Saturday, October 25, 2014
Thursday, January 15, 2009 macumba18, Community Member, asks

Q: Can you be born with genital herpes?

I had only had sexual contact with one person before my "outbreak." and he was a virgin like myself at the time. He hadn't had ANY sexual contact in anyway before me, the same went for me. I had an outbreak and I thought it was just a heat rash or dry skin or something, but then it went away for a few months then came. back... I never really thought anything of it, until now. I don't know for sure that it is herpes, but i was wondering if u could be born with genital herpes, or other ways of contraction. The 'outbreak' is around my lower vaginal lips, and it is red and bumpy and kind of painful, i have never notice there to be any "straw colored fluid" in any of them, just really red. Thanks

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Answers (3)
Penelope James, Health Guide
1/17/09 7:15pm

Hi macumba,


Thanks for posting your question.  I'm not a doctor, so I cannot give you medical advice, but I do have herpes and I may be able to help.


Yes, it is possible to be born with genital herpes but it must be passed to you before or during birth from your mother.  Does your mom have herpes too?  I doubt this is the case, since you probably would have already known if you had herpes from birth.


It's rare to transmit genital herpes through non-sexual contact.  However, it's relatively easy to contract oral herpes simply through kissing or sharing a drink with someone who has it.  If your partner unknowingly has oral herpes, and performed oral sex on you, it's possible he gave you genital herpes that way.  Another possibility is that maybe he wasn't really a virgin.  


I think you should see a doctor and be tested to know for sure if you have herpes or another STD.  It is also a good idea to tell your partner that he may have an STD and to be tested.  I recommend reading the Herpes Basics, Transmission, and Treatment pages for more information.



h8life, Community Member
8/29/09 8:27pm

i dont know what to do either im only 14 years old and a virgin so i was born with it i feel like commiting suicide everyday:(

Ali123, Community Member
12/ 3/10 5:50am

FrownI recently found out i have genital herpes myself im seventeen years old. ive had this lump on the roof of my mouth since i could remember my mum took me to the doctors too see what it was when i was 5 they had no clue i took a picture of it and compared it to a picture on a website and its herpes... i feel the same way every day too i hope they find a cure!

Destroyer, Community Member
1/ 7/14 5:28pm
Herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who carries the virus. That means you can get herpes by touching, kissing, and oral, vaginal, or anal sex. People who carry herpes don't always know they have the virus, and they may not have any visible sores on their skin. That said, your risk of getting the virus is higher if you've had contact with a partner who does have a visible sore. Using condoms can majorly decrease the risk of spreading the virus, but doesn’t eliminate it completely. Unfortunately, no other type of birth control reduces the risk of this STI. First, the bad news: Once you have herpes, it will be with you for the rest of your life. The virus can lay dormant for long stretches of time, then cause “outbreaks” at times of stress or illness. Now, the good news: There are medications you can take to make an outbreak go away faster. If you only get outbreaks once every few years, you can take the medications just when you have an outbreak. If you get outbreaks more often, you might benefit from taking a medication daily to prevent them. A discussion with your healthcare provider will help you decide which strategy is best for you. Reply
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By macumba18, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/07/14, First Published: 01/15/09