Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 9th, 2017, 14:55 PM   1
Talia12
Mum (Mom)
Chat Happy BnB Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,547

Herpes.


Hi ladies. I'm just leaving the hospital where I came because I had a question mark over some results for a swab taken for various reasons two weeks ago. I've just been told I have antibodies that indicate that I have had a herpes infection more than four weeks before the swab was taken.

This is an absolute bombshell to me. The doctor was so grave and serious while telling me this which scared me and made tears drip down my face although he then assured me this shouldn't affect my pregnancy and I'll be given treatment from 36 weeks till delivery to prevent transmission to the baby. I am reassured in terms of the baby and pregnancy but I am in absolute and total shock because I cannot understand how I've come to have this antibody.

I've had four sexual partners in my life and apart from two instances (fully protected) in the past 11 years I've only been with my husband. I realise I cant say with 100% certainty that my husband hasn't cheated on me, it's unbelievably unlikely for various reasons (what he's like + logistical reasons). However I can't tell him any of this or ask him anything about it because I think it will make him ask a lot of questions of me in return and I'm not prepared to set up any problems between us during my pregnancy. I just feel devastated as well as absolutely confused. I don't know what I'm looking for here because I refuse to start googling in case all I get is horror stories. Does anyone know if it is possible to catch herpes from manual stimulation or from a sex toy? The doctor has told me you can catch it from oral sex with someone who had an active cold sore at the time, but I am 99.9% sure this hasn't happened. I've also never had cold sores myself and never had any symptoms of genital herpes.

I asked the doctor if this was going to be brought up at any future appointments, for example at my next midwife appointment at 27 weeks, and he said he could put a note on the system telling them not to mention it. I said yes, which made me look terrible because it's basically me admitting that I don't want my husband to hear about this. I don't know what to do. He's waiting for me outside and knows there was something in my results that was queried, and I don't know what I'm going to tell him. One thing for sure is that I have had several swabs and a smear test since the last time I had intimate contact with anyone and this never showed up. I'm so confused and tearful right now. I don't know what to do.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Sep 9th, 2017, 15:40 PM   2
Zephram
Mum (Mom)
BnB Addict
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: NZ
Posts: 3,303
Oh hun, I'm so sorry to hear that! The thing is you can have a herpes infection for years without showing any symptoms, which means there's a possibility you'll never figure out when you got it or from who. You can catch herpes from oral sex and I'd probably assume from manual stimulation and sex toys too. It's incredibly contagious. It doesn't mean your husband has cheated either. You literally could have caught it the first time you had any sexual contact and never shown symptoms. Maybe you're having symptoms now because of immune changes when you're pregnant?

Same goes for cold sores - people can shed the virus even if they never actually have a cold sore. The vast majority of people actually are infected with the cold sore virus but do not show symptoms.

It could be worth you going to your GP to talk about it and learn more about the virus.



 
Status: Online
 
Old Sep 9th, 2017, 15:50 PM   3
MindUtopia
Mum (Mom)
BnB Addict
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Dorset, UK
Posts: 9,478
I agree, it's very likely you have had this a long time, especially if you've had no signs of an infection recently (I'm assuming you haven't since it came as a shock). Herpes stays in your body forever. So if you were infected 20 years ago, you would still test positive, even if you've never had an active outbreak (it's likely you have at some point, but it was minor and you thought it was something else or nothing at all and then you never had another). You also can easily catch herpes using a condom. It's transmitted by skin to skin contact, not by blood-semen contact, so condoms don't offer protection. It's potentially possible you could have gotten it from a sex toy, depending on how they were used, but I'm assuming anyone you were using a sex toy with you also had other contact with, so it could have been either. I really would speak with your husband and tell him what the doctor said, that basically it's not an active infection and seems to be from a long time ago and that you should both get checked out. It's the responsible thing to do as you wouldn't want him to go untreated if he doesn't know he's infected. It's also possible he knows and it's been eating away at him for a long time. It's better if you can talk about it. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's incredibly common actually and better you know so you can deal with it. Hope that's reassuring.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Sep 9th, 2017, 19:21 PM   4
karoolia
Pregnant (Expecting)
Chat Happy BnB Member
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Iowa, USA
Posts: 1,070
I think you have gotten a lot of good advice regarding where this could have come from and why you didn't know so I won't add to that.

