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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: Does Genital Herpes cause vaginal dryness

 Inthemiddle - Fri May 29, 2009 5:54 pm

I am 25 years old and have had genital herpes for eight years. I have only been on medication for this for the past few years. I am not sure if this is related or not but it seems like ever since I have had this infection I am not able to get enough lubrication for sex to be pleasurable. I feel aroused, and make sure I spend plenty of time on pre sex activities that there should be more than enough lubrication. I have tried many different personal lubricants but none seem to work that great. During sex I often get a burning sensation even with the lubricants. I have switched from latex condoms to polyurathane ones and it helped a little bit but there is still discomfort. I feel like I am too young to be having a dryness problem. My doctor has told me that it is normal to not be as lubricated as I used to, but I cant accept that, there has to be another underlying issue. Before I was diagnosed with herpes I went to the emergency room to find out I had PID, I guess it is like they say with one STD comes another. Could this play a factor in my dryness?

Some other questions I have...My partner does not have genital herpes.
*Should I not be recieving oral sex?
*If I have unprotected sex with my partner will he be able to build up immunity and not catch the virus from me?
*What is the safest way for my partner and I to try to concieve a child? Should he be taking valtrex while we are trying to get pregnant?
*If I get pregnant is it safe for the baby? Will the baby be tested for herpes after birth?
I hope you can help me with my questions. Thank you so much!
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:56 pm

User avatar Hello,
Your partner may wish to be checked to see if by chance he already has been infected. Many people have no symptoms at all. If he has not been infected, you cannot treat it prophylactically with Valtrex, or other antivirals so there is no need for him to take meds if he is not infected. He cannot get immunity through exposure (intentional or otherwise) unless he actually gets infected. It does not work like a vaccination so I would not recommended this approach unless he was already infected previously and you are not in fear of spreading this infection. During an active outbreak you would be most likely to pass it on but it can sometimes be spread between outbreaks as well.

There is some risk to him in giving you oral sex though HSV-2 has a preference for the genitals and it is really not common in the mouth, though it is conceivable.

There is a chance that your treatment has affected the vaginal lubrication. The medication advises that you stay well-hydrated while taking it and it can affect urinary function. This implies some affect on the secretions. I can really only suggest added lubrication to help with this possible side effect. Even if it is not caused by the medication, secretions do vary in people and a change is not uncommon. It could be temporary.

Conception can be challenging while trying to avoid exposure. Again, this is a good reason to determine for sure if your partner has already been infected without symptoms. IUI (Intrauterine insemination) would be one possible means to achieve pregnancy without risking transmission of herpes. You should discuss this with your gynecologist.

Having herpes while pregnant does not cause problems for the baby except possibly at delivery. If you are shedding virus and have active lesions, sometimes you are advised to have a cesarean but in the absence of this, many times vaginal deliveries are safe. You won't transmit the herpes to the baby in utero (it is not genetically transmitted, though some risk of the baby being exposed at delivery will need precautions).

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes.

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