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Many concerns..emotionally and physically

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Hi everyone.

I'm new here..and new to H.

I'm a 26 year old female.

I'm struggling both physically and emotionally.

I have so many questions. SO I apologize ahead of time for the long post.


A little bit of background -- a good friend and sexual partner of mine informed me last week that he went to get tested because of a single red bump at the base of his penis. At this point, I was already concerned because I was just starting to show symptoms already. He tested positive for genital HSV-1 and was very remorseful. I am also harboring guilt because I didn't realize that I've never been tested for HSV...and my symptoms have just gotten worse. I have been wanting to see the doctor for an entire week, but I had to wait because the earliest appointment at Planned Parenthood was a week away. I wanted to see my usual doc at PP and not a walk in clinic, because as a nurse, I know that H is not well educated on in the medical field unless you specialize in sexual health (SO SAD).


So until then, I have been waiting for my appointment, which is tomorrow (2/8/17) and using this website as a tool to educate myself on the virus. So I haven't officially been diagnosed yet, but it is inevitable. I have had the WORST outbreak from what started from what I thought was a sex injury or a cut. It's been nearly 10 days and nothing has healed. New breakouts started to form around my anus, perineum, and at the bottom of my butt cheeks. The virus has not spread above the opening to my vagina (very thankful), or on my labia minora; however I do have a fairly long ulcer between the crease of my labia minora and majora, close to the vaginal opening - that was the first one I noticed. I never noticed itching, or bumps/blisters...just a "cut" between my lips, which has transformed into an ulcer and many subsequent other breakouts.


Is it typical for these ulcers to...ooze? I don't know that that is the right term...but they sort of weep.


As a healthcare professional, I am embarrassed to say I didn't know much about this virus, and thus I have so many questions. From what I understand, the primary outbreak can be individual to everyone...but I'm trying to see if my experience is like others have experienced. My partner had a single red bump that has healed already. I'm feeling a bit disgusted with my body. How come mine couldn't have just been a single bump? :( ugh...


My BIGGEST concern has been keeping the entire vaginal/anal area dry. I have an abundance of light yellow watery discharge. I'm worried this is what is keeping everything from healing. Has anyone else experienced this yellowish discharge? It doesn't necessarily smell foul, just stronger than my usual. I do have a history of BV....but typically BV normally has watery clear/white discharge, right? I'm so concerned about this...so any insight would be great. I didn't notice the discharge until maybe 5 days into my outbreak. Also, urination isn't too painful as the sores are not near my urethra. However, (sorry TMI) POOPING IS A BITCH! It hurts SO BAD. Any suggestions on what to do to help? I have done Epsom salt baths, topical tea tree oil (straight up..I don't mess around), and I've been taking L-Lysine just until I can see my doctor.


Also, if my partner said he tested positive for HSV-1, it is likely that is the strain I have, correct? I, of course, will be tested for both just in case. But I found conflicting views online. For example, I read that if someone who has oral HSV-1 transmits the virus onto the genitals by oral sex, then it is automatically changed to HSV-2, as in it is NO LONGER HSV-1, because it is on the genitals. I found that to be odd, since I know HSV-1 can occur on both oral and genital regions. If someone obtained the virus from oral sex, HSV-1 can still be transmitted via vaginal sex, right?


Is HSV-1 that much less severe than HSV-2?! Should I go on suppressive therapy? Should he go on suppressive therapy, as we are not monogamous? I only have medicaid right now while I am looking for a job (just graduated nursing school and got my license!). I'm worried antivirals won't be covered. And will I have a hard time finding insurance?!


My partner is concerned that he won't be able to kiss his kid. Is that true? I thought because his HSV-1 is below the belt, that it is unlikely it is in his mouth. I told him to just have good hygiene and wash his hands...but not to be afraid to kiss his daughter on the cheek or anything. He has never had an active outbreak on his mouth in his life....


(So sorry for all the questions)...


