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Can Stress Cause a Herpes Outbreak?

Jul 13, 2022

A woman having a stressful moment in bed worrying about if stress can cause a herpes outbreak.

It doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that living with genital herpes is stressful. From managing outbreaks to figuring out when and how to disclose your status, it’s well, a lot. But can stress cause a herpes outbreak?

If you’ve ever noticed that you experience outbreaks even more when you’re worried, anxious, or under pressure, it’s not in your head. There is a real, evidence-based relationship between stress and outbreaks. 

You’ve likely observed that you get an outbreak when you’re feeling stressed out, like during a tough period at work, while studying for exams in school, or during a breakup. Sometimes, there’s also a correlation between outbreaks and hormonal fluctuations—many women report they will start to feel that telltale itch/tingle of symptoms starting during or right after their monthly menstrual cycle, for example.  


How does stress affect herpes?

A 2009 meta-analysis found that psychosocial stress (yes, just like a bad breakup or a big work project) can hugely impact the recurrence of those exotic eczema flare ups. Earlier research also found a correlation between stress and herpes outbreaks. A 2011 article in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity suggests that daily stress, depression, and anxiety are all precursors to experiencing an outbreak of lesions on the genitals. Sigh. 

So, yes, it’s science—stress can cause herpes outbreaks. And of course, having an outbreak is a stressful experience in and of itself, what with all the itching, pain, and plain discomfort on your most private parts. This can create a stress/outbreak cycle that’s really hard to break out of. 


Does herpes cause stress?

In our own research, we’ve found that the herpes diagnosis itself is also a source of significant stress for women. In a survey conducted by FemiClear*, 99% of people used negative words when describing their emotions after diagnosis—however after 10 years more than half of women found peace in their diagnosis.

 In addition, 64% of people disclosed that they were currently experiencing mental health issues as a direct result of their herpes diagnosis.


How do I manage stress and herpes?!

That’s a lot of stress for people who have herpes. We talk a lot about ways to support your mental health and emotions throughout your diagnosis. Here at FemiClear, we want to help—by giving you tools to live a healthier life as a person with herpes. In support of our belief in finding balance for your V, we’re excited to announce our newest product designed for people with genital herpes as a part of our FemiClear Restoratives line.

Meet your new best friend, Immunity & Stress Support, a Dietary Supplement for people with genital herpes.


FemiClear Immunity & Stress Support Product may help with stress-related herpes outbreaks.


What is this supplement?

Immunity & Stress Support supplement is a specially-formulated drink mix that’s designed to support your immune system in times of stress. Wait, a supplement to drink? Yes! We made this product because we wanted an easy way for people to access the incredible ingredients we’ve chosen…and what is easier than a drink? 


What ingredients are in this supplement?

Think of these stick packets as an easy, useful way you can support yourself, as someone with herpes. What makes it especially effective is the 3000 mg of lysine we’ve included. Lysine is an amino acid that is known to assist the body in fighting the herpes virus. Research indicates 3000 mg is the most therapeutic dose for people with herpes, but the majority of lysine supplements come in pill doses ranging from 500 to 1000 mg. When you choose our Immunity & Stress support drink, you get all the benefits of lysine in one 3oz shot, rather than taking 3-6 pills a day.  

The Immunity & Stress Support supplement is meant to be an extra layer of support to help prevent outbreaks. Made with ashwagandha (a well-known adaptogen, a type of plant that actually helps your body’s stress response) and vitamin C, vitamin A and zinc (for immune support), it’s made to give you a daily boost, just when you need it.

Can stress cause a herpes outbreak? FemiClear Restoratives Herpes Relief Drink Mix may help with stress relief.

How do I use Immunity & Stress Support Supplement?

Vegan, gluten-free, and formulated without artificial anything (including sweeteners or colors), Immunity & Stress Support is made by simply mixing one of our stick packets with 3 fl oz water (amount of a double shot, cheers!). Keep this supplement next to your other FemiClear goodies, or any other medications, and take it at the same time so you don’t forget. You can also sip it during an outbreak as a way to minimize stress and build a healthy immune system, which can lessen the severity. We’re proud to offer our supplement as another support for you—a healthy person living with herpes. 


We make products for you.

At FemiClear, we’re committed to a new paradigm of feminine health products. We believe in using organic, natural ingredients that effectively address the problem so you can get back to living your happiest, healthiest life. From our groundbreaking herpes relief line to our soothing Feminine Wash and potent yeast infection products, we’re here to help you bring natural harmony to your V. 



NLM: Does psychosocial stress predict symptomatic herpes simplex virus recurrence? A meta-analytic investigation on prospective studies

PNIRS: The effects of daily distress and personality on genital HSV shedding and lesions in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of acyclovir in HSV-2 seropositive women

NLM: Lysine for Herpes Simplex Prophylaxis: A Review of the Evidence

NLM: An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda

NLM: Vitamin C and Immune Function

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