Monday, July 15, 2024

How Can I Protect Myself From Herpes

Can I Catch Herpes Again On Another Part Of My Body Can My Partner Catch Herpes Back Off Me On Another Place

Protecting Against Herpes

It is rare for people to re-catch a virus that they already have for a second time even on a different part of the body. Their immune system defends them against this. The virus does not travel through the body. So a person with a genital infection can kiss or perform oral sex there is no risk of infecting a partner by doing this the virus will not travel inside the body from the genitals to the mouth.

How can I protect my new partner? What about my new partner? How likely am I to infect my new partner?

Already, you are a safer partner than many others because you have been diagnosed so you will avoid sex from the moment you notice the start of an outbreak, until the time when it has totally cleared up. A man with genital herpes can protect a partner easily if his outbreaks appear in the area covered by a condom.

A woman with genital herpes can tell a man that he is half as likely to catch genital herpes from a woman, compared to the chance of a woman catching it from a man. This information can be useful for diagnosed women when talking to a new partner.

Herpes simplex infections are common. Many new partners will have one or both types already but not know. See the governments statistics for new genital herpes infections diagnosed in clinics in 2019 and add a further 53,000 cases which how many are probably diagnosed by GPs.

Read Also: What To Take For Herpes Outbreak

My Partner Has Herpes How Can I Avoid Getting It And And Still Have A Fulfilling Sex Life

I just found out the guy Ive been seeing for a couple weeks has herpes. Im full of questions, but one question I keep dwelling on is, how can people get pregnant without passing on herpes to their partner? How can I avoid getting herpes and still have a fulfilling sex life with him?

Its normal to have complicated feelings after you find out that your partner has herpes. Millions of people are living with herpes, and sharing your concerns with your partner and educating yourself on how its spread are good ways to protect yourself.

Genital herpes is spread from skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it including . Herpes can live on areas of your body that arent protected by condoms , so condoms wont always protect you from herpes. But they do lower your chances of getting herpes.

Here are other ways to avoid getting herpes from your partner:

  • Talk with your partner about taking herpes medicine every day, which can lower their chances of spreading herpes.

  • Dont have sex during a herpes outbreak, even with a condom. There may be sores on places the condom doesnt cover. Wait until the sores are totally gone, and the scabs heal and fall off.

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Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. is a registered 501 nonprofit under EIN 13-1644147. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.

If I Already Have Herpes How Can I Keep From Giving It To Someone Else

You can do several things to keep from spreading genital herpes:

  • Consider sexual abstinence .

  • Don’t have any kind of sex when you have herpes sores, itching or scabs. And remember that you can spread genital herpes even when you have no sign of a sore.

  • Always use condoms when you have sex.

  • Always wash your hands right after touching your genital area, even if you have no sores.

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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.

Don’t Have Sex With A Partner Who Has Sores On Their Genitals

Protect yourself: Herpes inside vagina and how can you tell if someone ...

If you know your partner has genital herpes, always abstain from sex when symptoms are present. Or, if you see a sore on someone’s genitals, don’t have sex with that person until you’re sure they don’t have genital herpes. Remember, not everyone with genital herpes has symptoms, and herpes sores can be very hard to spot.

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When Should You Disclose Your Hsv Status

You dont have to bring up herpes the very first time you talk to someone new, but you should at some point before you have sex or exchange body fluids. You are more likely to have a positive reception to that news if you have built some sort of relationship. If you tell too early and theres no reason for this person to be invested in you, then you may get a negative response very quickly, Warren said.

What Does Genital Herpes Look Like

While some people with genital herpes will never have any symptoms, other people can develop symptoms within a few weeks of being infected.

Often, before the lesions appear, patients describe a prodrome, characterized by a tingling or burning sensation in the area where the lesions will develop that can be noticed during urination, along with itching or discomfort in the genital area.

You can also have the following symptoms:

  • Blisters on the mouth or lips
  • Fever, headache or pain in the joints
  • Trouble urinating

The symptoms of genital herpes often go away and come back as recurring outbreaks. For most people, the first outbreak is the worst, and can last from two to three weeks. Future flare-ups are often less severe and do not last as long. Still, some people shed the virus regularly. The following triggers can make outbreaks more likely to occur:

Recurrent genital herpes is most common in the first year after the initial infection and decreases as time goes on.