Finally, I have been struggling emotionally with this. I have told only 1 person...a co-worker of mine who is HSV positive. I am anxious all of the time..I have a hard time sleeping. MY best friend is my mother and I can't seem to tell her. Every time I think of telling my mom, I panic. I almost always have a panic attack just thinking about it. And then I always come to the conclusion that I won't tell her. It will just make her worry about me and my future and I don't want her pity. And I don't need someone else worrying about my love life and my future. I want her support...but not that kind of support. I think because it's so raw I just want my mommy. But I don't think she will react supportive and I'm so vulnerable right now. I know she will still love me...but I don't think she would look at me the same way. Is it terrible that I don't tell her? Am I being an awful person by keeping this from her?...at least for now. I feel like I may need to come to terms with it first before I worry her.


Ultimately, I feel alone. I know the stigma is so real. I hate that....but as someone who wants a family and to be married one day, I have started to emotionally prepare myself for being alone. My ultimate defense mechanism. That is not healthy. That is no way to live. I refuse to be inhibited by this. However, I can't help but think that I feel like a lepper in my age group. I feel like a coward...like I will never be able to disclose to anyone, and thus I will never find someone to love me. I've felt this way before after getting out of a psychologically abusive relationship a little over 2 years ago...and I feel myself slipping into that feeling once more. I need some clarity. I need so reassurance that there is love (both platonic and romantic) after herpes. I am not brave right now to tell anyone. Not even my closest friends. I have been crying every day. I can't eat, and I can barely sleep.


Sorry for the long post....and thank you all for your patience with me. I look forward to forming connections with people on here for support, as all of the posts I've read are so happy and optimistic. I am ready to start feeling that way, even so early on...


Feeling silly and sad,

Sunsh1ne, the vulnerable and perhaps naive RN.

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Hi Sunsh1ne, please don't cry. I have to know that we will be okay. I cry a lot over this too, but I stop myself almost before a tear actually falls. I shove it down, which probably isn't healthy either. I am so thankful that you and I found this site! IT IS A BLESSING TO ME. I haven't posted yet, I'm so new, but I want to tell you, I know how you feel about not being able to tell someone, not even your mom, because I can't even bring myself to tell my DAUGHTER, and probably never will. She will scold me like a child! She is so much better at being single than I am; she has taken my own advice about safe sex better than I have. And I am one who gets tested regularly.


What struck me about your post is that I feel exactly the same as you do. It shows me that this virus knows no age, no race, no gender. It is ruthless, it has no rules. I am 56. You are so young, you are literally 2 years younger than my daughter. And yet here we both are.


So, guess how dumb I am? I hope this story makes you not feel so alone. Me, 56 and after living my whole life without any STD whatsoever, and just found out that the last of the only 3 guys that I have even dated during the 3 years after my divorce transmitted HSV 2 to me. I am really quite attractive for a 56 year old, in fact, people are shocked and think I'm 30 or 40. But I feel so very undesirable now, I am struggling with thinking my life is over and no one will want me now. At my age. I HAVE TO BELIEVE THIS IS NOT TRUE.


I had waited 2 years to even try to have sex because I was so nervous and scared (and frankly, single guys my age are so weird that it's impossible to find someone you even want to have dinner with, trust me). The first guy was just a huge mistake and a big regret. I just gave in because I was sick of being a nun and feeling so sexless after abstaining for 2 years. Then, a few months later, I had run into my ex-boyfriend from right after high school (he was the first, if that's not crazy) and had a fling. He had grown up to be an international model and actually had been on a Men's Health cover years ago so I kinda forgive myself for my error in judgment haha, but ... he was was a complete mess so that ended very quickly.


