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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:04 pm
Posts: 3
I've had herpes for about 1 1/2 months now and I still have feelings of fear, confusion and, unfortunately, a little self-hatred.

I try to tell myself it doesn't matter who gave it to me, but part of me knows it matters because of my sexual behavior. I can't help it, I LOVE sex!

I can't remember which one I have but I'm pretty sure it's HSV 2. And my first outbreak was one of the worst experiences my poor little lady has ever gone through (of course I've never given birth so I could be joking myself). I'm trying to educate myself as much as possible but there are still questions I have that reading alone have not solved....which leads me to this wonderful ASHA Forum. Thanks a million for having it!

I think I'm getting ready for another outbreak, a Prodrome I believe it's called. I'm ithcy, but not just in the vaginal area I have the creepy crawlies and kinda feel itchy all over my body. I know that when you have an outbreak it's important to wash thoroughly especially after touching lesions or the surrounding area so as not to autoinoculate.

My questions, I know-finally!, are:

1. Can I autoinoculate when I'm Prodrome-ing (or whatever the correct term is)?
2. Can I spread herpes to others when I'm Prodrome-ing?
3. How long do I have before I have an outbreak, i.e. those horrible little lesions?
4. Are there any physical bumps or otherwise I should look out for while I'm Podrome-ing?

I barely slept last night because everytimte I scratched my vagina I freaked out that I would then scratch my arm or eye or whatever and spread the herpes all over my body! I must have gotten out of bed a hundred times!

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:40 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
I encourage you to go see your doctor and get tested for yeast and bacterial infections. Overgrowth of each is very common - especially along with the first doozy of an ob. They aren't always accompanied by lots of discharge and odor -itching is a common symptom of both. Don't self treat - go be seen and have some basic testing done of your vaginal secretions to see if either are going on. Also definitely confirm which type it is you have. It's not always hsv2 just because it's below the belt and knowing your type is important for deciding how to treat your herpes and what precautions to take with any future partners.

1. Can I autoinoculate when I'm Prodrome-ing (or whatever the correct term is)?

You've had this for at least 6 weeks now - it's not really an issue. Just the same basic hygeine mom taught you when you were about 4 years old - wash your hands after using the toilet and after touching your genitals.


2. Can I spread herpes to others when I'm Prodrome-ing?

Yes - if you think you might have an ob about to start - avoid sex if you are in a relationship where your partner is negative for the type of herpes you have.

3. How long do I have before I have an outbreak, i.e. those horrible little lesions?

Usually it's within 24-48 hours. As I already suggested - at this point follow up to make sure it's not something else going on. A recurrence within 2 months of being infected is pretty common but your symptoms make it sound like perhaps it's more than just herpes going on at the moment.


4. Are there any physical bumps or otherwise I should look out for while I'm Podrome-ing?

A prodrome is just an itch or tingle that you notice before you see actual lesions.

betsy

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:27 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:04 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply.

It's really not uncomfortable, just annoying. I've had yeast infections before and this does not feel like a yeast infection, but like you said it could be something different. The itchies started on Sunday and it's now Wednesday and they seem to be subsiding a lot. I'll definitely get checked by a doctor to make sure but just wanted to prepare myself for an ob.

Can I spread herpes non-sexually? I'm just concerned because I'm going to see my little niece and nephew and while I do use good hygiene I just want to be sure there isn't any other way I can spread this.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
No you will not transmit herpes from routine day to day casual contact.

betsy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:04 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks.
I know these are basic questions, I am just still baffled that I got it because I have ALWAYS used safe sex. Now I know better!

This kind of an awkward question, what is the female condom like?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
There isn't such a thing as safe sex - just safer sex. Condoms only reduce the risk of hsv2 by about 40% and I'll bet you don't use barrier protection when receiving oral sex to protect yourself from hsv1 genitally right? Also condoms don't protect 100% against hpv either though if you put them on when the clothes go off ( most of us wait until actual penetration to put them on ) they can reduce the transmission of hpv by 90%.

I"ve never used a female condom myself since I've never been able to find any samples and I"ve never even found them on the shelves to try some. I"ve been told by others who have used them that they aren't bad but that they do make a noise that takes some getting used to ( imagine the sound stiring macaroni's makes ).

betsy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 65
Location: Missouri
Female condoms are available at some Walgreen's stores and online at walgreens.com and drugstore.com and I'm sure many, many other places.

Have you ever seen teh Nuva Ring? The inner part of the female condom has a hard ring, very similiar to the nuva ring. Across that ring is a sheet of polyurethane. Polyurethane comes down from teh ring in a cylindrical shape. That top ring is inserted into the vagina and the cylinder stays in teh vagina with a little bit hanging out. THat bottom of the cylinder also has a ring, but I don't think it's as hard as the inner ring. I've also never tried it but have heard teh same thing about the noise.

The biggest deterrent to female condoms is the cost. They usually come in a box of three condoms and I've seen the price range between $12 and $20. Even at STI clinics they're still pretty expensive.


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