Can herpes symptoms show up for the 1st time after 10 years?

Dear Dr. Amy:

I don’t know if I have herpes, but I’m scared straight. I went to my ob today for a routine IUD check that I just had put in. I had a “lesion” that my doctor took a swab of and am waiting the results. 

I’m married, second marriage for both. Four years with my current husband and we have a 1 year old. I have been faithful (to both husbands) and I believe my current husband has been faithful as well. We are both so painfully busy, there would be no time! Anyway, my question is: is it possible to that I contracted it from my husband 10 years ago and just had a healthy enough outbreak to even notice it? I’m afraid my current husband may disbelieve a little and I’m sad. I don’t know if he believes that I have been faithful. He hasn’t said so-men don’t tend to do that….but for example, I’m in the bedroom surfing the web before bed, and …. He fell asleep on the couch?

My ex-husband never clued me in, but my suspicions are that he was unfaithful. In fact, we had a “babysitter” that had herpes and was flirtatious with my ex.

I also just started tanning nude on some tanning beds and read that tanning can start it. Maybe someone before me had it and secreted and now I have it. I’m hoping mine is so small that I did not notice it 10 YEARS AGO! I’m mad at my ex, but would be particularly concerned if I contracted it at the tanning beds….scared for others.
Anxiously Awaiting your reply…..

Dr. Amy’s Response:

Dear Anxiously Awaiting:

Your letter poses a multitude of questions well worth exploring.

1.There appears to be a question about fidelity and trust in your current marriage as evidenced my your spouse sleeping on the couch and your statement that you believe that he is faithful. If you are unable to discuss these concerns, a marriage counselor may be helpful.

2. The incubation period for herpes is generally 2-20 days but people have reported first outbreaks years after suspected contact, which may similar to your case.

3. The anger and betrayal you are feeling because your husband may have given you herpes is understandable. It is difficult, however, to know with certainty who is responsible and who is a carrier. Perhaps your current spouse is a carrier-he may want to get tested.

4. Tanning has been cited as a possible factor in outbreaks. I do not have any facts on tanning beds, so if any readers have contracted herpes this way, kindly write to me.


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