I've Only Had 1 Outbreak In 5 Years


Asked by Casey

I've Only Had 1 Outbreak In 5 Years

I had an outbreak during pregnancy. I was 9 months along & I had not had sex in 5 months. They delivered my son through caesarian, but since I had this outbreak I have had no signs & symptoms in the past 5 years. Is this normal or could there be a misdiagnosis?? This was the only outbreak I've ever had which is confusing to me to only gave one in 5 years; this was diagnose by a midwife through a culture.


Hi Casey,

Your situation isn't unknown although it's true that most people do experience more outbreaks. On average, individuals experience four recurrences a year, although this varies widely depending on the severity of the initial outbreak. Men, for example, have 20% more recurrences of genital herpes than women even though their symptoms are milder.

HSV-2 genital infections recur more often than HSV-1, and they tend to be more severe. Up to 90% of HSV-2 genital infections recur within the first year after primary infection. Some only one initial outbreak without any subsequent recurrences, a rate more typical of those with HSV-1.

If you've had an outbreak and this was confirmed as herpes then the likelihood is you still have it. As you probably know, once infected you stay infected, although there is some variation in the frequency and the extent to which people experience outbreaks.

Hope this helps a little

Answered by Jerry Kennard, Ph.D., CPsychol., AFBPsS