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  • #19743

    Hi all,

    Thankful to have found this page. I’m having my first outbreak, started a few days ago and I got the viral culture result yesterday. HSV 1. Worst Valentine’s Day gift ever. My symptoms are tolerable, but now I’m currently playing the waiting game …. my partner is out of town but he knows we have something serious to discuss. I appreciate the time, its giving me the opportunity to get educated and get rid of the tears…………. I’m nervous to be starting this journey, but I’m determined to not let this define me or change me.


    I found out 5 days ago that I have HSV 2… Unfortunately, I don’t have a story where I had a partner who gave it to me, a monogamous relationship, or even something I willingly went into knowing the possibility of contracting the virus from somebody I actually gave a damn about. I got herpes from my very first one night stand (go figure)

    My story starts with a night of drinking too much alcohol (to the point of throwing up when I got home), a cute guy (that I didn’t even remember talking to or exchanging numbers with, but somehow managed to text him my address), and a decision I woke up regretting as he was laying next to me that morning.

    To make a long story short, a couple weeks ago I started what I thought was a UTI or maybe even a yeast infection. I was only itchy for 2 days in the beginning, but very uncomfortable when urinating. I dealt with the uncomfortable urination for almost a week when finally one day I woke up and it was brutal to go to the bathroom. The following day it clicked in my head that I had changed my soap and maybe I was having a reaction. However that same day I was beginning to have pain down the back of my legs and this had me the most worried. I finally decided I needed an antibiotic for this infection.

    At the urgent care, the triage nurse asked me all basic questions and medical history. When I had told her about what felt like sciatica pain, she began asking about my sexual history. I had shamefully told her about my one night stand and in my head I was thinking this woman is judging me and thinking I’m some stupid slut that contracted trichomoniasis or something (pain in legs with trich as well). However, this was not the case- she told me she thought I had contracted herpes. I immediately started to cry because how can I have an incurable virus when I don’t have any rashes, sores, blisters, or anything. Now, the nurse was extremely comforting and had said it’s just like having a cold sore, but in a different area. That people make a much bigger deal out of it than it really is because nobody ever talks about it.. So, after I calmed down I did a urine culture, the doctor came in and did a pap smear style swab, and gave me meds to treat a UTI and a yeast infection. The doctor didn’t see anything during the swab and said it didn’t look like I had herpes- which I let out a huge breath of air after hearing that. Upon leaving I was told that I should have the results back by that Saturday and any medicine or further problems, contact them.

    After I called every day since that Sunday, they finally called me back Thursday morning at work and confirmed that not only did I have bacterial vaginosis, but I had also gotten chlamydia AND Herpes. Needless to say I was a mess and had to try to contain myself between patients – worst day ever. My inital feelings were shock, embarrassment, shame, disgust, and felt like this was something I deserved for being so careless and stupid.Karma’s a bitch, right?

    It’s only been 5 days since I found out and I’m almost numb to it. When the one of the very few people who know about it complain about anything – my response is “well, at least you don’t have herpes”. Making stupid jokes is almost like my way of dealing with it. Also I know I have it, but I want to have a blood test to really confirm it. I need to also get tested for HIV because although I don’t think I have it, I also didn’t think I had HSV 2 either. Again, I didn’t have a rash, sores, or blisters. I had what I thought was a UTI, 2 days of mild itching, and a couple weeks worth of sciatica pain that I now take care of with ibuprofen. More than anything else, the sciatica pain is the most intense. Its mainly in my left leg under my buttocks, but it’s also gone into my right leg, given me a type of cramping feeling in my calves, and the other day I felt it in my toes. I haven’t had much pain these past two days, more discomfort than anything else.

    I have a mix of emotions because I know this isn’t something life threatening like cancer, so I’m trying to stay positive. I’m thankful because I have a great support system back home, but I wanted to join support groups, read as much as I could, and sort of know what to expect..
    I’m the only person I know with HSV 2 so I also feel alone, “diseased”, undesirable, and almost unworthy of love. I know the time will come when I want to date again, but right now? I don’t even want to talk to any of the guy friends I normally do in fear of something as simple as getting a compliment. I know there are dating websites for people with STDs, but when will I feel like myself again? Will I have the sex drive that I used to have or forever feel ashamed and dirty? How will I know if I’m having an outbreak or “shedding” if I haven’t gotten the sores or rash? Is the sciatica pain considered as an outbreak even though I can’t see or feel anything on my vagina?.. As much as I read, I feel like I still have so many unanswered questions. I know this is a learning process, but more than anything else- I want to know what to expect and when to expect it AND I want to feel the confidence and acceptance I once had.


    In reply to: Itching

    Dr. Kelly

    There are many things that can cause itching from a yeast infection to an allergy to some product you are using. It could be that you are having symptoms from the virus, but the first thing I would do is to change your soap.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly


    In reply to: Never say never.


