June 24, 2010

Q&A: My Wife Has A Sore Near Her Anus. Could It Be Herpes?

There are various reasons why people get sores on their anal or genital area and not all of the reasons are related to sexually transmissible infections.

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Question: My wife has a sore near her anus, and we think it could be herpes. Neither of us have had herpes and we do not have anal sex. Could this be from contact she had prior to our marriage? Could she have contracted it from an affair?

If your wife has a sore near her anus or any other part of her genitals or anal area, I would recommend that she check in with her healthcare provider who may be able to tell her what the sore is from.

There are various reasons why women and men may get sores or have other symptoms on their anal or genital area and not all of the reasons are related to sexually transmissible infections, or STIs.


Herpes sores can show up a long time after infection. Some people don’t notice their first sore until months or even many years after infection. As such, if the sore is from a herpes infection, it does not indicate when she got it.

For example, it may be that you have herpes but have never had a noticeable outbreak and that, at some point, she acquired it from you. Or it could mean that she acquired herpes some time before you were married or possibly from a recent or distant affair. It is impossible to know.

Unlike other STIs, herpes can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to many years to produce noticeable symptoms. If it is herpes, you may want to get tested for herpes, too. If you don’t have herpes but she does, you may want to talk with a healthcare provider about steps you can take to avoid getting it.

Other Infections

Even if your wife has never had anal sex, it is still possible to get infections in the skin around the anal opening. Some infections are easily transferred from the genitals to the anal area, given how close they are to one another.

Also, the way that sex play often occurs – with people rubbing their genitals against each other – means that sometimes genitals rub near the anus even if they don’t go in it.

Keep in mind that there are non-sexual reasons why people get sores. Some people have skin disorders that results in cuts, tears or sores in their anal or genital skin. People can also get cancer in their anal or genital area, which is one reason why I recommend that all skin changes be brought to the attention of a healthcare provider.

How To Proceed

I can understand your concern about the sore on your wife’s anal area and would suggest treating her with kindness, compassion and support, rather than suspicion about her having sex with other people, until you find out more about what it may be.

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  • GallagherEli

    It's not normal to pose such a question on the Internet, instead of going to a proctologist, because she's his wife and she shouldn't be embarrassed in public like that, because, if it turns out she didn't take the STI cheating him but because of him and that the herpes can't disappear with only a recipient of Aciclovir or whatever, he's going to be in real serious trouble.