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In one year I had around 30 outbreaks


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In July 2015, I was diagnosed with HSV-1. I catch it from my boyfriend through oral sex. It must take around 10-14 days after getting infected to get my first outbreak around my genitals. It was a horrific experience, physically and mentally.

I was lucky, and I was fine shortly after. I had no outbreaks since and was living a happy, normal life until July 2020. 

Initially, I thought tight underwear irritated my skin on a hot summer day. The skin was swollen and was sensitive. I had some kind of spots, and it didn’t look like herpes to me. Even in one clinic, after a swab test,  my herpes results came back negative, which really confused me. In the end, all the symptoms showed it was herpes. 

 

Now it’s been exactly a year since I started to have outbreaks. In one year, I had plus-minus 30 outbreaks. Basically, three outbreaks a month. I have been prescribed Aciclovir 400mg tablets to take two a day for six months. Unfortunately, I’m having side effects from this medicine. I have been feeling super exhausted, having lost of concentration and difficulty speaking. I still pushed myself to take this medicine as they stopped my outbreaks, but when one day I nearly collapsed and had a panic attack, I stopped immediately. 

 

I did all possible blood tests regarding general health and sexual, and no indications of something wrong with me. Doctors said I need to look after myself as it’s nothing they can do, as my results are all fine.

Of course, I felt in a dark place and alone all this time. It was a time I didn’t wanted get up and was crying every time a new outbreak was starting. Now I’m stronger mentally, shared the story with few close friends and thinking optimistic it will stop one day soon.

I just don’t get why I had no outbreaks last five years, and now this virus terrorising my body. I tried health supplements like Lysine, olive leaf and LomaHerpan cream. Nothing seems to help. 

 

Reading some comments, I saw I’m not alone and felt really sad for people who experienced a similar situations as I know how hard it is. 

I would highly appreciate your comments, perhaps someone experiencing similar issues!

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Hi!!! 

First, thank you for sharing your story with us. So many can relate and your experiences really help others feel less alone. 

Second, I am so sorry for the pain you've been experiencing. Herpes is such a unique virus in that it can lay dormant for years and suddenly flare up into back-to-back outbreaks like the ones you've been experiencing. 

Your negative swab result in July of 2020 could have been due to a delay in testing. Swab tests work by detecting a large enough amount of virus in a section of skin swabbed, so if the area swabbed just happened to contain less of the virus, it can produce a false negatives. Also, if the sores have already started to heal, or it's been more than 48 hours post-outbreak starting, the risk of the swab producing a glass negatives increases. 

Your sudden increase in outbreaks could be due to an environmental factor: something that has happened the last year that has reactivated the virus. It could even have been linked to the immense stress from COVID. If you started a new diet, exercise routine, started a new medication, or even came down with a cold or flue, it could trigger a chain of outbreaks. 

Also, sometimes herpes becomes resistant to antivirals. Viruses can adapt and become unaffected by antiviral medication, so instead of increasing the dosage to amounts that cause you harm (which is terrible! You don't deserve that at all!) You can try changing your medication. If your body is rejecting the medication through side effects, it is best to listen to your body and try a different method of helping the outbreaks, either with a new medication or a combination of different solutions. 

You have tried so many things already, so I'm sure you feel frustrated and just sad. If you feel you need more direct support, I recommend getting a referral from your doctor or OBGYN for a virologist. The fact that your doctor said they can't do anything more for you indicates that you need an expert opinion. That is not okay for them to just say they can't help you any further, because that's just in regards to what THEY can do, not what OTHER doctors can do!! Also, HSV-1 typically doesn't cause as intense and frequent outbreaks, so a virologist may be able to understand why this is happening and how to help.

In the meantime, be kind to yourself. You can and will get through this. Please know you are worthy of love and health and happiness, and good things are on the way. I am praying for you!!! ❤️☀️🌻

Blessings,

Grace

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  • 3 weeks later...

You are definitely not alone! I also had no outbreaks for 5.5 years and lived a very happy life. I had my first child July 2020 and 6 weeks later, boom….outbreak after outbreak. It’s been hell. I’ve had 17 give or take in the last 11 months, so I get it. I am at a loss as well. Obviously I think it’s because I gave birth, but it’s been almost a year and my body feels like it’s back to normal now. It’s just such a strange virus. Will go dormant for years and then show it’s ugly face.