    Hi Jean! I just experienced my very first breakout and was diagnosed a few weeks ago- I sure know how you feel right now! By the time I was able to get an appointment at the doctors my sores were mostly in the downswing, but I definitely tried a few things hoping to make it feel better!

    For me, I found the number one biggest comfort was taking a shower- I used a super gentle wash (I was using a pH balanced wash meant for down there, also use hands- no rough wash clothes!) and showered once in the morning and also right before bedtime. If I was home for the day I even hopped in midday for some quick relief on one of the really bad days. Be sure to thoroughly pat dry. For me, trying to keep it dry provided quite a bit of comfort and relief. I had pain but also insanely intense itching. Totally miserable, especially at night!

    This is unfortunately all I can offer you for now as I too have little experience with this! I’m also a big health foodie too, so eat in a way to boost that immune system! Lots of produce (focus on veggies) for me, very little bread, no refined sugars, no caffeine. Your immune system is fighting- help it fight! 🙂

    If it is any help, my husband and I have been together for ten years and he has never had any symptoms. I told him the same day I found out and was absolutely terrified. I armed myself with knowledge and focused on educating HIM about genital herpes when I told him- many have no idea how prevalent HPV is! He has been extremely loving and comforting and has also acknowledged that he may in fact be an asymptomatic carrier who brought it to the relationship and never knew. There is a social stigma around genital herpes and I think a lot of it has to do with lack of education on the subject. I explained to my husband how this is a virus, much like the flu virus, except I get to carry it around for the rest of my life. Since I told him we have continued to educate ourselves on the matter and I also bought Dr. Kelly’s book. I highly recommend you do so if you haven’t- it’s excellent and will truly set your mind at ease over your diagnoses.

    Keep that bright attitude!

    Dr. Kelly


    Thank you for sharing! Your question is excellent!

    The herpes virus can present itself (i.e.) show symptoms anywhere along the nerve branch where transmission occurred. While the virus lives within your spinal chord, when it is active, it travels along the nerve at the level of your spinal chord and it then becomes active at the surface of your skin. An “anal outbreak” is one of several branches from the same root. Think of a tree and all of it’s branches. If your symptoms are directly around the anus, then we know S5 nerve root was infected. If; however, the symptoms are further away from the anus, then it would indicate another sacral nerve (S2, S3 or S4) was infected(see image from
    Pelvic Dermatomes

    As you can see, the S3 branch extends up and around the vagina and it also affects the skin more distantly around the anus. It really depends on how close your symptoms are to the anus. If your symptoms are directly next to the anus, then the S5 nerve root was affected, which means that transmission did occur from friction around the anus. If the symptoms are in the general area, then it could indicate that transmission occurred from contact anywhere within the patch of skin associated with the nerve root, aka the dermatome.

    Check out the image and reference where your symptoms are. This will be the telltale sign of whether or not you contracted herpes from anal sex or not.

    I hope this helps.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly


    Hi Dr. Kelly,

    I was recently diagnosed with HSV-2. I’m having a hard time identifying whether I’m looking at an ingrown hair or herpes? I’ll see what I think is a shaving bump with a little pus. Just a single one, and in the past I would pop it, and move on with my day. However, now I’m not sure if it is herpes. My first experience with herpes was 3 small lesions not blisters. Is there any way to tell the 2 apart? I don’t have any other symptoms otherwise.



    Hi. I’m new here. And like all of you, I have a story.

    Yesterday was the day that I found out that I have herpes. I went to the doctor for a rash that I knew wasn’t “right”. I had done research online and after looking at photos I KNEW. But I also knew I needed a doctor to confirm, and confirm he did.

    Here’s the thing. I am almost 30. I have been in a monogamous relationship for ten years. Most women would say that perhaps my husband is doing things I don’t know about, but we’ve spent the majority of our relationship working together in a wilderness setting where we were literally on TOP of one another EVERY day. If he did anything…..well. He’s Houdini because there was no place to do it and as of right now he still works in a situation where we are so in touch throughout the day that…really- his cheating on me and contracting it is a highly unlikely scenario.

    So in speaking to my doctor he says it is not uncommon to be a carrier for years and have no signs or symptoms. And since my husband and I have been together for ten years…it’s highly unlikely he is free and clear of this and honestly either of us could have brought this to the table.

    I left the doctors yesterday thinking: How does one tell their spouse that they have genital herpes? I was surprisingly not upset. I was more upset at the prospect of hurting my husband. But I had read enough about the infection to not feel very alarmed; it is so common. I’m not dirty. I am a married woman. I am college educated. I have a career, a home, a life. But my husband. I DID feel numb.

    When he got home shortly after I did, I sat him down and explained what the doctor had told me, and that in a few weeks he needed to go in for testing. He listened very quietly. I wanted to cry.