I do want to say that I really agree you should talk to your husband. If I were him and you hid this from me I would think either you didn't trust me and assumed I cheated or you cheated on me and were trying to cover it up. Both of which would be hurtful. Even worse though, I would be shocked and very hurt that you would expose me without telling me. If for some reason I never found out, I would still wonder what was picked up on your test and fear it was something so terrible that you chose not to worry me with it, which would make me worry more.

I guess, I feel like the right thing to do is tell him. Not only will it solve all the potential problems I listed above, but it will give you someone who you can talk to about this. It is very difficult to be terribly worried about something, but feel like you have to keep it a secret. I think it is worth telling him for your own mental well being, if for no other reason.

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. Please don't blame yourself. I don't think you did anything wrong and as frustrating as it is for this to come up, it is good that your medical team is aware and will take care of you.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Sep 9th, 2017, 20:23 PM   5
Talia12
Mum (Mom)
Chat Happy BnB Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,547
Hi ladies. Thank you so much for your responses, means a lot.
Well the first thing to say is that as soon as I got in the car where my husband was waiting for me, I told him. I just played it down because the last thing I needed was to make it sound as if I was telling him I had an STI which I didn't catch from him. So I didn't phrase it like it was an STI situation, just focused more on how this won't affect the baby and how truthfully shocked and confused I am. He is too. He knows I've had partners before him but this is many many years ago and if I really have had herpes all this time, I have to assume he must have caught it by now. Yet neither of us has ever had any hint of symptoms. I don't know what to think. The last time I could have in any way possibly been exposed to the virus, even though I really didn't think so, was 2 and a half years ago. I have had swabs and a cervical smear since then and don't understand why this never came up. If that isn't when I contracted it, then the only possible explanations are (a) this test is somehow wrong. I noted on the report it said "patient is LIKELY to have had an infection", but the doctor was speaking as if it was a definite thing. So this is why I asked for a repeat swab and that's happening in 6 weeks. (b) that my husband has cheated on me. I hate to sound like a naive wife here but it's just so unlikely, the way he is, the fact that it'd be basically impossible for him to do, and additionally nothing about his reaction today when I told him suggested panic or guilt. Or (c) that I somehow contracted the virus another way. Or of course, that I really have had it since 2 and a half years ago (or longer) and none of the other swabs or smears picked it up.
It's just such a shock to me because I am the last person you would expect to have an STI. My head is in a mess and I've been tearful tonight over the whole thing.

I'm also furious at the hospital because I had this swab 10 days ago and they did not ring me with any results. I called today despite them saying "if there's anything, we'll ring you" - I always ring just in case, and am now thinking this almost constitutes medical negligence because it seems that if I had not called today, I never would have found out about this. So I am so angry I want to look into making an official complaint.

