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Hello, first I would like to say that I’m glad this page exists because this is really hard to deal with. I am 37 F and I don’t recall ever being infected / showing symptoms. However, I recently suffered an outbreak on my genitals and was diagnosed with HSV 2. I have been married for 3 years and with this same partner for 4 years. There is no way it came from him because he was not sexually active prior to us meeting. So, I must have contracted the virus prior to our relationship. This also means I likely gave him the virus even though he hasn’t shown any symptoms so far. When I told him my diagnosis he was sad/upset but says that we will get through it together. I feel guilty that I may have given this to him and obviously wish things were different. 

I am posting here for a few reasons -

1. Hoping to find someone in a similar situation so that we can relate/perhaps support each other. 

2. We were planning to try for a child somewhat soon. Given my age I’m not sure if that would have been an easy road but now I feel even worse about it. I read that HSV 2 doubles the risk for autism and can cause even worse complications. I would like to hear from other women who have the same diagnosis and also had successful child births. Or any adverse stories just so that I know what I may be getting into.

Ive spent the last couple days feeling sad, heartbroken, damaged, uncomfortable, and overall down. Not sure how to pick myself out of this ditch I’m in but maybe that just takes time. Any help / guidance would be appreciated.

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Hello,

I had a similar situation to yours.  I am a 34 year old female.  I had a full panel of STD testing done when I was 25 and was told that I came in contact with someone with HSV1 but they didn't tell me anything else.  So me being so young and not really getting the full extent of what that meant, I just went on with my life.  Since I was 25, I have been married and divorced and never gave it to my ex husband and I have also been in a relationship for over 5 years with my boyfriend and he also doesn't have HSV.  I have only had one genital outbreak in July 2022 and it was a terrible outbreak and that was when I was fully diagnosed with Genital HSV1 and someone actually explained to me what that meant as the last doctor in 2015 just told me I came in contact with someone and my body made antibodies to fight it off.  

I have three beautiful kids that were born in 2010, 2017 and 2020.  My child that was born in 2010 (before I had HSV) is the only child with ADHD and Autism but my other two boys are completely healthy and happy.   Its definitely possible to have a successful relationship and have beautiful children while you have HSV.   There are medications you can take you lower the risk of transmission to your partner,  I believe with pregnancy, the only thing that matters is if you are having an active outbreak when you are delivering and in that case, they would perform a C-section instead to avoid transmission.  

I know finding out that you have HSV can be really scary and makes you feel all over the place but it will get better when you have the knowledge on how this virus actually works.  I was a basket case until I found this website and really figured out how to manage this.  

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Hey @Mzinformed.sad,

I'm glad you found us! It's totally understandable to feel overwhelmed, but you're not alone in this. All of us have been there in our lives in our own ways. 

About your specific concerns about pregnancy and HSV-2, there's some reassuring news. A study mentioned in a CNN article highlighted that the risk of autism linked to herpes during pregnancy might be overstated. The study initially suggested that a herpes flare-up during early pregnancy could double the odds of a child being diagnosed with autism, but this was thought to be due to the mother's immune response, not direct infection of the fetus. However, experts critiquing the study emphasized that its findings were not conclusive and urged pregnant women not to worry about HSV-2 as a cause of autism based on this single exploratory study. This should alleviate some of your concerns about HSV-2 and autism. You can read more in the article here: https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/22/health/autism-herpes-pregnancy-study/index.html

Also, @AlliKat12's personal experience is really valuable. Many women with HSV have had successful pregnancies and healthy children. It's possible to manage HSV during pregnancy with the right medical guidance, including taking medication to lower the risk of transmission and considering delivery options to avoid transmitting the virus to the baby. And to be clear, transmitting herpes to a baby via vaginal delivery is super rare! It's certainly nothing to cause you to avoid having children. 

Remember, knowledge is power. Understanding how HSV works and managing it effectively can help you lead a fulfilling life. It's normal to feel down, but with time, support, and information, you'll find your way through this.

Sending you strength and support. You got this. 

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
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Hello @AlliKat12 I appreciate your response and upbeat attitude! It is great to know that you had healthy pregnancies and children after diagnosis. 
 

Hello @mr_hopp thank you for responding and creating this forum/site. I see it has helped / is helping so many people! Thank you for sharing the article about hsv and pregnancy. I really appreciate how you provide facts and solid information on this forum! I’m going to spend some more time going through the guides and ebook on the website too. 
 

It has been almost a week since my diagnosis and I’m still down. My husband seemed supportive in the beginning but he is going through his own stages. I think he’s a bit more angry than at first. He plans to go get tested this week. I just can’t imagine how he should feel if the first partner he had relations with (me) and chose to marry (me), ended up giving him an incurable sexual virus. I have fears of him never wanting to have sex again or just plain up leave me. I am starting therapy next week to cope with all of this. I feel sad for myself but mostly guilt that I probably gave this to my husband. I just wish I would have knew before we met. At this point it’s just a waiting game and the future doesn’t feel so hopeful anymore.  

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You were having unprotected sex for over 3 years and nothing happened? What would change after knowing the diagnosis? It's almost the same right? Almost 80% of people are asymptomatic, maybe he has it long time ago.
Maybe he is feeling that you were cheating on him and that is why you have this right now, but the virus can keep silent for years. Also herpes is not even a health issue, is mostly a psychological problem, that affects our self steem.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all. My husband went for an HSV blood test and he came back negative. After about two weeks he decided that he wanted to end our marriage. He doesn’t want to risk being intimate with me again now knowing this H diagnosis. I’m grieving this loss, sad, shocked. I’m just taking it day by day but hoping to connect with an H buddy around my age / female. This had all been such a whirlwind. Life can change so drastically in such a short amount of time. 

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Even when he knows it has been a few years and nothing happened so far? I think, that he believes you got it lately cheating on him. Also, a person that leaves you alone by something like this, is not worth your sadness and grieve. It is going to be hard at first, but I wish you well and that you are going to find your hapiness.

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  • 3 weeks later...

@iwanthope We were waiting to have children so we always used condoms. He doesn’t think that I recently got it, he thinks that he got lucky and avoided getting it. We are still working out the separation but he is not changing his mind. We are sleeping in separate bedrooms and haven’t been intimate since my diagnosis. I was very sad at first but time lessens the emotions in most cases. Either way, I'm continuing with daily life and moving forward. I don’t think I’ll be interested in dating for a long while. It’s okay to be alone. Thank you for the well wishes! 

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