Why Am I Having More Frequent Outbreaks?

Health Professional

I had my first HSV-1 outbreak one year and 9 months ago.   I did not have any outbreaks during that time until recently when I have had three outbreaks in the last five weeks.   Any idea as to why now I am having reactivations and several within a short time span?


If you are having more frequent outbreaks of herpes, keep a diary or log of activities in your life that may be triggering them. Some possible triggers and what to do include:

  • Local irritation. For some, friction from sex irritates the skin, triggering an outbreak. Experts recommend using a water-based lubricant to reduce irritation to prevent this. NOTE: avoid nonoxynol-9 and oil-based lubricants. The former can cause vaginal irritation, the latter, weakens condoms making them likely to break.

  • Menstrual period. We don't know why, but the onset of your period may trigger a herpes outbreak.

  • Immune system problems.   Anything that weakens the immune system (e.g., HIV infection, poor nutrition or surgery) may trigger an outbreak.  

And for some others, exercise, stress, lack of sleep can trigger an outbreak. I would recommend making an appointment to speak with your physician.