Some Important Facts Affecting The Risk Of Herpes Transmission
- Herpes is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact
- The first outbreak is the most contagious
- There is a greater statistical chance of passing herpes when youâve been recently diagnosed whether you have symptoms or not
- Herpes infects skin areas that are thin and moist because itâs easier for the virus to penetrate those areas. For that reason, females are three times more likely to be infected than males
- Younger people having casual sex are more likely to contract herpes
- HSV-1 in the genital area recurs less often than HSV-2
- Being positive for HSV-2 gives some protection against getting HSV-1. The opposite is not true
- If a person with one type of herpes acquires a different type, the flare-up symptoms are milder
- Sex toys should not be shared. But if they are shared, they should be cleaned with water and soap before being used
Treating A First Outbreak Of Herpes
A first outbreak of genital herpes can cause a long illness with severe genital sores and can also affect the nervous system. Even if your first episode of herpes is mild, you may have severe or prolonged symptoms later. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone who has a first episode of genital herpes take antiviral drugs.
Almost everyone who has one episode of genital herpes caused by HSV-2 also has later breakouts of sores. Later episodes are less common if your case of genital herpes is due to an HSV-1 infection.
The frequency of genital herpes outbreaks slows down over time in many people.
Stages Of Herpes Outbreaks
Like any other infection, every case is different. The duration of a herpes outbreak will depend on factors such as:
- Your individual immune system
- How many outbreaks youâve had in the past
- Treatment history
Keep in mind that no matter your history or treatment, thereâs help.
The stages of a herpes outbreak can last between two and 14 days and can be broken down into stages:
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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.
How Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes
Most people with genital herpes have no symptoms or have very mild symptoms. Mild symptoms may go unnoticed or be mistaken for other skin conditions like a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people do not know they have a herpes infection.
Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. This is known as having an outbreak. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. Flu-like symptoms also may occur during the first outbreak.
People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they have HSV-2. However, repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although genital herpes is a lifelong infection, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time.
Ask a healthcare provider to examine you if:
- You notice any symptoms or
- Your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD.
STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly genital discharge, burning when peeing, or bleeding between periods .
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How Can I Prevent Genital Herpes
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting genital herpes:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who does not have herpes.
- Using condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Be aware that not all herpes sores occur in areas that a condom can cover. Also, the skin can release the virus from areas that do not have a visible herpes sore. For these reasons, condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.
If your sex partner has/have genital herpes, you can lower your risk of getting it if:
- Your partner takes an anti-herpes medicine every day. This is something your partner should discuss with his or her healthcare provider.
How Much Time Does It Take For Valacyclovir To Work
Valacyclovir is not the complete cure for genital herpes. It is possible that while using Valacyclovir, you may experience shedding, and lesions may occur. While Valacyclovir can reduce the outbreaks, there is still a risk of transmission. If your partner is experiencing a herpes outbreak, you must avoid getting sexual. Moreover, asymptomatic shedding is difficult to detect, so you should use condoms consistently to minimize the risks.
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Herpes Drugs Don’t Stop Herpes Shedding
Got Genital Herpes? You’re Still Infectious, Even if Drugs Cut Symptoms
Even when they don’t have an active herpes outbreak, people who carry genital herpes viruses are at risk of infecting their sex partners. With the discovery of drugs that prevent herpes outbreaks, there was hope that the drugs would also prevent herpes transmission. But there’s been troubling evidence that this may not be true.
Now University of Washington researcher Christine Johnston, MD, and colleagues show that people with no herpes symptoms often shed infectious genital herpes virus — even while taking very high doses of anti-herpes drugs.
“Short episodes of genital shedding occur frequently with antiviral therapy, even for high-dose regimens,” Johnston and colleagues report. “These breakthrough episodes are typically , last several hours, and occur at much the same rate irrespective of antiviral dose.”
One in 5 Americans and Europeans carries HSV-2, the virus that causes most cases of genital herpes HSV-1 causes some cases. Most people have few, if any, of genital herpes’ painful symptoms: blisters on or around the genitals or rectum.
There’s no cure for herpes infections. That’s because herpes viruses travel up nerves to take up latent form in the nerve root. Powerful anti-herpes drugs — acyclovir , famciclovir , and valacyclovir — prevent most outbreaks in most people. But they don’t eliminate virus hiding in nerve cells.
