What Happens At A Sexual Health Clinic
The doctor or nurse at the sexual health clinic will:
- ask about your symptoms and your sexual partners
- use a small cotton bud to take some fluid from 1 of your blisters or sores for testing
The test cannot:
- be done if you do not have visible blisters or sores
- tell you how long you have had herpes or who you got it from
Symptoms might not appear for weeks or even years after you’re infected with the herpes virus.
Vaginal Herpes Natural Treatments
Apart from the medications, there are some natural ways that can cure or reduce the vaginal blisters. They are as follows:
- Immune depressant drugs should be avoided.
- Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine reduce the nutrients and the oxygen levels in the body. These should be avoided.
- Excessive exposure to the sun should be avoided.
- Warm water should be used while bathing along with herbal soaps to help reduce blisters. Bathing twice a day is advisable.
- Tea tree oil helps fight infections and speeds healing of the sores. You will want to apply 4 to 5 drops of the oil on the sores before going to bed.
- Foods rich in amino acids provide collagen to the body and make the skin healthy are recommended.
- Carrot juice helps to detoxifying the body.
- Clothing must be loose and comfortable so that the skin doesnt sweat much. This helps the blisters dry quickly.
- Minimize or eliminate sexual activity during active phases of HSV as it will reduce your chance of passing it on to your partner.
- Always practice safe sex as your best protection against any sexually transmitted disease.
- Always maintain a healthy level of hydration by drinking ample amounts of water.
Pregnant women have extra responsibilities regarding the care and precautions which must be taken to protect their baby. Confer with your doctor for details. Never give birth vaginally during an active and initial Vaginal Herpes outbreak.
Understanding Herpes With H Hunter Handsfield Md
Herpes expert H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, explains the basics about genital herpes, including the difference between genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, testing options and the importance of knowing virus type, and the three-prong strategy for prevention. See more herpes videos at sexualhealthTV.com.
Have a question about herpes youd like Dr. Handsfield or our other experts to answer? Visit our Ask the Experts page to learn how.
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Can Genital Herpes Be Prevented
The only sure way to keep from getting genital herpesor any other sexually transmitted infection is to not have sex. If you do have sex, practice safer sex.
- Before you start a sexual relationship, talk with your partner about STIs. Find out whether he or she is at risk for them. Remember that a person can be infected without knowing it.
- If you have symptoms of an STI, dont have sex.
- Dont have sex with anyone who has symptoms or who may have been exposed to an STI.
- Dont have more than one sexual relationship at a time. Having several sex partners increases your risk for infection.
- Use condoms. Condom use lowers the risk of spreading or becoming infected with an STI.
- Dont receive oral sex from partners who have cold sores.
Taking medicine for herpes may lower the number of outbreaks you have and can also prevent an episode from getting worse. It also lower the chances that you will infect your partner.
If you are pregnant, you should take extra care to avoid getting infected. You could pass the infection to your baby during delivery, which can cause serious problems for your newborn. If you have an outbreak near your due date, you probably will need to have your baby by cesarean section. If your genital herpes outbreaks return again and again, your doctor may talk to you about medicines that can help prevent an outbreak during pregnancy.
How Does Genital Herpes Spread
The herpes virus that causes genital herpes spreads through saliva, semen and vaginal secretions. Its possible to get genital herpes from someone who doesnt have visible symptoms. You can have the infection, not know it and infect someone else.
Research has found it is possible for genital herpes to spread through:
- Oral sex with someone whos infected.
- Skin-to-skin contact without ejaculation.
- Touching open sores, including while breastfeeding.
- Childbirth by a mother who has an active infection.
You cant get genital herpes from objects like toilet seats. But you could pass genital herpes through shared sex toys.
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Genital Herpes Treatment In Pregnancy
You may be offered antiviral treatment:
- to treat outbreaks in pregnancy
- from 36 weeks to reduce the chance of an outbreak during birth
- from diagnosis until the birth if you first get herpes after 28 weeks of pregnancy
Many women with genital herpes have a vaginal delivery. You may be offered a caesarean, depending on your circumstances.
Symptoms Of Genital Herpes
Many people who have genital herpes may not be aware they have the infection, because they may not have any symptoms.
The first episode of herpes can cause considerable pain and distress. Symptoms of the first episode may include:
- flu-like symptoms such as feeling unwell, headaches and pains in the back and legs, with or without enlarged glands in the groin
- small blisters around the genitals these break open to form shallow, painful ulcers, which scab over and heal after one to two weeks
- small cracks in the skin with or without an itch or tingling
- redness or a distinct rash
- some people also have considerable pain and swelling in the genital area, and hence may have additional pain and difficulty passing urine.
