How To Tell Your Partner About The Herpes
Most people feel that their love lives are over once they discover they have herpes. Well, that is not the truth. Herpes patients have romantic relationships with one another or with persons without the STI.
Having conversations about STDs is not fun, but it is essential to tell your partner if you are infected. That way, you might prevent the condition from spreading.
Here are practical tips that might help to talk about it:
- Remain calm: Having the STI is a health condition and does not mean you are promiscuous. Therefore, go into the conversation with a positive and relaxed attitude. You can start the conversation by asking your partner if they have even had or been tested before.
- Know the facts: Be sure to read all the facts. It will help you let your sexual partner know there are methods to manage the condition and prevent transmission.
- Timing: Choose a time when you will not be interrupted or distracted and in a private place. If you are anxious, you can first talk through your friend or practice speaking in front of a mirror. It helps you know what you are confident in saying.
- If you think your partner might injure you, you can tell them using a phone call, text message, or email.
How Will My Healthcare Provider Know If I Have Genital Herpes
Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at any sores that are present. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. If sores are not present, a blood test may be used to look for HSV antibodies.
Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider about herpes testing and other STDs.
Please note: A herpes blood test can help determine if you have herpes infection. It cannot tell you who gave you the infection or when you got the infection.
Return To The Emergency Department If:
- You get a fever, feel achy, or see pus instead of clear fluid in the sores.
- You get sores on your eyes.
- You have abdominal pain, a severe headache, or confusion.
- You get new symptoms, or old symptoms return after you have been treated.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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Can I Treat Herpes Simplex At Home
Avoiding known triggers, such as illness or stress, can help reduce how often you have herpes outbreaks.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-1 ?
- Over-the-counter creams such as L-lysine, benzocaine or docosanol .
- Applying ice to blisters or sores.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-2 ?
- Apply an ice pack to your genitals. Wrap the ice pack in a washcloth or apply it over your underwear.
- Keep your genitals dry. Wear cotton or other nonsynthetic underpants and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Moist sores take longer to heal.
- Soak in a warm bath.
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Genital Herpes And Pregnancy
Women with herpes before pregnancy can usually expect to have a healthy baby and a vaginal delivery.
If you have genital herpes during pregnancy, there’s a risk your baby could develop a serious illness called neonatal herpes.
This can be fatal, but most babies recover with antiviral treatment.
The risk of your baby getting neonatal herpes is low if you have had genital herpes before.
It’s higher if you get genital herpes for the first time in pregnancy.
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Medical Treatment For Oral Herpes
Oral herpes symptoms may resolve without treatment within one to two weeks.
If needed, your healthcare provider will prescribe certain antiviral medications to treat your condition. These medications help with any pain you may be experiencing as well as alleviate symptoms more quickly.
Medications that are used to treat HSV-1 include acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir, which are most effective if taken when initial warning signs of an incoming flare-up appear and before blisters develop.
How Painful Is Herpes Simplex
Some people experience very mild genital herpes symptoms or no symptoms at all. Frequently, people infected with the virus don’t even know they have it. However, when it causes symptoms, it can be described as extremely painful. This is especially true for the first outbreak, which is often the worst. Outbreaks are described as aches or pains in or around the genital area or burning, pain, or difficulty urinating. Some people experience discharge from the or .
Oral herpes lesions usually cause tingling and burning just prior to the breakout of the blisters. The blisters themselves can also be painful.
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Chance Of Herpes Transmission By Gender
This table summarizes herpes transmission by gender. The percentages are the per-year chance of contracting the disease when one person is infected:
- infected male to susceptible female
- infected female to a susceptible male
As you can see, females are at higher risk of contracting the infection.
The percentages mentioned bellow are general estimates and may vary from person to person based on immune system strength , skin condition , and race .
|Vector of transmission|
Can Herpes Be Transmitted Through Saliva
Yes, oral herpes, caused by HSV-1, mainly spreads through contact with visible sores, saliva, and infected skin surfaces around the lips and mouth.
HSV-1 can also be transmitted through saliva to the genital area of a person if they receive oral sex from a person with oral herpes, but this is less common.
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How Is It Diagnosed
You should see a doctor or other healthcare provider if you suspect youve contracted herpes.
