[Question #607] Oral Sex and HSV2

42 months ago
Hello,  this is a general question about oral sex:    One of the biggest disappointments I experience when first diagnosed was it seemed oral sex was off the table unless a cumbersome dental dam was used.  Is it always necessary to use protection when the female is HSV2 positive? What are the chances of transmission without a barrier of some sort?

Regarding my previous question about female to male HSV2 transmission, it is now 14 days with no symptoms.  Is it safe to assume my partner and I are out of the woods?  

Thank you again for the answers, insight and assurance.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
42 months ago
The thing about this is that transmission to the mouth of another person (HSV 2) by giving oral sex is really quite uncommon.  I think I've seen HSV 2 orally in my practice of 33 years 10 times, and almost every time that I can recall, the person has also had new genital infection - so they had intercourse with and gave oral sex to the same person and got it in both locations.  Also if your partner is really worried about giving you oral sex and getting herpes orally remind him that if he does, he likely will be essentially vaccinated against genital infection.  And dental dams are only one option - saran wrap also works but it does lose something in the translation, doesn't it?

Terri
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42 months ago
Hi Terri,  yes I have heard about saran wrap, but was hoping that unless there was an overt outbreak I could get by without anything.  If I understand you correctly, it is uncommon, but it could happen.   The  idea of inoculation against genital herpes by getting HSV@ orally  maybe could be used as a cure idea!  I can dream.  :)

I also wanted to circle back regarding my original question that you replied to - transmission female to male. As of today, 14 days later, my partner has had no symptoms (except he mentioned the tip of his penis was a bit sensitive - but I attribute that to anxiety), is it safe to assume we are in the clear?

Regards.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
42 months ago
I think, if he was going to have symptoms, yes, he would very likely have them by now.  I don't fully recall the details of your previous post - has he actually been tested to determine that he is HSV 2 negative?

Terri
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42 months ago
Hi Terri,  briefly,  the details of my previous post are:  one-time unprotected, brief (2-3 minutes) vaginal sex, worried about female to male transmission. 14 days no symptoms.

No, my partner has not been tested.  We are discussing that now based on the need since he has no symptoms so far.  I know you and Drs. Hook and Handsfield suggest getting tested to start a baseline, but unless he has to (meaning appearance of symptoms) I don't think he'll want to be tested.  I think you would counsel that no symptoms mean no need to test other than knowing if he's has been previously exposed to either HSV 1 or 2.   True?

Thank you again.  

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
41 months ago
So if he doesn't want to be tested, he certainly doesn't have to!  It sounds like he knows what's going on so it's up to him.  And the testing is actually not to see if he's been exposed but to see if he has been infected.  If he is also infected with HSV 2, whether he has symptoms or not, you are not a risk to him for further infection - he can't get what he already has. 

Terri
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