    When I finished he moved over to me, wrapped his arms around me and told me that this didn’t change anything and it was just one more thing we had to share and move on with. Perhaps not a wanted share, but a share none-the-less.

    I have never felt so loved. We discussed possible past experiences of where it could have come from; he admitted to having had unprotected sex prior to our relationship (as had I) and of course even protected sex doesn’t completely protect you. And we both acknowledged that my past ex and “friend” could also be the culprit. And then my husband took me out to dinner.

    Ladies….please don’t feel hopeless. I know my story is probably unusual- I am in a long-term relationship. But I feel that my husband is proof that someone CAN love you. You WILL live on, you WILL live a normal life. This is just a part of you now. It will pop up from time to time, and they have medications to tamp it down a bit, and we will all figure out what works best for our bodies. Of course we can all hope we are that case that barely has an outbreak in our entire lives (look at me; I’ve probably been infected for more than TEN YEARS and had no clue).

    You are not dirty. You are human. And when you stand in a crowd, you are not alone.

    I want to stay active on here as I do believe we all need support in this. Society tends to make us feel ashamed about something like this, and we shouldn’t be. No one makes you feel ashamed when you get the flu, you shouldn’t feel ashamed when you find out you have herpes. Life will go on.

    I will update when I find out my husbands test results. The doctor says he suspects that he might be an asymptomatic carrier- the worst kind because they NEVER know they have it and pass it on. So we will see. Thank you for listening to my story.

    Live on, lovely ladies.


    I really wish that I could still edit my original post. I thought I knew exactly who gave this to me. As it turns out I have no idea. My story is far more complicated then I ever expected. My BF and I assumed that he gave me HSV2 because I started having symptoms shortly after we were intimate. I thought he must have been asymptomatic. This is because I had all of my blood work including HSV2 done in November and I hadn’t been with anyone else in a long time. My blood tests came back “negative.” After being with him 2 times I had my first outbreak. My doctor took a culture sample and it came back positive for HSV2. Well my BF went and had blood work done the other day and his blood work HSV1 & HSV2 came back “negative.” He hasn’t been with anyone in over 2 years. We couldn’t be more confused. I asked my doctor if she could blood test me again to see how the results turn out now and she said that it’s not necessary at this point because the blood tests have very little usability. So I’m still wondering how I got this. I guess I’ll never know at this point since all of our blood tests have come back negative. I can say this though, my BF says he plans to stick by me no matter what and I really feel blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive BF. It helps so much cause this has been really tough.


    In reply to: Coming to terms

    Dr. Kelly

    It’s so easy to forget that we have herpes when we are not having active symptoms. This is both good and bad for many women. Good, because we no longer need to be neurotic in thinking about it, but bad because many women find themselves in denial.

    The best advice I have for you is for you to start journaling about it and work on forgiving your boyfriend for giving it to you. An underlying feeling of despise can bubble up in so many dysfunctional ways and in the end, it only hurts you.

    No matter what happens, you must know that you are still filled with love and light. Your old “pure” self was just an illusion if you really think about it. I mean honestly, no one is perfect and we all have our stuff. Your “stuff” just happens to be herpes just like many other women in this world (at least 1 in 4). The sooner in life you realize that everyone has something they would rather the world not know, the better. Having herpes is nothing to be ashamed of….just like having chicken pox is nothing a child should be ashamed of. Did you know that herpes and the chicken pox virus are both part of the herpes family of viruses?

    Never allow herpes to define you. You are so much more than that!

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly


    I just found out on Christmas Eve that I have HSV2. I was blood tested in Nov and 6 months before that, and my tests came back negative. With that being said I know exactly who gave it to me. I got it from the guy I started dating a few months ago. I told him I would not sleep with him unless he was STD tested. He went and had an HIV test and Hep, both came back negative. He is 37 and has only been with (2) other girls. His last relationship was an 8 year relationship. They broke up 2 years ago and he had not been with anyone since. He apparently is Asymptomatic. He’s never shown any symptoms and had no idea that he has HSV2. I’m a single mom and I work hard and I’m about to graduate from school. I’m completely devestated about this. I wish I had insisted that he was tested for this too. I just didn’t realize that you could have it with no symptoms. We even used condoms. I’m 33 years old and my son is 5 and I’m scared to even hug him. I know that might sound ridiculous but it’s true. I knew almost immediately when I contracted this. I started having shooting pains in the side of my butt cheek really bad then I inspected myself and on the outside of the labia I saw 3 lesions. Not blisters though. I went and had a culture and sure enough it was HSV2. I also had a super bad sore throat and felt unwell during the first outbreak. This was early December. Now it’s early Jan and I found a blister this time on the opposite side. It’s kind of on the side of my lower butt cheek. Once again I am devastated. My boyfriend is super upset and tells me he loves me all the time and how sorry he is. He is really good to me and my son. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I can completely forgive him for this happening. I wash my hands like 50 times a day and I’m so paranoid because I have my little boy and I feel unclean laying next to him. I hate feeling this way. Sometimes I have good days and other times I just break down and cry 🙁


    In reply to: Still struggling


    Hi Dr Kelly,

    I was wondering where exactly the 1 in 4 women statistic comes from?