But, I still know it wasn't him, because it was another 6 months before I met the D-Day guy (the one who gave it to me), on a dating site. Oh, we had lots of chemistry, undeniable. Close to 3 months into dating, even after I had initiated the "being safe" TALK with him because I had been tested and was clean and wanted to stay that way, and he had said he was the same, I got swollen lymph nodes and felt like I was fighting off the flu. I got blood tested for HSV1 and 2 because a friend warned me that she had the same symptoms when she got H at 19. My blood test results were: I tested NEGATIVE on HSV2, positive on 1 - but my ex husband had had cold sores and I've had one or two in my life so I expected to be positive on 1. But then about a week later came a tiny, I swear it was literally invisible, cut that hurt, well frankly, like a bitch. I got a swab test and, when the doctor never called me with the results, I thought it was because it was negative. I thought about calling them but, surely they would call to warn me if it was positive? Maybe no news is good news? The cut went away, and I truly thought it was a tear or an abrasion, because that is what the doctor told me when he did the swab test! He had said, "this isn't H, it looks nothing like it" and that at my age, "tears are common, be sure to use lube". Understand that I had a P.A. AND a Doctor tell me it wasn't H. So I didn't worry and when the tiny cut came back, D-Day boy and I had already ended, because I had already figured out he was a mistake. (I just didn't know how big of a mistake.) Anyway, I still thought it was a tear and treated it with V-Magic (from Whole Foods, probably a bad idea because it's like a moisturizer sheesh), took Vaginal Probiotics (which I SWEAR seemed to work, also from Whole Foods) and it went away.


On my merry way, LaLaLa. Went to Mexico, had a birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas with no issues.


Then, I got major stressed over a family issue in January and boy did it come back in force. I knew what it was then, I know about stress and H. I called my Dr and said, BTW, what WERE my results anyway? And yes, I flipped out when I heard the news. At my age. Wonderful.


So, back last June, I was blood tested and results were NEGATIVE for 2, positive for 1, but 10 days later, positive for 2 via a swab test. I never knew this until January. My doctor's nurse (who seems to know more than my doctor about this) said because of when I got sick, with the flu like symptoms over two months after we had started being intimate, this knowledge (since it takes a while for antibodies to show up) helps me narrow down when I got it. D-Day boy it is.


Thankfully, I hadn't had sex with anyone else (I had learned my lesson about not properly screening men for being D-Bags and/or Crazy), or I would have felt really, really bad. But when I emailed D-Day boy, he DENIED it. Granted, I was pretty upset but I truly didn't do any name calling. He's never been tested but says he has no symptoms, so he doesn't have it? I thought he had been TESTED??? I should have known, he has a chronic illness and won't even go to the doctor for that. I told him the timeline, that I hadn't been with anyone since him, I told him to go get tested and please don't give it to someone else. CRICKETS. SILENCE. NO REPLY. I had been GHOSTED. Personally, if I was him, I would have rushed to the doctor, and proudly scanned and emailed my negative test results right back to the person who said she got H from. But he didn't. Because he knows, and because he knows I know he knows!


So now, here we are. I go back and forth with feeling hopeless. I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and the second my eyes open, before I'm even out of bed, I think, my heart dropping to the floor, "Oh, that's right. It's not a nightmare. It's real". And that's when I want to cry the most. You see, in the middle of the night, it's just me, my racing thoughts, my regret, and I. Well, and my cat, but he keeps his mouth shut.


But then, when I read what Adrial says about turning this into a filter, a screening process, if you will, it makes me think. I'm still a pretty, fit woman, but I have been rejected over and over again by 55 ish year old men who want to date women, well, who are your age. I tried dating sites, and had oh, about 100 first dates with men who couldn't pay the tab, had 20 year old photos up and showed up looking like my dead grandfather, had serious personality issues, were flakes, jaded, jobless, you name it. I had finally resigned myself to lowering my standards. Honestly, I had actually liked D-Day boy, even though the multiple red flags were a-flyin'. (That's another story.)


Settling. It's not a good thing.


Now, when I find someone I like, when I disclose - and I will - if he sticks around, then I will at least know, this guy's for real. He's the real deal and that is oh too difficult to find these days. Maybe I will find him, maybe I won't (because I haven't yet anyway), but at least it he will be easier to spot. And this will keep me from lowering my standards yet again just because I don't want to be alone anymore. I'm trying to like ME more than that.


