Affect Fertility

Dear Dr. Rob:

Hi. I’m glad you’re here to ask this question to. I went to bed last night thinking I had a yeast infection; everything “down there” was red, itchy, inflamed, it burns when I urinate, etc. I woke up this morning, and I have terrible flu like symptoms, plus, I noticed a HUGE clear blister in the reddest area, where it hurts the most. Now, my husband and I were virgins when we married last year, totally, completely; we never practice oral sex or anything like that. BUT my husband does occasionally get cold sores on his mouth…would using each other’s spit for a natural lubricant transmit herpes to me? I’ve never gotten cold sores on my mouth from him, and he doesn’t even get them that often. . .but I am reading about the virus being dormant for long periods of time, and I am really worried that perhaps when he had a cold sore, this could have happened!
Does herpes cause scarring or anything that might affect my fertility? Does is cause anything really bad, or is it just the discomfort of the blisters that everyone doesn’t like.
Thanks for your time!
Worried Bear

Dr. Rob’s Response:

Dear Worried Bear:

Although it is unusual, spit can contain the Herpes Type 1 virus if your husband has Herpes Type 1 and is shedding with or without lesions. This is called “asymptomatic shedding” and can occur with both Herpes Type 1 and Herpes Type 2. It sounds as if you have the sentinel outbreak of herpes infection. Although it is in the vaginal area, 20% of vaginal herpes is Herpes Type 1. I strongly suggest that both you and your husband have the Herpes Select Test to determine exactly the nature of the herpes virus and will give you an indication of whether you might consider suppressive therapy with Valcyclovir to prevent shedding.

Herpes does not usually cause scarring and will not affect your fertility or at least has not been shown to do so in any studies to date. In terms of its “badness” as you put it, I don’t know that there is a long term answer to this. Again I think the most important thing is you get diagnosed with exactly the kind of herpes that you have.


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