Can genital herpes be caught from oral sex and cold sores?

Dear Dr. Amy:

I went to the doctor about 6 weeks ago where he told me he didn’t know what I had. He told me it looked like Herpes 1 but he didn’t understand how I could have it on my genitals. The area was freshly shaven when my fiance (who had a cold sore) gave me oral sex. So, he told me it may be possible that I had contacted it under the circumstances. I insisted he take a swab test, so he did.

The test came back, and it ended up that it was herpes 1, so it is possible to contact it through oral sex. (If you have open pores and your partner has a cold sore.)

My question is: will this type of herpes reoccur? I had to get rid of it with an antibiotic topical cream and a cortisone cream. It was terrible!!!

I just want to know if it will reoccur. I would really appreciate it.
Signed, Worried and confused

Dr. Amy’s Response:

Dear worried and confused,

Herpes 1 is more common in the mouth but it also can be located in the genitals, as you have discovered. Like Herpes 2, it can reoccur. Proper diet, sleep, exercise, and relaxation can help reduce the reoccurances and also promote overall well-being. People with herpes report having very satisfying sex lives. It is often the initial shock of the diagnosis and the stigma of the disease that leaves one “worried and confused”. The more you educate yourself and deal with your feelings, the better your chances of reducing stress, another cause for outbreaks.

Your insistence that your doctor take a swab test was a responsible move on your part. We can all learn from one another and now your doctor will also be better informed.

Thanks for sharing your experience.


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