Avatar universal

Can an oral HSV-1 positive woman get genital HSV-1?

I am a man who recently had a first outbreak of genital herpes, which was diagnosed by swab test as being HSV-1. I got it from my wife, who's been positive for oral HSV-1 since before we met, but has always been super-cautious whenever she's had a cold sore. The odds however finally caught up with us.

I've read a lot to *suggest* that there's no risk of my giving her genital HSV-1 since she already has oral HSV-1, but I can't seem to find an absolute authoritative statement to this effect. Could an expert please let us know whether there's a risk of her getting genital HSV-1 from me?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Since she already is infected with hsv1, she is immune or in the very least, highly resistant to new infection anywhere else on her body. While it's not impossible, it is very rare for this to happen. Also, I'm not sure how long you have been infected, but you may be able to attest that for most people, genital hsv1 is no big deal.
Avatar universal

As for how big a deal genital HSV-1 is, mine manifested as blisters & then open sores first around the left side of the base of my penis, and then on the left side of the shaft. For the first a week to ten days I'd get brief sharp pains if I moved certain ways, particularly when wearing pants that restricted movement at all in my crotch. I also had some moderate dull pains in my left testicle & lymph node.

But it was all tolerable enough that I declined pain killers from my doctor, when normally I'd accept them, if for no other reason than to have a stash available should I need them for something else.

After that it's just been some pain associated with scabs opening and the wounds therefore being exposed to air. The scabs will open because of course one's penis changes size, and so scabs that form when it's smaller break open when it gets bigger.  

So there were some weeks of moderate pain & discomfort, but I've certainly suffered worse afflictions. Honestly, the worst of it has been that we've had to abstain from sex until I'm fully healed.
btw, I should have mentioned that I initially thought my outbreak was shingles (I'm 63), and since we live two hours from the closest hospital & our doctors, I didn't get it properly diagnosed until a week or so after I first noticed it, and not until the second set of boils appeared. Now, a few days shy of a month since it started, I'm finally fully healed. However, had I gotten it diagnosed more quickly, I would have been started on an anti-viral earlier, and it's likely the episode would have been less severe and resolved more quickly.
Thank you for sharing your story. The odds are in your favor that you probably will experience very few outbreaks if any, and the severity of your outbreaks will likely be a lot less severe.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Herpes Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Here are 16 facts you need to know to protect yourself from contracting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease.
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
The warning signs of HIV may not be what you think. Our HIV and STD expert Sean Cummings reports in-depth on the HIV "Triad" and other early symptoms of this disease.