Since December of 2007 I have had monthly/bi-monthly outbreaks (it is now February 2009). I have tried episodic and suppresive therapy with both valtrex and acyclovir. I also take oral contraception. I have also tried natural remedies (lysine, olive leaf extract, echinacea, zinc, vitamin C)...all to no avail. I may go one month without an ob, but since Dec 2007 I've had two months outbreak-free.
I've talked to doctors, ob-gyn, and an infectious disease specialist. No real luck. Please help! The emotional toll of this is too much. I've become depressed, drink alcohol to numb the emotional pain and smoke - while this may not be healthy, it helps me cope.
Could it be that I have a resistant strain?
Thanks for asking your question. Though I'm not a doctor and cannot give medical advice, I do have herpes and can try to help.
I know how you feel having such frequent outbreaks. If I don't take acyclovir every day then I have outbreaks about every 2 weeks. I recently saw a new doctor who really convinced me that I need to figure out what is making my immune system so weak and try to be healthier to fight herpes.
It's possible that maybe you have a different type of problem or herpes, like shingles, that may be treated differently. It may be a good idea to get a second opinion.
However, it's more likely that there is something in your lifestyle or habits that is not allowing your body to suppress herpes, even with medication. Are you stressed out a lot? What types of foods do you eat? Do you ever have caffeine? Do you exercise? I know that alcohol and smoking is definitely not helping your body be strong. You should think about your eating and living habits and see if there's any way you can try to lead a healthier lifestyle. Then if that doesn't work, you may want to try other alternative approaches like homeopathy or traditional chinese medicine.
You may want to check out the Treatment and Coping with Herpes pages for more information.