There Is More Than One Type Of Herpes Infection
There are two types of herpes simplex infection: herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 . Cold sores around the mouth are generally caused by HSV-1. Most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2. Cold sores on the mouth can cause genital infection during oral sex for people who do not already carry the cold sore virus. There are many other viruses that are also in the herpes virus family, however the infection and symptoms are different. One example is varicella zoster virus which causes chickenpox and shingles.
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There Are Foods That Can Help Us And There Are Foods That Can Hurt Us Here Are Some Delicious Ways To Help Prevent Your Herpes Outbreak
Lets face it. You are what you eat. At the end of the day what you put in your body will either help keep you healthy or make you sick. Food is a pleasure and there are so many yummy things out there. But at the same time, there are some foods that can really help us when it comes to our herpes outbreaks. With this being said by no means do I want you to deprive yourself of some delicious foods.
In past episodes, Ive talked about foods to avoid for herpes outbreaks. Well lets talk about some foods it includes that will help keep outbreaks away as well as help you recover faster when you have one.
Before we get into the foods we need to do a quick refresher on why these foods are helpful or harmful. It boils down to two essential amino acids, lysine, and arginine. They both are helpful and important for our bodies so we need to make sure they are included in our diet however too much of one can really increase the outbreaks. Arginine is like lighter fluid to the herpes virus. The virus loves the arginine rich diet, in fact, it feeds the virus. On the contrary, lysine is a fire extinguisher to the herpes virus.The virus considered a lysine rich environment a hostile environment. Sothats what we want to create, a hostile environment for the virus. I go way more in depth. Heres the link.
Ii Treatment Of Adults With Genital Herpes
Key Question 1: What are the most practical treatment regimens for first clinical episode of genital herpes, episodic therapy, and suppressive therapy?
While several dosing strategies of anti-herpesvirus medications have been studied and are FDA-approved for first clinical episode genital herpes, episodic therapy, and suppressive therapy, several regimens are less practical for use than others due to frequency of dosing. Dosing strategies that are most feasible for patient adherence should be prioritized.
Although episodic and suppressive therapy for genital HSV-1 infection have not been studied as comprehensively as for genital HSV-2, the same medication dosages and frequencies are recommended for genital HSV-1 infection.
Key Question 2: What are the preferred management approaches to the treatment of genital herpes?
There are 2 important goals for management of genital herpes: prevention of symptoms/recurrences and improvement in quality of life and prevention of transmission to sexual partners. Given these goals, the recommended approaches to management of genital HSV infection differ based on the viral type and the presence and absence of symptoms.
HSV-2: Symptomatic Infection
HSV-2: Asymptomatic Infection
Genital HSV-1 Infection
summarizes the evidence base for episodic and suppressive therapy among those with symptomatic HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection or asymptomatic HSV-2 infection.
Key Question 8: What is the preferred treatment for HSV meningitis?
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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.
Suppressive Therapy For Recurrent Hsv
Suppressive therapy reduces frequency of genital herpes recurrences by 70%80% among patients who have frequent recurrences . Persons receiving such therapy often report having experienced no symptomatic outbreaks. Suppressive therapy also is effective for patients with less frequent recurrences. Long-term safety and efficacy have been documented among patients receiving daily acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir . Quality of life is improved for many patients with frequent recurrences who receive suppressive therapy rather than episodic treatment . Providers should discuss with patients on an annual basis whether they want to continue suppressive therapy because frequency of genital HSV-2 recurrence diminishes over time for many persons. However, neither treatment discontinuation nor laboratory monitoring is necessary because adverse events and development of HSV antiviral resistance related to long-term antiviral use are uncommon.
Valacyclovir 500 mg orally 2 times/day for 3 daysOR
Valacyclovir 1 gm orally once daily for 5 days
*Acyclovir 400 mg orally 3 times/day is also effective, but are not recommended because of frequency of dosing.
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When To Talk With A Doctor
Herpes isnt curable, but it can be treated with antiviral medications. These medications can reduce the severity of an outbreak.
If you suspect you have herpes, make an appointment with a doctor. Its also a good idea to talk with your doctor about a herpes screening if:
- your current or previous sexual partner has herpes
- youre planning to have sex with a new partner
- you had a risky sexual encounter
If youve already been diagnosed with herpes and youre currently experiencing an outbreak, the outbreak might go away without causing complications and without treatment.
However, its wise to make an appointment with your doctor if:
- the outbreak is particularly painful or unbearable
- youre experiencing symptoms of other STIs
- youre experiencing frequent, severe outbreaks
If youre sexually active, its a good idea to have regular STI screenings. You can book appointments for STI screenings with your doctors office. You could also try a local clinic, certain pharmacies, or Planned Parenthood.
