The Facts About Herpes
Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection thats passed on by skin to skin contact. It causes small blisters to form on and around the genitals, which eventually burst to become red sores, healing after around 10 days. While you should always use protection during sex, it is possible to pass on, or contract, herpes even if you use a condom.
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Additional Dietary Tips For Herpes
1. Eat Foods Good for Skin
- Wholegrain cereals
2. Eat Plenty of Cruciferous Vegetables
There are plenty of foods to avoid with herpes but cruciferous vegetables are not one of them. High in indole-3-carbinol , foods with this compound may hinder the virus by interfering with its reproduction. Studies are showing significant evidence supporting this finding. Foods include:
3. Eat Stress-Relieving Foods
Research has found that stress weakens the bodys immune system, making it more susceptible to illness. It is important to de-stress and relax whenever possible. Certain foods and nutrients can help your body fight tension and anxiety, thus warding off a herpes outbreak. Foods and drinks high in vitamin B and magnesium can help your body bounce back from stressful situations quicker. If you decide to take a supplement, make sure it is in the form of a vitamin B complex so you keep the nutrients in balance. The complex includes B1, B2, B6, B9 and B12. They help your body produce serotonin, which is the hormone that relaxes you and puts you at ease. Foods that can help you de-stress include:
- Green leafy vegetables
5. Drink Purified and Alkaline Water
Don’t Have Sex With A Partner Who Has Sores On Their Genitals
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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What Can We Do To Reduce My Chances Of Getting The Herpes Infection
If you take the necessary precautions, the chances of getting the herpes virus from your partner are reduced. Genital herpes does not mean abstinence from sex or a reduced enjoyment of sex.
The risk of transmitting the herpes virus can be reduced by about 50% if you use condoms. The continued use of condoms in a long-term relationship is a personal decision that only the couple can make. Most find that as the importance of the HSV infection in their relationship is seen in perspective, that condom use becomes less relevant if this is the only reason condoms are being used.
However, most couples choose to avoid genital skin-to-skin contact during an active episode of herpes because this is when the herpes virus is most readily transmitted. This period includes the time from when your partner first has warning signs of an outbreak, such as a tingling or burning in the genitals, until the last of the sores has healed. Also, sexual activity prolongs the healing of the episode.
Herpes transmission risk is increased if there are any breaks in the skin. For example, if you have thrush or small abrasions from sexual intercourse, often due to insufficient lubrication. It can be helpful to use a lubricant specifically for sexual intercourse and avoid sex if you have thrush. A sexual lubricant is helpful right at the start of sexual activity.
If you or your partner has a cold sore, it is advisable to avoid oral sex as this can spread the herpes virus to the genitals.
Can Antivirals Reduce Herpes Risk
Genital herpes is treated with antiviral drugs that quickly block the replication of the virus and bring the infection under control. Three are approved for the treatment of genital herpes:
The drugs can be used “on-demand” for episodic outbreaks.
If you have frequent outbreaks, they can be taken in low doses on a daily basis as a form of suppressive therapy to lower the risk of recurrence.
At one time, suppressive therapy was thought to reduce the risk of HSV transmission given that it keeps the viral load low. This, in turn, was thought to reduce the risk of asymptomatic shedding.
As reasonable as these assumptions seem, the theory has yet to be proven. According to a 2012 study in the Lancet, even with fully suppressive therapy, a person can still experience short episodes of asymptomatic shedding during which transmission can occur.
While suppressive therapy may reduce the risk of HSV transmission, it doesn’t erase it.
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How Effective Is Medication At Preventing Infection
If you have genital herpes, you will probably be somewhat less likely to infect your partner if you use antiviral medication for prevention. The medications used for this purpose include aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir. They must be taken every day over a long period of time, though. One study showed that over a period of eight months,
- 4 out of 100 people became infected when the partner with the virus took a placebo, and
- 2 out of 100 people became infected when the partner with the virus took antiviral medication every day.
These couples were also advised to use condoms as well but many didn’t use them consistently. So its not clear whether taking antiviral medication can lower the risk of infection even further if you always use condoms anyway, or whether using condoms is just as effective on its own.
Whether or not you would like to use preventive medication is ultimately an individual decision. Many factors can play a role, such as how long you or your partner have had the infection, how frequent and severe the outbreaks are, whether you are male or female, the frequency of sexual contact and whether you use condoms.
