Avatar universal

What are the chances of passing on genital herpes through oral sex?

While a lot of info has been shared on how a person with visible cold sores can can potentially infect a partner's genitals through oral sex, I'm afraid I don't find much information on how genital herpes can be passed onto a partner who performs oral sex. It appears the use of dental dams applies to partners with cold sores, what are the preventive measures for those with genital herpes to avoid passing onto partners during oral sex?

On my recent experience, I have genital herpes and have been taking valacyclovir periodically. I have never developed any blisters nor sores since I got infected. Just after 5 days of resuming my periodic medication, my partner perfomed a quick oral sex on me without any barrier. This was before a long rigourous hand job. I had no prodrome nor visible sores. Just a day after, I'm having a severe burning in my penis and joints (what I consider as my outbreak). It is possible the virus was activated by the rough handjob. Any idea on how quickly the virus sheds after activation?
She also experienced pain and burning sensation the following day in the vagina but not the mouth. I am confused about this and I'm worried she has been infected? In case she was infected at the mouth, can the virus travel down the genitals and cause symptoms there?
Herpes is really tricky and confusing. Any help on this?
1 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
207091 tn?1337709493
Do you know what type of genital herpes you have - type 1 or 2? I ask because transmission rates for genital to genital is really different for each type. If you don't know, ask your doctor for a type specific IgG blood test.

However, it is really rare for herpes of either type to go from genitals to the mouth. It is really common for it to go from the mouth to the genitals, resulting in genital herpes type 1 (the number indicates the strain, not the location). There is less virus present with shedding than with blisters or sores present.

I'm a little confused by your timeline. When she performed oral, you had no symptoms. You then had the handjob, and the day after, you had the symptoms of what you consider your outbreak? And all of this was 5 days after treating an outbreak?

Whatever the timeline, the virus doesn't travel through the body. If she only performed oral on you (nothing genital to genital), then her infection would be oral. Herpes infects nerve groups, and stays in those nerve groups. It isn't a systemic body infection.

If you didn't do anything genital to her, and she had some pain and burning, perhaps she is getting a yeast infection or something, but it's not herpes from this encounter, based on what you describe.

You should check out the herpes handbook, written by Terri Warren, who is one of the world's leading experts on herpes. It's free :)  https://westoverheights.com/herpes/the-updated-herpes-handbook/ It may provide you with more info than your doctor has. (Doctors typically suck when it comes to herpes.)

I hope this helps, but please feel free to clarify anything I missed.

Helpful - 0
Thanks AuntieJessi for your feedback and the herpes handbook highlighted some of the info I had been missing. If I get it correctly, the virus point of entry to the body is through mucous membranes and not normal skin?

My understanding was that the virus can lie dormant in nerves somewhere around the spine but sheds occasionally. During this period, they shed on the skin with or without symptoms, making the HSV2 person infectious.

To clarify, I am taking valcyclovir as suppressive therapy. This is not daily, I take it periodically, say a full 1 month course and I take a few weeks break. I normally resume whenever I am travelling in case change in weather or environment may trigger an outbreak. Since I don't get blisters or sores, I am not sure what my outbreak is. Once in a while, I get this intense burning sensation in penis accompanied with body itching and aches. This is how my herpes infection started. Thus, I usually consider these symptoms as an outbreak. I can't tell whether I shed virus at these particular times or not.

So all this encounter happened 5 days after resuming my medication. I was feeling all fine before. On that day, the oral sex happened right after the rough hand job. Rough as in dry, no lubrication and I could feel wear/tear all over the penis. A day after, the 'alleged' outbreak symptoms popped up.
What I wasn't sure was whether the virus is always present on the skin or they surfaced when I got the symptoms because of the friction.

I would appreciate if I get this clarified for future precautions.
Itching and burning is not considered an outbreak. Did you ever have any blisters how did you confirm you had genitial heroes all these questions are important
It was confirmed by serology test to be HSV2. No blisters or sores ever seen anywhere. I read these can appear in the urethra and may not be noticed. If so I would have painful urination which I never had.
I suggest you get an IGG test done . It's almost impossible to confirm you have hsv2 without vlisters.  Plus the outbreak that you mentioned itching and burning isnt an outbreak. Outbreak are followed by blisters
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
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Millions of people are diagnosed with STDs in the U.S. each year.
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.