[Question #6893] Herpes Prodrome Questions

12 months ago
1) I'm a male and I have had HSV-2 for about 2 years and I been on Valtrex Daily (1000mg) for months now and I have noticed short bouts of prodrome sensation in my right butt cheek and occasionally going down my right thigh.  It's always mild.  

But it seems to coincide with my thoughts. If I have a negative thought I notice it or if I have anxiety I notice it.  But once the negative thoughts or anxiety goes away so does the prodrome sensation.  I also notice it if I think about having HSV-2 itself but once I stop thinking about it, the sensation goes away.  This happens everyday and more than once too.  I never have a break out.  Is it the virus or is it psychosomatic?

1A) I had an ache in my right thigh which I thought was an ache and then had sex with my GF with a condom.  Maybe the ache was prodrome?  If it was, would the chances of her getting HSV-2 be high? 

2A) I usually get breakouts on my penis on the upper shaft but one time I had a breakout on the lower part of the shaft near the base of my penis after severe itching in that area.  I only had it there once just under a year after I contracted HSV-2.  I never had it there again. I'm not sure if that is covered by a condom or not.  So if I shed would that be where it would most likely come from? or do you shed where the virus entered the body or where you get most of your breakouts? Could she get it from this area and if I had prodrome before we had sex but not during? I am on valtrex.

2B) If I am on 1000mg of Valtrex and do wear a condom would the risk be high for my GF to get HSV-2 if I had 10 seconds of a prodrome feeling before we had sex?  I've never had a prodrome feeling during sex.  The prodrome comes and goes in short periods a lot.  I'm just concerned about that one breakout I had near the base of my penis.
12 months ago
and one last thing: I noticed with herpes prodrome on my right buttock and down my right thigh that it hurts when I walk like a muscle almost.  So is is more a muscle ache? Or can prodrome affect the muscles if it's severe enough? Thanks for reading all of this, it helps me out a lot.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
If you only experience sensation when you have negative thoughts, it seems like this is more psychosomatic.
You say you've never had an outbreak.  How do you know that you have HSV 2?  If you had an antibody test that was positive, what was the index value of your positive test?
Condoms reduce transmission from males to females by 96%.
so now I'm confused because earlier you said you never get an outbreak but now you are describing outbreaks.  Hmmm. 
The area at the base of the penis is a pretty common site for outbreaks.  If you are on Valtrex AND using condoms, transmission from that area or any area is really unlikely
I don't think the prodrome (if that's what it was) right before sex while you are using a condom and Valtrex impacts the likelihood of transmission - still very very low. 
Herpes cannot impact the muscle, no matter how severe.  It is a nerve issue, not really a muscle issue.

Terri
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12 months ago
I should clarify...I haven't had an outbreak since I started taking my Valtrex everyday.
12 months ago
Do you shed on your testicles (balls) or just on the shaft on your penis?  Do you shed more at the upper shaft or lower shaft or is it all pretty much the same.  I'm not sure what type of blood test I have it was part of a 10 panel and it said positive for HSV-2, two years ago.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
Generally, the skin of the scrotum is too thick to shed the virus.  But anywhere on the shaft of the penis can shed the virus, no special location for viral shedding on the penis.  If you've had outbreaks in the past, then I'm not concerned about confirming your infection.  I'm glad that the Valtrex is stopping your outbreaks.

Terri

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12 months ago
If I touch with my fingers the shaft of my penis with no outbreaks while on 1000mg of Valtrex and then touch my GFs vagina 5-10 minutes later, can I spread herpes to her that way? I’ve had genital herpes for two years. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
I don't believe the situation that you describe above is a risk for transmitting HSV 2 to your partner, no.

Terri
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