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Can HSV make me so tired??

Jul 18, 2001

Dear Dr. Kull, I was diagnosed a year ago with HSV when I had oral sex with my boyfriend (I am a female) while he was developing a cold sore on his lip (wasn't visible). Although my initial outbreak was tremendously painful, I continued in having outbreaks every month. I did take valtrex during the first outbreak but chose to let my body get used to the virus and decided not to take any meds if really necessary. My outbreaks are still every month but are much milder and I don't get as many lesions down there..However, I have been experiencing a lot of fatigue, need to sleep at least 8-10 hours each day, bloating, cramping and also backache..I was wondering if these are side effects of HSV or something worse..I'm not expecting to get a diganosis from you but at least describe some side affects of having this virus or what to expect.. I am also concerned about passing on the virus to my baby if one day I decide to get pregnant and if there is a high risk of the baby aquiring it from me inside the womb...Your time and answer is greatly appreciated and I thank you for providing this service to all of us.

Response from Mr. Kull

Herpes, besides causing painful sores, should not be the cause of the symptoms that you describe (bloating, cramping, fatigue). During the primary outbreak a person may experience flu-like symptoms. If your symptoms continue, talk to your doctor.

The majority of women who have genital herpes do not pass it on to their infant; approximately 1 in 1000 births will result in transmission to the infant. It is estimated that 25% of women who give birth are infected with genital herpes. The fetus is not at risk for infection in the womb. A woman is much more likely to transmit herpes to the infant during delivery if she is experiencing an outbreak and if infection occurred late in pregnancy (third trimester). If any lesions are present during labor, a casaerean section can be performed without risk of transmission to the infant. See "Can I have kids if I have genital herpes" (


how can you get it?
Can I get infected by fingering a girl?? HELP!!

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