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New the HSV ranks and I have quality of life questions from the female perspective

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Hello Veterans,


I am currently 7 days post first symptoms and 3 days post diagnoses.


Questions that I have:


1. What natural treatments to you use to help prevent future OB?

2. Do I really have to give up coffee (it’s my crutch and I may be more irritated with this than the fact that I have HSV!)?

3. Anything that you use to help get through your OB – quality of life during the OB time?

4. I’m an avid runner – any tips here?


I refuse to let this diagnose take over my life – I am still the same person I was preHSV and I know the more knowledge I have on my side the better this journey will be.


Thanks much!


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I am by no means a veteran but I might be able to give you a little bit of insight. I had my first out break 2 months ago in early December, 15 years into a monogamous relationship. You can imagine my shock!


1) I don't know. So far I have chosen to do nothing. I'm not taking antivirals either. I figure since most people have mild symptoms I'm just going to roll with it and see what happens.


2) Same as above. I have chosen not to change my diet. I like to drink coffee, wine, beer, and eat chocolate, I intend to keep it up. Again, I'm going to roll with this and see how my body handles it. If I need to make adjustments I will but for now it's life as usual.


3) I haven't had a second out break yet so it's hard to say what my game plan is. My primary out break was way more difficult psychologically than physically and since they say the first one is the worst I figure any future ones shouldn't be too big of a deal.


4) I don't know that I would say I'm an "avid" runner but I do have one full marathon and many halfs under my belt. I try to do one or two halfs a year. Again I've only had this since December and I was taking a couch break from running during that time (I can only motivate myself to run when I have a pending race scheduled) but I started training again in mid January and so far so good.


I also like to mountain bike so I'm a little more worried about what that means should I want to ride during an out break. Sometimes biking gives me yeast infections so I figure it's probably the same type of situation.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Love the ending of your post and glad you feel that way. you are still you regardless of HSV.

Im not a veteran either but almost a year in.


1. What natural treatments to you use to help prevent future OB? I started religiously taking a multivitamin. Otherwise i've heard others try lysine but im not sure how effective that is.


2. Do I really have to give up coffee (it’s my crutch and I may be more irritated with this than the fact that I have HSV!)?

Honestly, I didn't give up coffee or wine or anything, its something I love and i wasn't about to give that up. Everyone supposedly has different triggers. I spoke with a physician who says that it comes and goes as it pleases, that there isn't much to do to prevent an outbreak, just to manage it when it does. I've thought they were triggered by my period, or tight clothes, shaving, stress, or friction with sex. But i wasn't about to change how i live except to try to lessen the stress of life haha. Yes adjust life a little during an outbreak, ie. refrain from sexual contact, wear looser fitting clothes for comfort, rest, etc. but don't stop living.


3. Anything that you use to help get through your OB – quality of life during the OB time?

Whatever comforts you, find some close support through friends/family. symptom management is key along with taking antivirals if you want to. I started with taking them only during an outbreak and they were frequent so i decided to go on daily therapy which also helps any partner. Itching - covered ice, cool setting on hair dryer, keep clean & dry, shower. pain - medication, avoid touching. loose clothing for both.


4. I’m an avid runner – any tips here?

Keep running! Might be a great outlet. During an outbreak it might be more uncomfortable to wear tighter clothing so opt for something looser, moisture wicking/cotton underwear to let it breathe & I wouldn't stay in your workout clothes for hours after sweating. I do crossfit and have found that it helps to wear looser pants/shorts during an outbreak sometimes but exercise is my therapy so sometimes adjusting the workout to not be uncomfortable in that area might help too.



Hope this helps! It's been some trial and error with these things and you'll find out what works best for you! I've found a lot of support through this site on and off over the last year.

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Thanks kaytea3! I really am determined to live my life in the same manner as I did before but I would be amiss if I didn't admit that I am scared to death to date again. I know that this is a blessing - and how I react to it and define it is up to me. What has your experience been like since your diagnoses?

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  • 4 months later...

Hey! Also really love the tone of your post toward the end! You've already got it figured out- you're still you, so don't let it get in your way.

Not a veteran by any means, but about 2 years here with HSV. 

1. As far as natural treatments, I'm not super sure. Generally just keeping your most afflicted areas clean, even when nothing is wrong. And if you want to look into it, antivirals can do wonders.

2. I drink at least two cups of coffee a day so I feel like that's a choice based on triggers! It would definitely increase my stress more if I didn't have the coffee, I think, so you've gotta do what's best for you!

3. I take daily antivirals, and when or if I feel an outbreak coming on, I take a double dose for three days or however long it lasts. Most of the time, it stops the OB in the tracks and I've seen a dramatic decrease in outbreaks since my first.

4. I'm a runner too! I would just suggest running, then taking off any tight clothing after ward. I personally like wearing leggings/etc while running because anything too loose seems to irritate me more. But as soon as I'm done running, I hop in the shower immediately, not sitting around in the clothes, etc. 

It sounds like you've got a really good attitude about life in general! I don't think anything can stop you. 

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  • 6 months later...

Lysine is the bomb! When I had my second outbreak it was way worse than my first.. I was in pain for 10 days.. then good friend since kindergarten who also has hsv-2 (found out when I lost my shit when I was diagnosed) suggested I take that supplement.. I take one each day with my valtrex.  When I ran  for exercise during outbreak, there were some days painful to walk.. I wore some shorts I had where the liner wasn’t too thick or fitted. 

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To me it’s really all about how my immune system and nervous system is feeling. Stress is the worst thing, whether one has HSV or not, so it’s definitely to be avoided. Try not to pull all nighters, always be one step ahead of getting exhausted - you can party or stay up or worry about deadlines but don’t let it overwhelm you, otherwise your body will need time to heal the damage of stress. 

I basically run on caffeine, I drink my coffee black, a double every morning. I didn’t experience any discomfort related to it. Drink away. Cheers! As long as it doesn’t get your stress levels up (I mean drinking too much at once, or drinking it to avoid having to sleep longer) you’re good to go. In my experience atleast. 

Sugar however can promote inflammation of all kinds, so again, HSV aside, reducing sugar intake will help your wellbeing. I do eat sweets sometimes but I prefer fruits and (when cooking) natural alternatives like xylithol or stevia. 

I never convinced myself to start running, but I do cardio 4x a week at the gym, elliptical trainer etc. Lots of sweating, high heart rate, sometimes my lady parts rub against the fabric I’m wearing too, duh... and no problems so far. 

If you have an outbreak but don’t feel sick (fever, weakness, typical flu-like “Attention! There’s a virus in the system! Oh no!” symptoms) then you can workout. Use a tiny bit of Lidocaine cream if you have any discomfort. And of course shower soon afterwards. 

By the way, I found warm salt baths really helpful, it relaxes my skin as well as my nerves.

Maybe consider a suppressive therapeutic dose of antivirals on a regular basis, if needed. 


Dating is not any worse than otherwise. LOL Normally you have to tell potential partners things like “I voted for XY, I like/hate being touched here and there, I prefer (not) to be in control, I don’t like to get physical til the whateverth date”, now you just have to add “I have this little problem but I have it under control, the risk for you if we use protection is minor, but ofcourse I wanted to let you know so you can choose whether to take it or not”. 


Don’t let the diagnosis bring you down, indeed, it’s just a virus that causes a skin irritation, not a huge deal if you take care of your health anyway! 🤘 

All the best. 

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