I understand that this virus can live dormant in your system for many years, but even before that one possibly but unlikely exposure, I really can't think of any time I've been exposed to anything like this. I'm only 26 and have been with my husband since I was a teenager so I haven't had many exposures to infections. Thanks so much for replying, I needed to talk to someone about this and also to get some information that didn't involve reading things online that would upset me more.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Sep 10th, 2017, 02:43 AM   6
Koifish
Mum (Mom)
Active BnB Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 502
I have cold sores, rarely but I get them. It used to be really bad when I drank a lot of citric acid (oj and stuff). I ve had it from a youngish age (as in before I was ever sexually active). Hsv1 can come from a kiss, sharing straws, etc. it doesn't have to be strictly sexual. My mom has cold sores and the most likely reason in my case is sharing drinks. If we ever went out we'd share a coke and drink from the same straw. We found out after my cold sores were bad and we mentioned it to a specialist which I was referred to from a kidney DR for an unrelated issue. I love OJ, lemonade, etc and citric acid in large quantities can apparently irritate the mouth and cause the sores to break out. Anyways we were very confused and I was completely freaked out as I'd never been with anyone, the Dr sat us down and explained the many different ways it spreads. Until that point in time we didn't even know a cold sore was hsv1, we thought it was just a cold sore. Just keep that in mind.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Sep 10th, 2017, 02:52 AM   7
Talia12
Mum (Mom)
Chat Happy BnB Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,547
Thanks koifish. Do you know if you have the virus in your genitals? From what I've read online you can catch it there from someone else's cold sores through oral sex but you can't catch your own mouth cold sores back in another part of your body. So I'm just at a loss as to how I could have this, especially as I've never had a cold sore and neither has my husband. Plus the limited number of other people who have given me oral sex never had active cold sores at the time that I could see. I am heartened to hear it can easily be spread but I don't see how it could have reached my vagina. This whole thing is so confusing and upsetting to me and I hate that it's making me doubt my husband but I can't help it because it's just so unlikely I could've caught this at all.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Sep 10th, 2017, 04:17 AM   8
Zephram
Mum (Mom)
BnB Addict
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: NZ
Posts: 3,303
The fact that you never saw what looked like a cold sore or herpes outbreak on your sexual partners is irrelevant. The herpes virus sheds asymptomatically - meaning people with the virus can infect you even when they don't have visible sores. So unfortunately no matter how many precautions you take, you can catch genital herpes without a single clue you went near anyone who has it. This is a scientific fact and should help clear up some of your confusion. I realise that it's confusing and upsetting, but you haven't done anything wrong. I think you really need to sit down with your husband and have a heart to heart - tell him that you're worried he cheated, but don't accuse him of actually doing it. Just say because you can't know where you got it from, your mind is going to dark places. If he's an understanding man he should be okay with this conversation.

The way the virus works is that you can catch it without knowing someone has it, you can be asymptotic yourself and not know you have it. Literally 90% of the world has hsv - not a made up figure or exaggeration - and most of them caught hsv1 during childhood. Further, most of everyone out there do not show symptoms. So you say you've never had a cold sore, but the likelihood of you having hsv1 asymptomatically is very high.

You can also infect yourself in other parts of your body by touching where you're shedding and then touching another part of your body - usually mucus membranes (mouth, genitals) but there are cases where people get herpes on their hands and in their eyes, etc.

Absolutely not saying you've done this! Just trying to show that it's very common, very contagious, and you haven't done anything wrong.



 
Status: Online
 
Old Sep 10th, 2017, 05:26 AM   9
Talia12
Mum (Mom)
Chat Happy BnB Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,547
Ok, thank you. That does clear it up although what remains a mystery to me is why this hasn't come up in previous swabs and smears I've had, I've even had several swabs this year and they came back clear. I do plan to talk to my husband but I have to be careful firstly not to make him feel accused and secondly not to make a big deal out of this in such a way that he'll also start asking questions of me. Thank you all for all your responses, I guess I just need to get my head round this. I have a growth scan on Wednesday with a doctor so I will be taking the opportunity to ask some questions, firstly about the things I'm wondering and also the question, why the f*ck didn't anyone ring me with my results if they weren't normal. And then regardless of their response, because there is no excuse, I'll be making a formal complaint against the hospital.



 
Status: Offline
 
Old Sep 10th, 2017, 05:27 AM   10
Talia12
Mum (Mom)
Chat Happy BnB Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1,547
I have to try not to let this affect my life or my mental state, or spoil my happiness during my pregnancy. Just such a massive and confusing shock.



 
Status: Offline
 
Reply



Bookmarks

Tags
herpes

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



SEO by vBSEO