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2nd outbreak - worse than first

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Hi all ,

I’m new here , having been diagnosed a year ago .

I accidentally contacted herpes of my partner through oral sex whilst she had a very small cold sore.  only I have genital herpes though (and we plan to keep it that way !) but I think probably like a lot of people at my first outbreak I went through a short period of feeling a bit sorry for myself , regretful this has happened etc. - but then once it cleared. I’ve largely been able to return to normal life - it’s not been something that’s dominated me or my relationship with my partner as we’ve been very pragmatic about it .

almost a year to the day later and I had my second outbreak following a UTI ( my doctor suspects I passed a small kidney stone causing the infection) and it has been much worse.

I have read that usually subsequent outbreaks lessen in severity , but this has been much more severe . I have had much worse sores , aches , fever etc.  and whilst it is tailing off now I still seem to have sores in my urethra as I am experiencing a lot of trouble and pain urinating and night sweats / slight fever / generally ill feeling 

I have been checked and it’s not anything else btw . 

I don’t know if it’s been so much worse this time as it was triggered by the UTI ? Or because I didn’t start my antivirals until after the antibiotics I had been given ?

but it’s definitely been much more debilitating and has made me quite depressed as I feel SO run down now - it’s definitely made me very anxious about future outbreaks and I guess the weight of it feels like it’s hit me more . 

has anyone else experienced anything like this ?  I’d really appreciate any advice or insight as , obviously , this is new to me and the resources online seem to be more centred on symptoms and treatment rather than personal experience .

greatly appreciate and advice and hope this finds everyone well - thanks ! 


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Hey there,

First of all, welcome to the community! It's great to have you here, though I wish it was under different circumstances. Dealing with a herpes diagnosis can be challenging, but you're definitely not alone, and we're here to support you.

I totally get that the initial outbreak and the second one hitting you harder can feel like a rollercoaster of emotions. It's okay to have those moments of feeling sorry for yourself or regretful. The important thing is to allow yourself to process those feelings and know that it's completely natural to experience them.

It's interesting how subsequent outbreaks are often said to be milder, but as with anything related to herpes, everyone's experience can be different. And it seems like the UTI might have played a role in this one being more severe. The combination of factors like the timing of starting antivirals and the UTI itself could have contributed to the intensity of this outbreak. I wouldn't put a ton of stock in only the first outbreak was supposed to be the worst. The first few can actually be pretty intense, but gradually over time, healthy immune systems tend to keep future outbreaks at bay. Just give it time. My first few were pretty bad, but they did keep getting easier and easier to manage. Fast forward to now and they're barely a blip on the radar. 

In the meantime, take it easy and give yourself some extra self-care. Healing physically and emotionally from an outbreak can take time, and it's essential to be gentle with yourself.

Again, welcome to the community, and we're here to walk this journey with you. Take care, and hang in there! 😊

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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