A healthcare provider can usually diagnose herpes with a physical exam and one or more of the following tests:
- a viral culture, which involves scraping off a sample of the sore for examination in a lab
- a polymerase chain reaction test, which compares a sample of your blood and from a sore to determine which type of HSV you have
- a blood test to check for HSV antibodies from a past herpes infection
How Can I Prevent Herpes Outbreaks
If you have lots of herpes outbreaks, your doctor may tell you to take medicine every day this is called suppressive therapy. It can help prevent future herpes outbreaks, and lower your chances of giving herpes to your partners.
Whether or not you take medicine to treat herpes, taking care of yourself by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress might help keep future outbreaks from popping up.
No one knows for sure what triggers genital herpes outbreaks. Other infections, surgery, sex, your period, skin irritations, and stress may cause outbreaks. Sunburns, injuries to your lips, or other infections can cause oral herpes flare-ups. Try to avoid getting sunburned if you have oral herpes.
Genital herpes outbreaks usually happen less often and become shorter and weaker after a few years whether or not you get treated.
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Herpes Simplex Virus Primary Infection
Symptoms of the primary infection are most likely to develop in children younger than five years old. Symptoms include:
- swollen and irritated gums with small, painful sores in and around the mouth this is known as herpes simplex gingivostomatitis
Herpes simplex gingivostomatitis usually affects young children, but adults can also develop it. It can last 10 to 14 days, with the sores taking up to three weeks to heal. Gingivostomatitis doesnt usually recur after the primary infection.
Primary herpes simplex viruses are rare in adults. But the symptoms are similar to those experienced by children.
- youll usually have a sore throat with or without swollen glands
- you may also have bad breath and painful sores in and around your mouth these can develop into ulcers with grey or yellow centres
If you develop the herpes simplex virus at an early age, it may be triggered from time to time in later life. It can cause recurring bouts of cold sores.
After the primary infection, the symptoms are usually reduced to just the cold sores themselves.
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Who Might Get Herpes Simplex
People of any age can contract herpes simplex. You are more likely to get the virus if you:
- Were assigned female at birth.
- Have had multiple sex partners.
- Started having sex at a young age.
- Have a history of any sexually transmitted infection .
- Have a weakened immune system.
- Dont use condoms for intercourse and dental dams for oral sex.
Who gets HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes?
Anyone can get HSV-1. Most people contract HSV-1 during childhood. It spreads when an adult who has the virus has close contact with a child, such as when a family member kisses a child.
Who gets HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes?
Genital herpes affects sexually active teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms or dental dams.
People assigned female at birth are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black people who were AFAB are especially vulnerable, with an estimated 1 in 2 people AFAB between the ages of 14 and 49 infected with HSV-2.
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What If You And Your Partner Already Have Oral Herpes
We hope you get the idea by now: Yes, you can still get genital herpes.
Even if you already have either strain in either location, you can still receive either strain in the other location.
- If you have HSV-1 on your mouth, your partner can still give you HSV-2 on your genitals.
- If you have HSV-1 on your genitals, your partner can still give you HSV-2 on your mouth.
- If you have HSV-1 on your mouth, your partner can still give you HSV-1 on your genitals.
- If you have HSV-1 on your genitals, your partner can still give you HSV-1 on your mouth.
Again, were sorry if you didnt need this all spelled out for you, but a lot of people have a lot of questions about herpes, and we just want to give the people what they want. When that means a more informed approach to sexual health, who can be mad?
Should You Even Be That Worried?
With all of the information weve shared today, lets create a fake scenario:
John Does aunt kisses him on the mouth when he is a tiny baby, but she has a cold sore. Her cold sore was caused by HSV-1. John Doe lives his life and grows into a man, unaware that the herpes simplex virus type-1 is living asymptomatically within his DNA. John Doe meets a lovely lady named Jane Doe and he goes down on her. The HSV-1 is spread to Jane Does genitals, and she accuses John Doe of being a cheater and she leaves him. John Doe is confused, Jane Doe is confused, and this whole situation could have been solved if they had just both read this blog post!
How Should I Take Valacyclovir Tablets
- Take valacyclovir tablets exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Your dose of valacyclovir tablets and length of treatment will depend on the type of herpes infection that you have and any other medical problems that you have.
- Do not stop valacyclovir tablets or change your treatment without talking to your healthcare provider.
- Valacyclovir tablets can be taken with or without food.If you are taking valacyclovir tablets to treat cold sores, chickenpox, shingles or genital herpes, you should start treatment as soon as possible after your symptoms start. Valacyclovir tablets may not help you if you start treatment too late.