In many cases, anti-herpes medicine can help patients. When a person experiences a prodrome and suspects a recurrence is going to happen, they begin taking anti-herpes medications that lessen symptoms and shorten the time of the outbreak.

Also Check: Dr Sebi How To Cure Herpes

How Can I Find Out If I Have Genital Herpes

Go to your doctor and get tested. A doctor may take a sample from what appears to be a genital herpes sore and send it to a lab for testing.

You can also get a blood test. The blood test looks for antibodies to the virus that your immune system would have made if you were infected. The second type of herpes simplex virus, HSV-2, almost always infects the genitals, so if a test shows antibodies to HSV-2 in your blood, you probably have genital herpes. A blood test that shows antibodies to the other type of herpes virus, HSV-1, means you could have genital or oral herpes. That’s because oral herpes, which is usually caused by HSV-1, can spread to the genitals during oral sex.

Herpes Symptoms And Signs

How Contagious is Herpes?

In order to diagnose herpes, a health care provider can swab an area of visibly active herpes infection or, if symptoms arent active, a blood test can be given that measures the number of herpes antibodies present in the body. The antibodies dont indicate herpes itself, but rather show the immune systems response to the presence of the virus in the body. Its important to note that sometimes a swab can give false negative results since herpes lesions need to be large enough to yield enough detectable virus and if the outbreak is already healing it also may not be detected in a swab.

The most common herpes symptoms include:

  • Developing either a single cold sore or cluster of multiple cold sores that form on the lips, inside the mouth, or on the genitals, buttocks and upper thighs.
  • Sores can sometimes be severe, painful and rupture and cause fluid to be secreted out.
  • Some herpes canker sores develop a thin, white coating and burn when touched while they healing.
  • Around herpes cold sores, its common to feel pain, tenderness and other symptoms of a rash, such as redness or signs of swelling.
  • Some people are able to tell before an outbreak if one is going to occur because they feel tingling, itchy sensations near the affected area.
  • Some people develop other symptoms during herpes outbreaks that are similar to those caused by a cold or the flu. This may include fatigue, irritability, aches or a slight fever.

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What Is Neonatal Herpes

Neonatal herpes can be a very serious infection. Babies generally contract the virus from their birthing parent during childbirth even if the parent doesnt have active lesions. They may also get HSV-1 if an adult with an active cold sore kisses them. Breastfeeding babies can also get HSV-1 from the breast if there are lesions present. But babies cant get herpes from breast milk, so its safe to pump and feed.

Herpes simplex can be more dangerous for young babies because they dont have a fully developed immune system. But most babies with neonatal herpes can recover fully with treatment.

The dangers of neonatal herpes are much higher if the infection spreads to the babys organs. If youre pregnant and have herpes, speak with your healthcare provider about how to lower the risk of passing the infection to your baby.

What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2

Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing they’ll always have the virus and can give it to others. But you arent alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the U.S. and worldwide. If you have herpes, you should:

  • Learn all you can about it. Information will help you to manage your disease and feel better about yourself.
  • Talk about your illness with your doctor.

If you have herpes, you can still:

  • Have sex if you use a condom or dental dam , and you tell your partner about your illness. Some couples, who have sexual relations only with each other, may choose not to use condoms even though one partner has herpes. Because each situation is different, you should ask your doctor if this is the right choice for you in your relationship.
  • Have children. People with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your healthcare provider.

If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .

Read Also: Why Do I Keep Getting Herpes Breakouts

Learn To Recognize Warning Signs

Once you start experiencing symptoms you can transmit the virus, so paying attention to early symptoms can help reduce the risk of transmitting it to a partner.

Along with that sort-of-itchy, sort-of-painful tingling feeling that I get before the sores appear, I notice tenderness in my mouth, fatigue, a low fever, and aches in my legs.

You might only get these symptoms with the first outbreak, but they can return. Returning symptoms are usually more mild than before.

How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Herpes Simplex

Know what is herpes disease, how to protect yourself from it

Preventing HSV-1

You can reduce your risk of contracting HSV-1 by avoiding physical contact with someone who has a cold sore. People can still spread HSV-1 when cold sores arent present, but its less likely.

If someone has an active HSV-1 infection, avoid:

  • Sharing utensils, cups, lip balms or other personal care products.
  • Touching the skin near their mouth.

Preventing HSV-2

If youre sexually active, you can take these steps to protect yourself and others from the herpes virus and other STIs:

  • Be monogamous with one sexual partner or limit your number of partners.
  • Get tested for STIs and complete any prescribed treatment.
  • Tell your sexual partners if you have genital herpes so they can get tested.
  • Use condoms during intercourse and dental dams during oral sex.

Wash your hands often if you have an outbreak or are around someone with symptoms.

If your sexual partner has genital herpes, these actions can lower your risk of getting the virus:

  • Dont have sex when your partner has active symptoms. Condoms may not cover all sores, so you may still get the virus.
  • Make sure your partner takes antiviral medication as prescribed.
  • Wait to have sex until scabs fall off active lesions.

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My Boyfriend Is Worried I’ll Give Him Herpes

Q: Ive had genital herpes. I rarely get a sore nowadays, but my boyfriend is concerned that hell get infected. Are there certain things that could increase my likelihood of infecting him?

A: Fifteen to 20 percent of the population is infected with herpes simplex type 2, the virus which most frequently causes genital herpes. But most of these individuals dont have a clue that they are infected or think that no sore means not infectious and, as a result, unknowingly transmit it to a partner.

We can now tell if a person has had herpes by checking his or her blood for type-2 herpes antibodies, and this test has allowed us to discover just how many individuals do indeed carry the virus.

The general rate of transmission of a person who has had herpes to their regular partner is about 10 percent per year, but the annual rate rises if the infected partner is a male. Unfairly, the female partner has a 20 percent chance of becoming infected, while the male partners risk is less than 10 percent.

There are certain conditions that increase an individuals chance for viral shedding and infection:

Vaginal bacterial infection. This can take the form of bacterial vaginosis , which is the most common type of vaginal infection, usually involving bacteria that dont like oxygen. Symptoms include irritating yellow or green discharge and a foul, often fishy odor. It is thought that BV causes an inflamed state in which the herpes virus is more likely to reactivate and shed.

How To Get Rid Of Herpes The Conventional Way

For most people with herpes, the virus typically represents nothing more than an inconvenience however, the real risk is for immuno-compromised patients who cant easily manage infections. In these patients, such as those with HIV/AIDS, herpes simplex infection is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

As of 2017, there is not currently a herpes vaccine available to prevent HSV-1 or HSV-2.

Doctors sometimes prescribe medications to help keep the herpes virus suppressed or to speed up healing of cold sores by reducing bacteria that can cause infections. Some medications that are now used to control herpes include:

  • Nucleoside analogues and antiviral medications
  • Creams/ointment to help lower pain and inflammation near the site of sores
  • Over-the-counter painkillers to reduce aches, tenderness or fever

However, its important to understand that even with early detection and prescription medications, either form of the herpes virus cannot be totally cured so transmission is always still possible. Medications for viruses dont always work long term and are not a cure-all.

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What Happens If I Dont Receive Treatment

Genital herpes can cause painful genital sores and can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems.

If you touch your sores or fluids from the sores, you may transfer herpes to another body part like your eyes. Do not touch the sores or fluids to avoid spreading herpes to another part of your body. If you do touch the sores or fluids, quickly wash your hands thoroughly to help avoid spreading the infection.

If you are pregnant, there can be problems for you and your unborn fetus, or newborn baby. See Im pregnant. How could genital herpes affect my baby? for information about this.

How Can I Avoid Getting Herpes

The most common STI in the world – Emma Bryce

You can protect yourself from getting herpes by:

  • Not having sex.
  • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results.
  • Using latex condoms and dental dams the right way every time you have sex.

Herpes symptoms can occur in both male and female genital areas that are covered by a latex condom. However, outbreaks can also occur in areas that are not covered by a condom, so condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.

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What Are The Different Types Of Herpes

There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV I and HSV II. HSV I commonly causes oral herpes, or cold sores. This virus can show up as an upper respiratory tract infection during early childhood. HSV II is the cause of most cases of genital herpes. However, it is possible for HSV I to cause genital herpes and HSV II to cause oral herpes.

Clinicians cannot tell the difference between the two types by physical examination alone, but there are differences between the two viruses. For example, genital herpes caused by HSV II is much more likely to recur. This diagnosis can be helpful in establishing a health care plan.

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