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Subject: "How long after tingling can I have sex?"     Previous Topic | Next Topic
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Member since Dec-5-07
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Sep-09-16, 11:02 PM (CST)
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"How long after tingling can I have sex?"
   Hi all,

I have genital HSV-II. I have a few questions.

1) When I have a tingly prodrome and nerve pain down my leg, but no other symptoms, how long should I wait to have sex? I usually up my famcyclovir right away and the tingling goes away within a day. Can I have sex when the tingling goes away or do I have to wait longer? Google is telling me different things.

2) Google and these forums also say that after an actual OB, you should wait 1) until the skin heals and looks normal, or 2) that the virus shedding stops 5 days after you up antivirals. Which one is it?

I get very minor obs; they rarely scab and are usually just one tiny red raw spot. If my skin clears up faster than 5 days, am I good to go? Or do I need to wait? The famcyclovir ob dose is 1000 mg 2x per day for only one day...so it's one and done.

3) finally, can I assume that when (during a stressful week), if I'm alternating days with prodrome (but have a random day with no symptoms), that I may want to avoid sex that week?

And yes, I'm aware there is always a risk, but I'm talking about avoiding the higher risk. I just started dating a great guy who has been so supportive and I want to be as cautious as I can with the risk factors I have control over.

Thanks so much in advance for addressing all 3 questions

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Sep-19-16, 08:06 AM (CST)
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1. "RE: How long after tingling can I have sex?"
In response to message #0
Welcome to the forum!

1. Sometimes you can completely head off a full blown recurrence by starting antivirals when you have just tingling. That said, if your symptoms go away in just a day, odds are it isn't your herpes flaring up. To err on the side of caution though, if your partner is hsv2 negative, I would abstain from sexual contact for a full 5 days just to be sure. Has he been tested to know his status?

2. All of us heal differently. Some folks have the skin look completely healed quickly, others it takes awhile. The 5 days rule is a decent one for recurrences. Of course should you still have a painful lesion after 5 days, continue to abstain.

3. If you are frequently having tingling and no obvious lesions, a further work up is a good idea. If your provider offers pcr lesion cultures for herpes - you can actually swab at home when you have these symptoms and just drop one off at the lab that same day. Pcr is the more accurate way to test for herpes on genital skin with symptoms than a regular lesion culture but if your doctor isn't up to date on herpes testing, they might not allow this. You also can be seen and properly tested for yeast and bacterial vaginal infections too. Sometimes you have tingling as a symptom, especially with BV, without any obvious odor or discharge. BV especially can trigger hsv2 to be more active so it's worth ruling out. If your cultures are negative for vaginal infections and your pcr swab is negative during symptoms, then it gets a little harder to figure out what is causing your symptoms. Sometimes it's underwear/pants causing irritation or soaps. Other times it's diet (caffeine and alcohol can be culprits). Hard to figure out sometimes.

Have you considered daily suppressive therapy too? acyclovir is pretty cheap nowadays to use if you are interested.


The first step in stopping the perceived stigma about genital herpes - is to stop believing in it yourself

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