I am a 33 year old female, I have genital HSV-1. I got it from a partner with HSV-1 on his lip, who had performed oral sex on me. I had a very bad initial outbreak, but ever since, I have NEVER had another outbreak - to my knowledge. My concern is - perhaps my symptoms were so mild, I never noticed. I remember sometimes having an occasional 'itch' - there were NO blisters, no rash, nothing visual by inspection. The itch was so mild, lasted a couple of days, and went away. I NEVER thought anything of it. I shave down there - and I thought the itch was due to the hair coming back in, and itching. I am concerned because all the forum questions and discussions say "avoid sexual contact during an ACTIVE outbreak" - well, how do I know if I'm having an outbreak - I NEVER have any symptoms. I have had this for almost 4 years, and have had NO blisters reminiscent of the initial outbreak. The initial outbreak was HORRIBLE, but now...nothing? I then thought that if I had no SYMPTOMS I cannot pass it onto another person, but that is not the fact. I DID pass it onto a male partner with intercourse - now, looking back, in retrospect, I remember that during sex with him, I got 'sore'. I thought it was due to the fact that the session lasted so long, and I became dry that I got sore. But, could THAT have been an "outbreak"? There were NO blisters, no rash, nothing, I just felt sore and swollen. But then a couple days later, he broke out with blisters. In conclusion - I'm trying to 'recognize' mild symptoms - is the 'soreness' and swollen labia an "outbreak"? Is the itching an "outbreak"? I've never had blisters.
It's really hard to tell sometimes if it's herpes or something else going on. The general advice is avoid sex anytime you have anything going on genitally to err on the side of caution if your partner is hsv1 negative.
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