My boyfriend gets the occasional cold sore and now I am worried that I may have contracted it from him. From the very beginning of our relationship he has been waaay overly concerned about getting me infected......and this has been a very good thing. If he even has the slightest feeling that he may be getting one, he stays well away from me. Last night we had sex....both vaginal and oral...with kissing of course. He had absolutely no symptoms at all last night nor the previous days. This morning he woke up with a definite cold sore on his upper lip....unmistakable unfortunately.
Am I totally screwed? I heard that they are the most infectious within 24 hours of showing themselves. Should I basically be expecting to now get this virus on both my lips AND my vagina area? I am soooooo concerned now.
We are both perplexed by how fast this one came up for him. He is usually well aware when one is on its way.
Any chance that I could have escaped getting this? Or should I just brace for the inevitable?
Oral herpes is transmitted through skin to skin contact. The virus remains dormant in the nerve cell located adjacent to the spine most of the time, but will sometimes travel to the surface of the skin. Some people who have herpes will sometimes be aware of this as a mild tingling or itching (it is called the prodrome), and sometimes not. Following the prodrome, the virus will either retreat back to the nerve cell or cause an outbreak of vescicles, followed by pustules, shallow ulcers, crusting and finally, resolution.
Oral herpes can be transmitted to the genital area of one's partner. However, since your partner had no symptoms when you had oral/oral and oral/genital contact, it is difficult to know if there was herpes virus on the surface of the skin at that time. It sounds like your partner is extremely diligent about being aware of symptoms that could indicate a possible prodrome--the best kind of partner to have. There is certainly a chance that you have not contracted this virus from him.
The incubation period for herpes is 7 days to 3 weeks and if you develop symptoms, it would be a good idea to be seen by a provider. Because herpes can occur on the surface of the skin without any symptoms we strongly recommend using some form of barrier such as condoms for men and a latex barrier (dams) for women during oral sex as well as condoms for genital sex. Most people who have oral herpes are unaware of it and approximately 50% of the population do have oral herpes.