Let's keep taking it one day at a time. We didn't ask for this; we trusted someone and they let us down. Maybe they didn't know, maybe they did. It might be water under the bridge, but let's not choose to jump off that bridge anytime soon. Let's see if Adrial is right, that life can be great even with H. A part of our lives is behind us, but not our entire lives. Don't let this ruin your future, continue to read the success stories here (so will I) and know that if it can happen for them, it will surely happen for you.



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I just realized I totally ignored most of your questions. I may not be right, I'm new at this (ugh) so someone please check me. HSV 1 doesn't turn into HSV 2 just because of where it is, HSV 1 can be anywhere. HSV 2 is in the boxer short area (right)? They are kind the same except where the virus settles. 1 is in the upper spine area and 2 is in the lower.


People can get HSV1 from kissing, if there's a sore there. Not sure about viral shedding on this one though. And I think it can be transmitted vaginally, even via oral sex,


I have heard HSV1 can be as severe or more as 2, because it can roam around. I have had HSV 1 probably since I was a kid, when I had a mouth ulcer. My husband had cold sores from time to time, I never got one or had any HSV symptoms. Looking back, I had a rash inside my mouth a couple of times but was told it was allergies. Now I wonder - the misdiagnoses abound!


I took an epsom salt bath and had my most recent outbreak the very next day. Not sure if there is a correlation but just be aware of this.


I had BV and its a gross fishy smell (you know), and yes, I had an odorless but whitish discharge with my last outbreak.


Suppressive therapy is your decision, L-Lysine is an option, try the pro-biotics for vaginal health, I really think they helped me. Personally, I am on it because I was without any therapy for almost a year and I don't want another one any time soon. I will probably try to wean off though just to see what happens. KEEPING MY STASH CLOSE AT HAND! If you plan to have sex with others though, it might be best to do the suppressive route.


Finally, because you are a nurse, maybe there is one thing you can do to make it a positive: become an expert on this. Maybe make it part of your career. Look at all the misinformation flying around these days! We need a good medical advisor who can see it from our perspective. Just a thought.....

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Thank you so much for your response. Your kind words are so appreciated! And yes! I agree, I’m happy that this site exists for people like you and I who need an outlet. It really makes you feel less alone in the world.


It sounds like your daughter and my mom would react in very similar manners. I always just want to make her proud and I wouldn’t want her to worry or be disgusted with me. I love her so much…and sometimes I just wanna hug from her. But I’ve gotten this far without her and I’m confident I’ll be a little better mentally and emotionally once my first outbreak heals. You’re right though…this virus shows no mercy. ME being young is what worries me. I don’t want to live my life without companionship. I’ve always wanted to have kids and be married. Maybe have my mom help me with my kids even (she’s been divorced for about 20 years). And for some crazy reason I’m letting this get to my head. Thinking I have to learn how to be okay with the possibility that I’ll be alone forever. I mean my mom has never dated, and she’s been my role model. She’s so strong and independent….if she’s done it, so can I?…but it’s not what I want. I want a family and I can’t kid myself into thinking I don’t.


I feel undesirable as well. I have a hard enough time dating as is and now I feel like it’s going to be even more difficult. We offer to much to be alone for the rest of our lives. We are beautiful. We are compassionate and kind, and we love too much for our own good perhaps (thanks HSV). But surely there are people in this world to look past all of that. I am ready to find someone that I can start my life with…


You crack me up: “and frankly, single guys my age are so weird that it's impossible to find someone you even want to have dinner with, trust me”. My mom, who is about your age, says the SAME thing. So funny.


Wow your story sounds eerily familiar. I could have sworn my outbreak started as a cut too. They do NOT teach you that in nursing school! They don’t even teach that in sex ed! The manifestations of an outbreak are so not what I thought a typical H outbreak is.


