Bloating, irritable mood, pelvic pain or pressure. All are common signs that your monthly period is coming soon. And for many women, this monthly visitor brings a VERY unwanted guest: genital herpes outbreaks. It may seem like insult to injury, but several studies have confirmed that the menstrual period is one of the most common triggers of a herpes outbreak - stress being the most common trigger.
When I was diagnosed with herpes six years ago, it was a little bit of a shock. Not because I had herpes — the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 6 people between the ages of 14 and 49 in the U. But after several months of nerve pain that was so bad it hurt to wear pants and quad muscles so sore that sometimes my legs gave out and what I thought was a recurring ingrown hair that itched a lot, I walked into Planned Parenthood and asked them to swab the lesion to see if it was herpes. But it had already scabbed over, making a swab test impossible. However, a blood test quickly confirmed what I was starting to suspect: I had HSV-2, or genital herpes. That day I also found out that the other super weird symptoms I was experiencing — the tingling and the achy skin and the sore quadriceps — were also a result of herpes.
What is my risk of spreading herpes? Herpes Transmission Risk
Learning that you have genital herpes can be a difficult experience. Although herpes is very common, many people assume that a positive HSV-1 or HSV-2 diagnosis spells the end of a normal romantic and sexual life. In fact, while many people with herpes panic upon experiencing initial symptoms of the virus, most people with herpes find that maintaining romantic and sexual relationships is far easier than expected. Each type of the virus acts differently in the body, infecting different nerves while causing identical symptoms. HSV-1 is the most common form of the herpes virus.
All men have experience with viruses. Influenza and the common cold are all too familiar. Genital herpes is also common but, unlike colds and flu, mostly travels incognito. This chronic viral infection, marked by recurrent genital skin lesions, spreads by sexual contact. In , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested more than 7, Americans ages 14 to 49, and found that 1 of every 6 was infected with the HSV-2 virus 1.