I think sometimes when your body gets back to back outbreaks, it gets into a cycle and stays there for a while. But just like it magically appeared for you, I am confident it will go away too. I just don’t think we should expect to live the rest of our lives like this and I’m hopeful it’ll get better for both of us 💜

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

I would like to give an update on my story... Previously I have been told in the clinic they not planning to do a swab again as I been diagnosed with HSV-1 in 2015. Finally, a few weeks back, I managed to get an appointment in the GUM clinic (I am based in the UK), and a doctor took a swab. 

The results shocked me, and I had a week of crying and feeling super depressed. I guess our mentality takes time to adjust, and now I’m fine. 

My results came back as HSV-2!!! Great, now I have them both. I know it’s possible, but it’s unlikely ?! Usually, the HSV-1 anti-bodies will fight HSV-2 or something like that. I guess I need to do more research now as all this time, and I was researching HSV-1.

On the brighter side, at least I know it’s a new virus and the whole year, my body fighting it! That’s why I have constant outbreaks ( on average, 3 a month). Also, it’s made me think if my first HSV never bothered me since, so this second type also soon should to come down and hopefully never ever bother me again!

Also, I have been given valacyclovir to try instead of Aciclovir, which was making me poorly. (Even I know they are pretty much the same).

I do believe I got it from my partner last summer as my first outbreak in July 2019 was super painful and lasted few weeks. Now, these sores heal in few days sometimes!

And since I discovered my diagnosis, I feel more relieved in the way and really believing that this HSV-2 will stop terrorising my body! 

I felt calmer after I shared this story with my partner and few very close friends. For nearly a year, I have been keeping this story to myself. Also, I didn’t see my partner for a year since these outbreaks started due to covid travel restrictions (we live in different countries), so I guess we are more like friends now. Still, It’s so important in difficult situations to have support from your loved ones! 

Yes, I still cry when my outbreaks start but apart from that, I’m super optimistic. Nothing lasts forever, and this virus too! I mean, it stays in our bodies but can go back to sleep and not bother us! I wish everyone to get better who is going through a similar issue and stay strong 💖

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Hello!!

Oh my gosh!! Your journey through this has been so emotional and medically draining, but I am so so happy to hear you are working things through by confiding in others and getting a new antiviral to try! Did your partner know he had it, or was this news to him?

Yes, as you said, someone can have both types of HSV, although I am unsure what percent of people have both. It makes total sense why the outbreaks got so much worse (it was a new strain and your body had to build up immunity!). Also, HSV  symptoms are often more severe for those with vaginas, especially at the time of initial contact with the new strain.

Also, hooray for the GUM clinic actually respected your requested and did a swab test! Although it was so frustrating and tiring to keep asking, advocating for yourself can totally work out in the end. Way to stand up for yourself! ☺️

Thank you for sharing your journey with us and updating us with this news, I'm sure others who are struggling with similar stories can find comfort in knowing it all worked out. 

Blessings and prayers of health and happiness to you and your partner! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse, the outbreak or my mental health. Up and down because of this issue…
I’ve  prescribed Valaciclovir recently. I’m usually taking 1-2 tablets for 3 days if I feel the outbreak. It works, and I didn’t have an outbreak since the end of august! I felt a bit weak and had weird headaches coming back sometimes. It tends to happen when I take this medication for some reason… 
I’m not against medication but also I don’t want abuse my body with tablets all the time but at the end of the day if it helps, it helps. 
Thank you! 

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I'm in back to back h2 outbreaks, I went back on acyclovir as the valacyclovir wasn't working. Lol neither is this really but I'm going to see how it goes with a little more time. It happened after my husband passed away from Covid last year. But my gyne also put me on antidepressants with my antiviral so we'll see how that works.

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@Almostperfect Hello,

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your husband. I cannot even imagine the heartbreak you have been feeling.

Your outbreaks may be occurring because of stress. Loss and grief can manifest in the body, and can trigger different physical responses (one of them being HSV outbreaks).

The antidepressants may help reduce the stress, which can in turn may help reduce outbreaks. 

I am on Zoloft for my OCD and it helps me feel relaxed enough to be able to handle my stress, which is good. I hope that your antidepressant helps you! ❤️ 

Please know that you are not alone. We are here to listen and support you however you need. Remember that you are so loved, and that you are beautiful, and that you are strong ❤️.

Sending blessings and prayers your way ❤️

-- Grace 

 

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