- If you miss a dose of valacyclovir tablets, take it as soon as you remember and then take your next dose at its regular time. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Wait and take the next dose at the regular time.
- Do not take more than the prescribed number of valacyclovir tablets each day. Call your healthcare provider right away if you take too much valacyclovir tablets.
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What Is Herpes Simplex
Herpes simplex is a virus that causes skin infections. The infection lasts your lifetime, and it causes painful or itchy sores and blisters that come and go. Herpes simplex virus typically doesnt cause severe problems. But it can be dangerous in infants and people with weakened immune systems. There are two types of herpes simplex:
- Herpes simplex 1 tends to affect your mouth or face. It causes cold sores. HSV-1 spreads through contact with saliva .
- Herpes simplex 2 is a sexually transmitted disease . It causes sores on skin that comes in contact with the genitals of an infected person.
Sometimes a herpes infection can affect other parts of your body, such as your eyes or other parts of your skin.
How Long Can Herpes Be Exposed In The Air
Visible genital herpes and cold sores can come and go sporadically. However, once the herpes virus has found a host body, it remains there permanently. If your partner has herpes, you are right to be concerned with ways to protect yourself from also contracting the virus.
Frequently cleaning anything that comes into contact with your partners sores or your partners bodily fluids and saliva is also wise. However, there is no need to be overly cautious about the virus surviving on surfaces or as airborne particles. The herpes virus needs a host to survive.
At maximum, the herpes virus can survive without a host and in the open air for roughly 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, the fragile herpes virus dies from air exposure. Herpes reacts so poorly to air exposure that doctors recommend dry air exposure on the sores to help speed the healing process.
However, that does not mean that you should immediately drink or eat after someone who has an active outbreak of herpes. The 10-second rule is not ironclad, and the herpes virus could possibly survive in wet saliva on a wine glass rim for a few seconds longer.
Always take proper precautions, and if you would like some peace of mind regarding your sexual health, contact us at Rapid STD Testing forsame-day STD testing.
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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Valacyclovir Tablets
Kidney failure and nervous system problems are not common, but can be serious in some patients taking valacyclovir tablets. Nervous system problems include aggressive behavior, unsteady movement, shaky movements, confusion, speech problems, hallucinations , seizures and coma.
Kidney failure and nervous system problems have happened in patients who already have kidney disease and in elderly patients whose kidneys do not work well due to age. Always tell your healthcare provider if you have kidney problems before taking valacyclovir tablets.
Common side effects of valacyclovir tablets in adults include headache, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and dizziness. Side effects in HIV-infected adults include headache, tiredness and rash. These side effects usually are mild and do not cause patients to stop taking valacyclovir tablets.
Other less common side effects in adults include painful periods in women, joint pain, depression, low blood cell counts and changes in tests that measure how well the liver and kidneys work. The most common side effect seen in children < 18 years of age was headache.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects that concern you. These are not all the side effects of valacyclovir tablets. For more information ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
When To See A Doctor For Herpes In Throat
You should seek medical assistance if you ever suspect that you have herpes esophagitis even if youve never had other symptoms of herpes or another STD in your throat. Although symptoms of herpes esophagitis can go away on their own within a few weeks, theres no way to predict whether this will be the case or if you will require treatment to manage the condition. Seeking medical help can help you get an early diagnosis so the condition can be controlled as quickly as possible.
Because herpes esophagitis isnt a common manifestation of herpes, it could be misdiagnosed for a different condition at first. Its important to be fully transparent with your physician about your personal history and the symptoms you have experienced.
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Is There A Way To Prevent Stds From Kissing
Abstinence is the only way to completely prevent oral STDs. But kissing is enjoyable, and may even have some health benefits.
If you like kissing, here are some strategies for lowering your chances of getting an oral STD:
Avoid kissing if you or your partner have any sores or cuts in the mouth.
Dont bite while kissing.
Dont brush or floss right before/after kissing.
Practice good, regular dental hygiene.
Avoid kissing if you feel sick.
If you enjoy using your mouth for other sexual activities, like oral sex, use a barrier like a dental dam or condom.
Get vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis B.
What Is The Risk Of Transmission Between Recurrences
Studies have shown that virus may sometimes be found on an infected area, even when there are no visible symptoms. This is called asymptomatic shedding. If enough virus is present when direct skin contact takes place, a partner may become infected.
The fewer recurrences a person has, the less chance there is of asymptomatic shedding.
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