Genital Herpes During Pregnancy
Prevention of neonatal herpes depends both on preventing acquisition of genital herpes during late pregnancy and avoiding exposure of the neonate to herpetic lesions and viral shedding during delivery. Mothers of newborns who acquire neonatal herpes often lack histories of clinically evident genital herpes . The risk for transmission to the neonate from an infected mother is high among women who acquire genital herpes near the time of delivery and low among women with prenatal histories of recurrent herpes or who acquire genital herpes during the first half of pregnancy . Women who acquire HSV in the second half of pregnancy should be managed in consultation with maternal-fetal medicine and infectious disease specialists.
All pregnant women should be asked whether they have a history of genital herpes or genital symptoms concerning for HSV infection. At the onset of labor, all women should be questioned thoroughly about symptoms of genital herpes, including prodromal symptoms , and all women should be examined thoroughly for herpetic lesions. Women without symptoms or signs of genital herpes or its prodrome can deliver vaginally. Although cesarean delivery does not eliminate the risk for HSV transmission to the neonate , women with recurrent genital herpetic lesions at the onset of labor should have a cesarean delivery to reduce the risk for neonatal HSV infection.
Acyclovir 400 mg orally 3 times/dayORValacyclovir 500 mg orally 2 times/day
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Are The Any Side Effects Of Using Herpes Supplements
There are no known side effects from using any of the supplements on this list. All of these products contain natural ingredients with no harmful effects on the body. There is plenty of research on the ingredients found in the supplements on this list, with none producing a toxic effect in any study.
However, there are plenty of side effects linked to using pharmaceutical medications to control herpes outbreaks. Herpes drugs like Zovirax can create problems like headaches, dizziness, aggression, tiredness, vomiting and nausea, depression, stomach and joint pain, skin rashes, and a range of other adverse effects in users.
Therefore, it makes more sense to go with a natural supplement to help you cope with the effects of a herpes outbreak. You get a naturally formulated product with no harmful ingredients and a side-effect-free experience.
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Why You Should Go To A Sexual Health Clinic
You can see a GP, but theyâll probably refer you to a sexual health clinic if they think you might have genital herpes.
Sexual health clinics treat problems with the genitals and urine system.
Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment.
Theyâll often get test results quicker than GP practices and you do not have to pay a prescription fee for treatment.
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I Had Lesions When I Was Evaluated But My Culture Was Negative Does This Mean That I Dont Have Herpes
Not necessarily. Although lesions can be caused by something other than herpes, false negative herpes tests can occur if the samples are not taken appropriately, if there is a long transport time between the clinic and the laboratory, or if cultures were taken late in the course of the lesions. Lesions that occur early in the course of a herpes outbreak are much more likely to have positive cultures than cultures taken after the lesions crust over.
When To Get Tested
Consult a doctor about any of the following symptoms:
- tingling or itching around the genitals
- pain when peeing
- unusual vaginal discharge
The World Health Organization describes the risk of the herpes virus passing to a newborn during childbirth. Although this is rare, people who are pregnant and have herpes should let their doctors know.
Using a condom or another barrier method of protection during sex reduces the risk of the virus transmitting. It is also a good idea to avoid sharing sex toys with someone who has herpes.
Several online companies offer STI testing kits, including:
- EverlyWell: This company sells tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and HIV.
- LetsGetChecked: This company sells tests for several common STIs, and it provides prescriptions at no extra cost if a test result is positive.
- PriortitySTD: This company returns results within 3 days.
Anyone with a positive test result should contact a healthcare professional.
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Types Of Antiviral Drugs
There are three oral antivirals recommended for the treatment of oral or genital herpes:
|Famvir, 250 mg
Preventing genital herpes recurrence is important as it reduces the risk of HIV. According to the CDC, having an active genital herpes infection increases the risk of HIV by 200% to 300%.
What Are The Complications Of Herpes Infections
Complications caused by the herpes virus are mostly seen in patients having weak immune systems. Cancer is the most serious complication of herpes infection. It takes years to develop cancer after the herpes infection and is associated with only certain strains of herpes virus. It is important to get regular screening tests for cancer prevention .
Other complications of Herpes infections are-
- Rectal inflammation. This happens more often in males.
- Meningitis , in rare cases where the viral infection spreads to brain and spinal fluid.
- Urinary tract infections
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