    When I was diagnosed the Dr told me only 5% of the population (UK) have this. He might have meant the entire population, including those who aren’t sexually active, which might have reduced the figure slightly…but even so 5% seemed very low to me…and seeing as I caught this when I was young and having only had very few partners…well… I don’t know. I’d like to know for sure, because the internet would suggest there are a lot of people out there with it.

    Incidentally, I think if people were made more aware how atypical symptoms can be, and if testing were offered as part of general STD screening, then a lot of people wouldn’t pass it on ignorantly. I think of myself as a responsible person, but given constant misdiagnoses I can see how this gets passed around willy nilly by people who don’t know they have it.

    I can’t be certain, but I don’t think I have given this to anyone (other than my wonderful husband, which is really just too sad).

    Kind regards

    Dr. Kelly


    My heart breaks open for you. I can remember what it was like when I was first diagnosed. I cried myself to sleep for a long time.

    I promise you that it does get better and that you are supported here in this forum. I am thrilled that you found this forum so early in your journey. Use this sisterhood of Women Supporting Women with Herpes to ask questions and get support.

    Please know that herpes does not need to define you. If it works out with your boyfriend that’s great, but be sure that he is the right man for you. There are so many women who stay in relationships that are not healthy simply because of their partner accepting their herpes.

    There are several things you can do to decrease symptoms and transmission. Focus on decreasing the stress in your life and removing any known triggers from your diet (i.e. foods high arginine like coffee, nuts and alcohol). You can also use condoms and antivirals (natural or prescription) to decrease transmission.

    Take care of yourself and take time to nurture yourself each and every day. You are loved beyond measure and you can overcome this.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly

    Dr. Kelly

    Pink Camper,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I agree with you that herpes can be our greatest teacher in life. I am so proud of you for breaking through the stigma and realizing that herpes does not define you.

    Isn’t it amazing how much we can learn about ourselves when we begin to link our symptoms to our struggles? Herpes can be such an amazing teacher of self love….and once we can grasp that, we can become a bright and shining light unto the world.

    Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly

    Dr. Kelly

    I am not sure whether i’ve had symptoms of herpes or not. I tested positive for HSV-2 on a blood test, which was the first time I found out I had the virus. I do, however, get episodes where I experience very bad burning and sometimes a slight feeling of numbness in my vagina, and the skin is very red and inflamed looking. These episodes can last for weeks sometimes and happen as frequently as every month or as infrequently as every 3-4 months. I’ve had 5 different dr.’s tell me it’s not herpes. Including one who said she’s “seen more cases of herpes than anyone” (i sought her out knowing she is an expert on the topic). I’ve never seen a blister or a sore, which is why it’s so confusing. I’ve been tested for all other std’s and come up negative when tested for yeast. I’ve taken anti-viral meds, and sometimes the symptoms subside and sometimes they don’t- not sure whether it’s psychosomatic with the medicine or not. No one has an explanation for me what else it could be either.

    Also, i had a long-term relationship where we didn’t use condoms and even having these episodes a few times while we were together, never passed it to him. Not sure if we were just lucky or it’s just further evidence that it’s not HSV-2. I have a new parter who does not have herpes and I want to do my best to understand my symptoms so I can protect him.


    In reply to: What helps the pain?

    Dr. Kelly

    I am so sorry to hear about how much pain you are in and in most cases, the first outbreak is the worst. It can take some time for your body to build up antibodies, but once it does, future outbreaks are usually less severe.

    If it hurts to urinate, you can do so in the bath tub in a small amount of cold water. I know that might sound gross, but believe me, it really helps. You can also use ice on the area to decrease the pain and increase the healing rate. Be sure to pat the area dry when you are done with the ice and do not wear thongs during your outbreak as they can be irritating.

    Once the area is dry, you can use baking soda on external open sores. This can help with some of the pain and itching.

    And finally, some ibuprofen to help with the inflammation and pain can be helpful.

    There are several other recommendations to help with the pain and to increase your healing rate that can be found in my online course. You can check out the Foundation Course at This course contains everything you would ever need to know from managing your symptoms to overcoming the emotional pain and devastation to learning how to live and love again.

    Wishing you the very best this holiday season. I know it is a challenging time, but we women here at Pink Tent are here for you. Your secrets are safe with us.

    Live. Love. Thrive.
    Dr. Kelly

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