Virgin with Herpes from Oral Sex. Don't Give Up.

by Sarah

I was just 18 when I was first diagnosed with herpes type one, but on my genitals. And surprisingly, I was and still am a Virgin. I had been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years at the time, since I was only 16 and we had oral sex over that time. When the symptoms first started it was similar to what I thought was a thrush outbreak. It was tender around the opening of my vagina the first day and I thought nothing of it and put some Vaseline on it.

The next day it was no better, and felt chaffed and sore. I put thrush cream on it thinking that's what it was. By the third day, it was excruciating and I told my mum about it and she said it sounded like a bad case of thrush. Both completely oblivious to the fact it was herpes or even considering the possibility. I had only ever been with one person sexually and that was my boyfriend of two years who I trusted. The possibility of it being herpes never crossed my mind until the next day when the sores appeared.

By the 5th day there were approximately 7 sores around my vagina and the pain was excruciating. I couldn't walk, I couldn't even move. And to make matters worse I also had my period. I was so worried and it was time to finally go to the doctors (I am aware I should've gone earlier). Going to the doctors was scary; I was young and horrified of what he'd say.

When he said to me it looked like herpes I broke down. I was crying hysterically telling him that it was impossible. My boyfriend had cold sores on his mouth in the past, but hadn’t had one in over 4 years. I didn’t even know they could be passed orally to genitals! It makes me furious that there is not more information on this. I began treatment and it took a while to take effect as I had waited a long time.

This experience to this day has been the worst of my life. The pain was literally unbearable, and I had severe depression
for months during/after this episode. I felt so disgusted in myself. And of course, my boyfriend was beyond upset and felt horrible and couldn't believe it to be possible. I was so ashamed. Even when it got better I was then scared to shave/wax down there, which I usually did regularly.

I was scared for my boyfriend to touch me down there, scared of it coming back. 3 months after my first outbreak I had another outbreak but sores didn’t appear, just my right labia became swollen and sore, I took the anti virals straight away and it stopped the outbreak in its tracks and it was gone within days. Since then I have had one or two outbreaks, that I wouldn't even consider outbreaks... just a little tenderness/rash that as soon as I took the antivirals, disappeared over night.

It's been 3 months without an outbreak now (and 8 months since first outbreak) and things are starting to look up. I'm learning to accept it and see how much worse things could be. I lost a lot of confidence and had a lot of fear to be sexually active again because I was so scared of getting an outbreak like the first one.

You just need to think positively. You may never have an outbreak as severe as the first, especially with access to anti virals. I'm sharing my story because I thought this had ruined my life. I would think about it every day, I would cry every night, and I let my mind take over actual physical symptoms and I was paranoid every time I felt an itch down there, or anything I was terrified it was an oncoming outbreak.

I wanted to share this story to let you all know you're not alone. I was a virgin who had oral sex with my boyfriend of two years, WHO DIDNT HAVE A VISIBLE COLD SORE. Shows it can happen to absolutely anyone. So don't feel ashamed. I'm moving on, I'm happy, and my boyfriend is still with me. That first month is the hardest. But you CAN get past it. Please don't give up, because it'll make you such a stronger person mentally. :)

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