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What Causes Symptoms To Come Back
When symptoms recur, they usually come on during times of emotional stress or illness. Thatâs because, during these times, your bodyâs immune system may be less able to suppress the virus and keep it from becoming active.
Symptom triggers can include:
- Interfere with a personâs sense of security and intimacy
In some cases, though, complications from genital herpes can be serious, even life-threatening.
Although itâs rare, pregnant women can pass on the herpes infection to their child. This can result in a serious and sometimes deadly infection in the baby. Thatâs why taking steps to prevent an outbreak at time of delivery is recommended starting at 34 weeks into the pregnancy. If you have signs of an active viral infection when itâs time to deliver, your doctor will likely recommend a cesarean section for delivery.
If you have any reason to believe you may have an HSV infection as the result of a sexual encounter â either genital or oral â contact your health care provider.
Herpes Might Not Have Any Symptoms
You or your partner may not have any herpes symptoms that you can see or feel, or the signs of herpes may be so mild you dont even notice them. Sometimes people confuse herpes symptoms with other things, like pimples, ingrown hairs, and the flu.
Herpes symptoms come and go, but that doesnt mean the infection goes away or that you cant spread it to other people. Once you have herpes, it stays in your body for life.
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How Much To Take
Your doctor will decide what dose you should take, how often you should take it and what strength Valtrex tablets you should use. The dosage may vary depending on your medical history.
Acute treatment of genital herpes:If you have had a herpes infection before, you should start to take Valtrex tablets as early as possible if you think you are about to have another recurrence . Dosing should ideally start just before, or straight after the first signs of HSV infection appear.
If you have been prescribed Valtrex 500 mg tablets for the treatment of HSV infection, the usual dose to take is one tablet with water twice daily.
Suppressive treatment of genital herpes:If you have been prescribed Valtrex 500 mg tablets to prevent the herpes infection appearing again, the usual dose to take is 500 mg once daily. Your doctor may recommend that you take this as a divided dose .
If you previously have had more than 10 recurrences in one year, your doctor may recommend that you take 1000 mg of Valtrex once daily to prevent recurrences.
If you think you have been advised to take a different dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
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How Is Herpes Diagnosed
Accurate diagnosis of herpes is essential to ensure you receive the correct treatment.
People may mistake their herpes outbreaks for insect bites, yeast infections, jock itch, ingrown hair follicles, haemorrhoids, abrasion or razor burn. Accurate diagnosis is made most easily and correctly at the time of an active herpes infection, preferably the first time the symptoms appear.
There are several diagnostic tests available for herpes, requiring either a swab from a herpes blister or a blood test. The blood test can tell if you have been exposed to the virus in the past, but will not tell you if a particular sore is caused by herpes, or reliably differentiate between HSV-1 and HSV-2. Swabs can tell you if the sore is herpes or not, and what type it is, but cant tell if it is an initial infection or a recurrence. If you think you may have contracted the virus, see your doctor for testing.
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New Or Initial Genital Herpes Infections
When a person is first infected with the herpes virus, if symptoms occur they usually develop within the first two weeks of virus transmission. Symptoms can include fever and flu-like symptoms, genital itching, burning and discomfort, vaginal discharge, swollen lymph nodes, and a feeling of abdominal pressure.
Otc Treatments Vs Seeing A Doctor
If you have had yeast infections before and you are certain that is what youre experiencing, then you should be fine buying OTC medications for it. If time passes and the medications obviously arent doing anything, youll want to see a doctor as soon as possible.
If youve never had yeast infections or just arent sure, visiting a doctor is the best option. Better safe than sorry by making assumptions when lab tests can easily provide a diagnosis and a doctor can treat you while also answering all of your questions.
Do you need a doctor you can trust to give you a medical diagnosis and provide treatment? We have an incredible team that youll feel comfortable with and that can assist you! Reach out to us today if youd like to schedule an appointment.
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Is Female Herpes Curable
Female herpes outbreaks can be restricted with proper treatment, but there is currently no cure. Taking a daily herpes suppression therapy can make it less likely to pass the sexually transmitted infection onto a partner, although the virus remains contagious throughout all phases of outbreak.
For women who are otherwise healthy, living with herpes shouldnât cause any long-term medical complications or affect their ability to maintain intimate relationships. The herpes simplex virus affects millions of women around the world, and many people with herpes enjoy relationships with their partners.
Recurrent outbreaks are common, and the treatments designed to combat the effects will have a significant impact on the severity, duration and frequency of flare-ups. Outbreak treatment can help to heal herpes sores faster than allowing them to heal naturally.