How To Treat A Genital Herpes Outbreak Quickly And Dry Out
What Happens During An Outbreak?The answer is in your daily diet: Our human body will over come just about any virus if it were supplied with the right diet, honey,000 mg daily to prevent future herpes outbreaks., I3C can also be beneficial against cervical cancer.what can i do to stop a genital herpes outbreak? Dr, To treat an outbreak, If you have outbreaks often, foods high in lysine are argued to help combat herpes,000 mg orally in three doses, counteracting the10 Ways to Prevent Herpes Outbreaks4 mins read10 Ways to Prevent Herpes Outbreaks 1, I3C can inhibit the reproduction of the virus HSV, Excessive alcohol, It helps bring the brain under control andHe states that lysine might be effective in suppressing repeat outbreaks like the University of Maryland, it helps in improving the quality of the skin, Sun exposure, Everyone experiences herpes differently, Know Your Triggers, Tomblin and Lucas also found one study in their review of patients for whom 1, A hot or Honey
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Is It Safe To Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes
Yes as long as there isnt an open lesion on your chest or breast. If you have an active outbreak while breastfeeding, its possible to spread the infection to your nipples through touch. Careful hand-washing can prevent this spread. You shouldnt nurse from a breast that has herpes sores. You can pump breast milk until the sores heal. Dont give your baby expressed breast milk if the pump comes into contact with an open sore.
Precautions About Sharing Kitchenware
Youre unlikely to get herpes from sharing a drink, a straw, or a glass.
But youll want to avoid sharing objects with someone who may have another infection, such as a cold, the flu, or strep throat.
Heres how you can help protect yourself from getting an infection:
- Ask for a clean glass if you get a dirty glass at a restaurant, cafeteria, or anywhere where dishware is shared, such as at your workplace.
- Clean any surface you plan to use before preparing food in case bacteria or viruses are present.
- Dont mix chopping boards by chopping or preparing raw meat on the same board as vegetables or other foods that dont need to be cooked.
- Wash your hands immediately after handling raw meat before you touch any other surfaces or foods, especially if youre sick.
- Thoroughly clean any surface you used to prepare raw meat or other food that might be carrying bacteria or viruses.
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Can Genital Herpes Come Back
Yes. Genital herpes symptoms can come and go, but the virus stays inside your body even after all signs of the infection have gone away. The virus becomes “active” from time to time, leading to an outbreak. Some people have outbreaks only once or twice. Other people may have four or five outbreaks within a year. Over time, the outbreaks usually happen less often and are less severe.
Experts do not know what causes the virus to become active. Some women say the virus comes back when they are sick, under stress, out in the sun, or during their period.
A Holistic Approach To Prevention And Treatment
While herpes normally isnt a life-threatening illness, itis pervasive, persistent, painful and often embarrassing to theapproximately 60 to 90 percent of the U.S. population who have it. SinceAIDS surfaced more than 15 years ago, herpes another oftensexually-transmitted disease has received little media attention andresearch dollars. Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine warned that herpes lesions increase a persons risk ofcontracting the AIDS virus. In addition, the Centers for Disease Controlhave reported that about 1 in 5 Americans age 12 years and older hasherpes, most of whom dont know they are infected. Since the late 1970s,the incidence of genital herpes has risen 30 percent.
To compound theproblem, what conventional medical care offers people with herpes issurprisingly little. Current prescription medicines can be expensive,ineffective for certain individuals, and carry potentially serious sideeffects. The fact is, natural remedies offer many more options toeffectively relieve the discomfort and to prevent future herpes outbreaks.CONTROLLING HERPES NATURALLY: A Holistic Approach to Prevention andTreatment is a supportive, easy-to-use guide to help people withherpes take control of their health. It offers them the tools to liberatethemselves from the cruelty of facial and genital herpes.
CQ Editors Review:
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Preventing Herpes During Pregnancy
If you are an adult, the symptoms of herpes are usually manageable and rarely cause complications. However, herpes is transmitted to a baby before, during, or after childbirth, it can be dangerous.
Even with aggressive treatment, newborns who get herpes often die because they don’t have the immune defenses to fight off the infection, allowing it to spread to the liver, lungs, brain, and other parts of the body.
Neonatal herpes mainly occurs during childbirth as the baby comes into contact with lesions in the birth canal. Less commonly, the virus is passed while the baby is still in the womb or after birth when the newborn comes into contact with a herpes sore.
Since 85% of these infections occur during childbirth, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women with active recurrent genital herpes be given suppressive therapy starting at 36 weeks of pregnancy. Doing so can greatly reduce, but not entirely eliminate, the risk of infection.