That guy sounds like he is in serious denial. He should do his research because it can spread without symptoms. AND!!! You’d think he would be more mature about it. His defensive attitude is really just sad. And you did the right thing by telling him. I’m lucky in that the guy who called me about his positive results, is 35 and he handled it like a total gentleman. And we are still friends. In my case, who knows who gave it to who? It didn’t matter to us. We just want to move forward now.


I was telling a friend that when I open my eyes in the morning, I feel okay, and then when I roll over slightly, I wince and then remember everything. My heart just sinks into my stomach. The mornings are the worst, both physically and mentally for me. I find that getting up and staying busy helps keep my mind off it. And to think how common this STD really is…I was walking down the street today counting people: 1…2…3…HERPES….the thought that we are not alone is comforting. I hope you find comfort in knowing that too. And if you need support this is a great place. MY cat, also keeps his mouth shut…which most nights I’m thankful for. He’s solid company.


I’m a fairly guarded individual myself. I got out of a very emotionally abusive relationship a few years ago and have tried a few online dating apps. It was a nightmare. So I hear you on that one. @adrial is correct that this should be used as a screening process. People who are genuine will want to get to know us and just see this as a blip on their radar. And we want those people in our lives…You are so right on. We need to like OURSELVES first! That is SO right on. I love that.


You’ve been so kind. Thank you so much for reaching out! I do take probiotics anyways for gut and vaginal health. My family has a history of IBS and h. pylori so I try to stay on top of that. TURNS OUT that the yellowish vaginal discharge was BV…but it was such an odd color. She couldn’t use the speculum because it hurt too bad, but she was able to get a sample to successfully diagnose BV. I am on antibiotics and am SO thankful because the discharge is already clearing up and I’ve been able to stay clean and dry which I think is helping the sores heal. I’m also on acyclovir 3x a day for 10 days. Sort of kills my stomach though, I must be honest.


I definitely wouldn’t mind getting into women’s healthcare…that is truly an amazing idea. Thank you for your support!!


We can get through this. And if you need anyone to talk to, I’m here :)

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Hello Sunsh1ne,


Thank you for your reply! So sorry your exam was painful, sometimes when people say this H think is just an annoyance, I think it's a little worse than that to me, because it's a very PAINFUL annoyance. I am having good days and bad days. I am here if you need to talk also, I check in every few days. We have inboxes but to be honest, I don't know if we can message each other that way or if it's just for notifications lol! I guess I'll have to find out.


Sounds like your mom and I have dated the same guys! But on the serious side, I have seen so many stories about people with HSV going on to find great relationships, have families, and live happy lives. I think I even saw on a random post that Adrial is married now and his wife is expecting a baby. It may be an old post or I could be remembering incorrectly who it was, but at least I know it was on this site. Don't give up on that dream!


And you cracked me up too! 1...2...3...HERPES! You know why it's even more funny? I DO THAT TOO! My friend, who is in her 50s and got it from the second time she had sex, told me that me doing that is totally weird but I can't help doing it. It makes me feel more normal. I sit in a meeting in a room, or when I give presentations, or dining in a restaurant and I look around count people. I realize that I could be even sitting next to someone who has it also. I try not to get jealous of the ones that don't have it. Because that makes me feel ugly and unwanted again.


One of the best photos of me in recent years was taken on my birthday a few months ago. I use it on all my social media profiles. I realized yesterday that now when I look at myself in the mirror, I see a unattractive, undesirable woman. But, it dawned on me, I HAD this when I took that photo, I just didn't know it. I'm still the same person. It's just the thoughts in my head that are making me unattractive and undesirable. On my bad days, I'm going to remember that and literally work on changing my thoughts. I have to.


I hope that you start feeling better very soon! Getting on the suppressive meds helps me feel like I am actually doing something about this, and while we aren't supposed to talk about vaccines here, I believe that there is one very close at hand. Maybe we will be the lucky ones, and in our lifetime we can be rid, or have less of, the symptoms of this menace. And others can be vaccinated against getting it so we won't have that hanging over our heads. Let's hold on to hope!


Have a wonderful day, and I MEAN IT! LOL! Signed, your other mom HAHA!





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