Combining medications and preventative measures as part of a preventative protocol can afford infected women comfort and an improved quality of life while living with genital herpes.
Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.
Could I Get Genital Herpes
Anyone who is sexually active, including people who experience sexual violence, can get genital herpes.
Genital herpes can also be passed on:
- when a person with a herpes virus infection in their mouth or throat gives oral sex to another person
- when a person gives oral sex to a person who has a herpes virus infection on their genitals
- through sharing sex toys or during a hand job or fingering if infected fluids get onto the toy or hand
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How Do I Talk With People About Having Herpes
It might feel scary to admit you have herpes, but talking about things can really ease your mind. You could lean on a close, non-judgmental friend that you trust to keep the conversation private. Parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and other family members can also be a source of comfort. Remember, herpes is really common, so its possible the person youre talking to has herpes, too.
There are a lot of online support groups for people who have herpes, and the American Sexual Health Association has a list of support groups that meet in person.
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How To Deal With Genital Herpes Discharge
Immediately see a doctor if you notice discharge associated with herpes virus or other sexually transmitted diseases. This is important in order to alleviate the severity of the symptoms, and reduce the frequency of herpes outbreaks. As well as helping prevent transmitting the virus to others.
You can reduce the risk of HSV or outbreaks by following these tips:
- Use protection when performing oral sex, such as dental dams or condoms.
- Avoid sexual contact in case of herpes outbreaks.
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How Women Can Avoid Getting Genital Herpes
Consistent and proper use of condoms can reduce the risks associated with genital herpes transmission. Although this method offers some preventative aid, transmitting or acquiring genital herpes can still occur due to the herpes virus shedding in areas not covered by the condom. Contraceptives, while effective in limiting the chances of pregnancy, do not reduce the transmission of HSV-2.
Avoiding skin to skin contact with an infected individual is the surest way to prevent contracting the herpes virus. A reduction in the number of sexual partners also helps to limit potential exposure. Abstaining from sexual contact â especially if a partner with herpes is experiencing an outbreak â is another way to limit the transmission possibilities.
Women involved in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested for STIs and is known to be uninfected, is the surest way to avoid catching herpes.
What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location Ã¢ one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDAâs Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
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Genital Herpes Hiv And Sexual Health
Genital herpes is one of the most common co-infections for people living with HIV and can be a more serious condition if youre HIV positive meaning that outbreaks may last longer and blisters can be more severe. If youre having recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes, you should have an HIV test, as this may be a sign of a weakened immune system caused by HIV.
Having an STI such as genital herpes can increase your risk of getting and passing on HIV, as the blisters and sores provide an easy way for HIV to get into your body and cause an infection. People living with HIV who arent on treatment or who have a lower CD4 count are especially vulnerable to other infections, like herpes.
If youre taking antiretroviral treatment for HIV, its important to discuss with your doctor how treatment for herpes may interact with your HIV drugs.
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Risks Of Untreated Herpes
Herpes is a virus that will remain in your body for the rest of your life once you are infected. You won’t always have symptoms of your infection, but not knowing or acknowledging that you carry the virus can put you and others at risk.
You can transmit the herpes virus to others even when you don’t have symptoms, so it’s important to find out why you have symptoms like blisters and changes in discharge. Knowing your diagnosis can help you take steps to prevent transmission.
An untreated flare-up of herpes can be painful and uncomfortable, and could also lead to more serious complications such as:
- More frequent and severe outbreaks
- Lesions in other areas
- Increased risk of HIV
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Best Natural Herpes Cure Is Easy And Within Your Reach
There are many home remedies for herpes and some very effective in reducing the symptoms and controlling the pain and discomfort. There is no one best natural herpes cure because herpes does not have any cure. But if you are looking for some very easy, effective and simple home remedies, here are a few that you can try:
1. Manuka honey this is honey that is produced from the flowers of Manuka tree native of Australia and New Zeeland. All types of honey is good because it has excellent antiviral, anti inflammatory, and healing properties, but the Manuka honey has been found to be extraordinarily effective. Apply it directly to the herpes sores 2-4 times per day.
2. Herbal tea drink chamomile, lemon, ginger or cinnamon tea at least two times a day. This will prevent, speed up the healing and give relief to the itching and pain caused by herpes cold sores. This is an excellent way to fight cold sores that recur too often.
3. Essential oils there are many natural essential oils that are have been used for treating skin infections. For cold sores caused by herpes you may use essential oils of calendula, camellia, rosehip, tea tree, olive, jojoba among others. These are considered as especially useful when the sores are highly inflamed and painful.
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