-book and see the % breakdowns: https://www.herpesopportunity.com/lp/ebook

And to your question specifically, after an outbreak and after the scab has fallen off and you have new skin there, I've always heard it *should* be safe to engage in sexual activity (note: I'm not a doctor!). However, I've always played it super safe with my partners and waited at least a week after the scab has fallen off before any hanky panky. But if you're boyfriend is in the process of getting tested and you find he already has the same strain of herpes as you, then he will have more natural immunity (antibodies) that will protect him that much more. So I would just wait until getting the test results back so you're better able to make informed, data-driven decisions together. 

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@mr_hopp I’m not sure if you’ll be able to answer this question. I’m on my last day of antivirals and yesterday I started to get a white discharge (usually don’t have that). This is my first outbreak. Is the discharge normal or is something else going on?

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Hi, @Gypsy86!!

In terms of vaginal discharge, things can be so so complex! The microbiome of the vagina is very sensitive, and a change in really anything can affect it, including herpes. 

it is common for vaginal discharge to be different during the first outbreak (watery and runny or thick and milky), especially if you had sores inside the vaginal cavity. However, this discharge is usually experienced while the sores are present. Your sores have healed, but since you just finished the outbreak, this could be very normal. Regardless, I'd contact your doctor, ONGYN, or call a clinic like Planned Parenthood

If you have other symptoms associated with this discharge (pain, smell, burning when urinating, new rash, fishy odor, etc) it could be another infection, such as a yeast infection. With these symptoms, abstaining from sex would be a good idea since it can cause an increase in irritation and bacterial growth, if you have an infection. Also, it could spread to your partner. Again, a simple call to the nurse on call at a doctor's office can really make all the difference! 🌼

I hope this helps!! 

Sending happiness and health your way!! 🌄💛🌱🦋🌻


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