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Infectious Diseases

Genital herpes

02/02/2006

Question:

Is there any correlation between a woman`s menstrual cycle and genital herpes outbreaks?

Answer:

Genital herpes has variable outbreaks in men and women. The factors surrounding why some people have more frequent outbreaks than others are not completely clear. Nearly all people with genital herpes have a recurrence. The average is 4-5 per year. Gradually over time this decreases. More often, the virus "sheds" meaning it is there but there are no symptoms or sores present. This is important because it can be passed to others. Recurrence can be decreased by treatment but this should only be done after consultation with a doctor. I cannot find a relationship in the medical literature between genital herpes and menses.

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati