Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Do Condoms Protect You From Herpes

The Facts On Condoms And Foams

YOUR HEALTH: Does the condom always protect you?

Laboratory studies show that:

  • The Herpes virus does not pass through latex condoms and, when properly used, latex condoms are likely to reduce your risk of spreading or getting Herpes.
  • Condoms are useful in prevention but even the best condoms do not guarantee total safety.
  • When Herpes sores occur in places that are not covered by a condom, the condom is of little help in preventing transmission.
  • Condoms and foams should not be relied upon when Herpes sores or symptoms are present.
  • In test tube trials, it has been shown that some contraceptive foams contain ingredients that kill the Herpes virus and other STDs.
  • Foams are best used along with condoms, not in place of condoms.
  • Condoms do not provide 100 percent protection because a lesion may be occurring in a place which the condom does not cover. However, when used consistently, condoms are the best available form of prevention aside from abstinence.

Is There Any Resistance To Genital Herpes Medication

Resistance to drugs that treat genital herpes even after 20 years of use is very rare. Herpes medications may not work as well in patients who are very immunosuppressed and have been treated with these drugs for a long time. Each individuals response to treatment may vary. In some cases, patients may need more drugs to suppress their viral outbreaks than others.

How Is Genital Herpes Spread

  • Saliva from a partner with an oral herpes infection
  • Genital fluids from a partner with a genital herpes infection
  • Skin in the oral area of a partner with oral herpes or
  • Skin in the genital area of a partner with genital herpes.

You also can get genital herpes from a sex partner who does not have a visible sore or is unaware of their infection. It is also possible to get genital herpes if you receive oral sex from a partner with oral herpes.

You will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools. You also will not get it from touching objects, such as silverware, soap, or towels.

If you have more questions about herpes, consider discussing your concerns with a healthcare provider.

Also Check: Can You Cure Herpes Simplex

Talking To Your Partner

Talking to your partner about your herpes condition helps to develop trust, improves the relationship, and makes regular use of condoms more likely.

When you talk to your partner, youâll find out if theyâre one of the people who understand the risk of getting herpes and are OK with it or if theyâre in the group of people who want the most protection possible.

You should ask your partner to get tested for herpes. Most people have never been tested for herpes because this isnât a routinely ordered test even if a âfull STD panelâ is requested.

A type-specific herpes test is necessary. If your partner is positive for the same virus type, you wonât need to use protection.

Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Herpes

How Effective are Condoms at Preventing Herpes

If you have herpes, you should talk to your sex partner and let him or her know that you do and the risk involved. Using condoms may help lower this risk but it will not get rid of the risk completely. Having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase your risk of spreading the disease. Even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.

You may have concerns about how genital herpes will impact your overall health, sex life, and relationships. It is best for you to talk to a health care provider about those concerns, but it also is important to recognize that while herpes is not curable, it can be managed with medication. Daily suppressive therapy for herpes can also lower your risk of spreading genital herpes to your sex partner. Be sure to discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider. Since a genital herpes diagnosis may affect how you will feel about current or future sexual relationships, it is important to understand how to talk to sexual partners about STDsexternal icon.

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No Sex When Genital Lesions Are Visible

It is important to know that the symptomatic herpes simplex virus is highly contagious. Thatâs why if one partner is herpes-positive, abstinence is a must during times when he or she has genital ulcers.7 This is true for oral sex if the herpes-positive partner has visible symptoms near the mouth.9 However, the absence of visible ulcers or blisters does not guarantee full protection from infection and there is still some probability of genital herpes transmission.7

What Should You Do If You Receive A Positive Result

The short answer: What your doctor or healthcare professional tells you to do.

If you receive a positive result, the doctor will probs prescribe a dose of antibiotics in the case of curable STIs .

Or they might prescribe a method that can help you manage the symptoms of treatable STIs .

Your move: Take this medication.

The doctor will also tell you to abstain from all or some sex acts for a certain period of time, which you should do in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

Next, its a good move to talk with any past partners youve had that may have also been exposed.

If you have access to the people still, make the call or send the text, Duran says. If you got a gonorrhea diagnosis, for example, and had five partners since your last test, you want to check in with all of to let them know that they may have been exposed, so they can get tested as well.

How to tell a partner about possible exposure

Keep it simple and free of blame or judgment. You might say:

  • Hey! Just wanted to let you know that I got tested for . My doctor recommended that I let any recent partners know, so they can get tested, too.
  • Hi! I went in for my annual STI screening and found out I have . My doctor told me it can be spread even if a condom was used, so you might want to get tested to be safe.

Recommended Reading: What Can You Do To Get Rid Of Herpes

How Effective Condoms Are

When used perfectly, external condoms are estimated to be 98 percent effective. The missing 2 percent here accounts for the fact that some condoms rip or break, according to Gersh.

Most pleasure-seekers, however, dont always put the condom on at the right time, in the right way, or remove it correctly. With typical use, external condoms are 85 percent effective.

Condom Effectiveness Against Herpes

What is a Condom and How is it Used | Planned Parenthood Video

Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 . Although HSV-2 is responsible for most cases of genital herpes, HSV-1 can also be transmitted during oral sex.

Using condoms correctly is one of the best ways to protect yourself against numerous STDs, but what is the effectiveness of condoms against herpes? Keep reading to find out.

Read Also: When Are Genital Herpes Contagious

Can Valacyclovir Prevent Herpes Transmission

Medically reviewed by Michele Emery, DNP

Valacyclovir is one of the most common and effective medications used to manage HSV-1 and HSV-2, two variants of the herpes simplex virus. While valacyclovir provides treatment for and management of herpes symptoms, its not a cure for the virus.

However, can it also act as a way of preventing herpes transmission? Scientific data shows that while valacyclovir is helpful in reducing the risk of herpes transmission, it isnt a 100% effective drug for preventing herpes entirely.

In this guide, well look at some of the study data on valacyclovirs effectiveness for preventing herpes transmission, as well as how the drug can be used to reduce your risk of infecting other people if you have HSV-1 or HSV-2.

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Can You Catch An Sti Even With A Condom

Reviewed by our clinical team

For people having sex with new or casual partners, condoms are really important. Not only do they prevent pregnancy, they also provide protection against STIs, including chlamydia and HIV.

However despite their many benefits condoms cant offer 100% protection during sex, which is why its important to take other precautions, like getting tested for STIs. Read on to learn more.

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How Does Genital Herpes Spread

Herpes can be spread when an infected person has lesions blisters and open sores on their body or when you do not have any symptoms. Taking antiviral medicine can help you reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to your sexual partners. You can also:

  • Inform your sexual partner that you have genital herpes.
  • Use a condom every time you have sex.
  • Refrain from having sex when you have symptoms.
  • Abstain from performing oral sex if you have blisters or open sores around your mouth.

Can Herpes Be Passed From Mouth To Genitals Or Vice Versa

5 STDs You Can Get While Using A Condom

The short answer is yes. If HSV 1 is present in the mouth region it is highly contagious to the genital region. If genitals are infected with HSV 2, this can easily get passed orally and become HSV 1, as well.

There have been debates as to whether or not the HSV 1 strain can cause the HSV 2 strain, but science has definitively proven that indeed it does. In other words, a strain of HSV 1 in the mouth can cause an outbreak by infecting or reinfecting someone if a dental dam or condom isnt while they perform oral sex, and this can lead to HSV 2.

Similarly, HSV 2 can be spread to the mouth from the genitals during unprotected oral sex. This is why using a condom, like the Trustex Strawberry Flavored Condom or a Sheer Glyde Dental Dam is necessary for you and your partners protection against Herpes during oral sex. If you are unsure about how to properly use a dental dam for safer oral sex, read more about it in this article entitled ‘How to Use a Dental Dam.’

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What You Need To Know

  • Herpes simplex virus , also known as genital herpes, is most likely to be spread when an infected person is having an outbreak, but it can also be transmitted without any symptoms being present.
  • Medications can help reduce your symptoms, speed up the healing of an outbreak and make you less contagious.
  • If you know you have genital herpes before becoming pregnant, your physician will monitor your condition throughout your pregnancy. If you have an active outbreak at the time of delivery, cesarean section may be recommended.

Can Condoms Provide Protection From Sexually Transmitted Diseases Including Hiv

Yes. Whether you use latex male condoms or female condoms, they are both very effective in preventing HIV and many other STDs when used the right way every time. Condoms may prevent the spread of other STDs, like the Human Papillomavirus or genital herpes, only when the condom covers the infected areas or sores. To find out if you might have an STD, visit your doctor or clinic as soon as you can.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Mouth Herpes Sores

Condoms May Reduce Herpes Risk

The herpes simplex virus 2 causes genital herpes, which is a chronic, lifelong viral infection. Although studies have found that regular condom use reduces the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, whether they prevent the transmission of HSV-2 has been less certain, the researchers noted.

“Condoms work for herpes,” said study author Emily T. Martin, a postdoctoral fellow with the Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

“Even though the decrease is smaller than you would see with some other STDs, the evidence from previous studies has been unclear whether using a condom to prevent getting herpes was going to be effective, but this shows that it is,” she said.

Using condoms reduces herpes transmission by only 30 percent because, unlike other STDs, herpes is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, Martin explained.

“Transmission has a lot to do with where the virus is being shed at the time,” she said. “If someone with herpes is shedding virus for an area that is not covered by a condom, we speculate the virus will spread whether or not they are using a condom.”

The study is published in the July 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

For the study, Martin’s team looked at data from six HSV-2 studies that dealt with the effectiveness of condoms in preventing herpes. The studies included 5,384 men and women who did not have herpes when the studies began.

More information

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The condom broke

Condoms are strong but they can break if theyre not put on correctly, or if theyre used in the wrong way.

Be careful not to tear the condom with your fingernails or snag it on jewellery when taking it out of the packet, and make sure you put it on the right way. If you get it wrong the first time, throw the condom away and get a fresh one. Guidance on using condoms correctly can be found at the NHS website. Or you can read our guide on wearing condoms.

Its also a good idea to check the use-by date on your condoms, as they can expire.

You used an oil-based lubricant

Oil-based lubes might feel good but they can weaken the latex used to make most standard condoms, and this can lead to breakage. Examples of oil based lubricants are coconut oil, olive oil, Vaseline, many body lotions and moisturisers. To avoid this, use water-based lubricants, such as a dedicated pleasure gel or sex lube. Saliva is a great natural lubricant thats free and always available.

The condom was put on too late

The condom was taken off too late

You picked up an STI when you werent having penetrative sex

You can also protect yourself and your partner by using dental dams and latex gloves for activities like oral sex and fingering. These precautions are especially important if you have cuts or sores on your mouth, genitals or hands .

You picked up an STI that spreads through skin-to-skin contact

Recommended Reading: How To Make Herpes Sores Heal Faster

Herpes Simplex Virus 1

HSV 1 affects the mouth region, including the lips, gums, tongue, throat and the roof of the mouth. Typically, the symptoms appear at the original site of infection anywhere from 3-12 times annually and each painful fluid filled blister takes approximately 2 weeks to heal and disappear. This can lead to a lot of embarrassment for those who frequently have prominent evidence of an STD on their face.

Do Male And Female Condoms Provide The Same Protection Against Hiv

Yes. Studies show that female condoms are as effective at protecting against HIV as male condoms. Female condoms are made of nitrile, which is an effective barrier to HIV. Male and female condoms should not be used at the same time. Female condoms, like latex male condoms, are available in some drug stores, community health centers, and AIDS service organizations.

Also Check: Where To Get Tested For Herpes

Condoms Reduce Herpes Risk By 30%

Although condoms arent guaranteed to prevent herpes transmission, they reduce the risk by about 30%, according to a 2009 study by E. Martin in the Archives of Internal Medicine .

Although the magnitude of the protective effect was not as large as has been observed with other STIs, a 30 percent reduction in HSV-2 incidence can have a substantial benefit for individuals as well as a public health impact at the population level, writes researcher Emily T. Martin, MPH, PhD, of Childrens Hospital Research Institute and the University of Washington, Seattle in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study specifically examined the transmission rates of HSV-2 in more than 5,000 people. It showed that subjects who used condoms 100% of the time had a 30% lower risk of infection. The 30% reduction in transmission rates was reasonably just as true for both male and female partners.

The Risk For Males And Females Is Different

Do condoms prevent herpes? Not Really,the effectiveness of condoms

It has been proven that males are more susceptible to protected herpes transmission. This is because heterosexual females primarily get infected by the herpes simplex virus through penile skin, which is covered by a condom during protected sexual intercourse.2

ââ¦.proven that males are more susceptible to protected herpes transmissionâ

On the other hand, heterosexual males may get this infection from contact with a wider surface area, including the vulva and perineum.4

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Chances Of Getting Herpes With Condom And No Outbreak

  • Avoid sex when symptoms are active.
  • Do not engage in sexual intercourse when symptoms are active and present, even when you have precautions such as condom. Outbreaks can still happen despite taking antiviral drugs. Avoid getting intimate with your partner when blisters or sores are visible on the genitals
  • Circumcision among males
  • Males who have undergone circumcision are partially protected from herpes. Uncircumcised men are at risk of getting infected.
  • Acyclovir

    What Are The Types Of Herpes Viruses

    Herpes is a group of contagious viruses that cause blisters and sores. Some of the more common herpes viruses include:

    • Type 1: HSV-1, or oral herpes, causes cold sores to form on your lips, gums, tongue and inside of your mouth. It can cause genital herpes in some cases. This type usually spreads through saliva when you kiss someone with open herpes sores. You can also get HSV-1 by sharing items like toothbrushes, lipsticks or eating utensils.
    • Type 2: HSV-2 causes genital herpes.
    • Herpes zoster: This virus causes chickenpox and shingles.

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