After childbirth, mothers may need to limit contact with a newborn if an outbreak occurs. They also need to take extra care to wash their hands and any touched objects thoroughly and frequently.
Do Condoms Help Prevent The Spread Of Genital Herpes
Yes. To prevent transmission of herpes, we recommend that condoms be used 100% of the time. Many patients will shed the virus and be contagious when they dont have symptoms. Studies have shown that asymptomatic shedding occurs between 1% and 3% of the time in patients with HSV II genital infections. Many new herpes infections occur from partners who are shedding the virus asymptomatically, so condoms are highly recommended.
Condoms may not be an attractive option for monogamous couples or for couples who desire to become pregnant. Couples may opt to have serological tests to determine if either partner has an asymptomatic infection. In close monogamous relationships, the risks of transmission can be weighed against other relationship issues, such as intimacy and pregnancy.
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Should You Get Tested
Its a good idea for the partners of people with genital herpes to have a blood test for herpes antibodies. This can help them to decide whether to use antiviral medication as protection, for example. Both partners may already have the same virus type. Then theres no reason to take medication to protect each other.
If one of the partners has HSV-1 or cold sores and the other one has HSV-2 or genital herpes, they could infect one another with the other virus. If one partner has herpes viruses in their body and the other doesnt, condoms are one way to prevent infection.
Can Women Who Have Sex With Women Get Genital Herpes
Yes. It is possible to get genital herpes, or any other STI, if you are a woman who has sex only with women.
Talk to your partner about her sexual history before having sex, and ask your doctor or nurse about getting tested if you have signs or symptoms of genital herpes. Use a dental dam during oral sex and avoid sexual activity during an outbreak.
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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.
Im Pregnant How Could Genital Herpes Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, prenatal care visits are very important. Some research suggest that a genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage or make it more likely to deliver your baby too early. You can pass herpes to your unborn child before birth, but it more commonly passes during delivery. This can lead to a deadly infection in your baby . It is important that you avoid getting genital herpes during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a genital herpes diagnosis or symptoms. Also tell them about any possible exposure to genital herpes.
If you have genital herpes, you may need to take anti-herpes medicine towards the end of your pregnancy. This medicine may reduce your risk of having signs or symptoms of genital herpes when you deliver. At the time of delivery, your healthcare provider should carefully examine you for herpes sores. If you have signs or symptoms of genital herpes at delivery, a C-section is likely to occur.
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How To Have Sex With Someone With Herpes
This article was co-authored by Carrie Noriega, MD. Dr. Noriega is a Board Certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist and medical writer in Colorado. She specializes in womens health, rheumatology, pulmonology, infectious disease, and gastroenterology. She received her MD from the Creighton School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska and completed her residency at the University of Missouri Kansas City in 2005.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 90,661 times.
Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection common in the United States. It causes sores, blisters, itching, and irritation on the genitals. There is no cure for genital herpes, which is why people worry about the virus spreading. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of contracting the virus if your partner has genital herpes. Keep in mind, however, there is no 100% foolproof way to keep the virus from spreading.
Suppressive Therapy With Valtrex
Suppressive therapy is the use of prescription Valtrex on a daily basis whether an outbreak is present or not. Whereas Valtrex is commonly used to stop an outbreak, it can also be used daily to prevent outbreaks from occurring to begin with. This daily use of Valtrex also reduces the proclivity of the virus to shed, i.e. be contagious as often. Its use appears in studies to reduce the viral shedding periods by 50%.
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Men vs. Womens Transmission Rates and Contagiousness
Because of the nature of male and female genitalia, it is easier for herpes to be transmitted to a woman by a man than vice-versa. This is because female genitals have more exposed soft tissue. This also accounts for why approximately 1 out of 4 American women have herpes, whereas 1 out of 5 American men does.
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Before You Judge Me Let Me Explain
Since being diagnosed with herpes about a year ago, Ive been torn between telling potential sexual partners about my status. All the advice out there seems to boil down to the sad, impossible truth: Given how low the risks of transmission are, how unlikely it is that youll have any symptoms if you do get it, and how manageable it is if you do have symptoms, you really shouldnt have to tell potential sexual partners. And yet, you just do. It is just the responsible and respectful thing to do. It seems that the reasons behind this heartbreaking conclusion are 1) you might transmit the virus to your partner, and even if they dont get any symptoms, they could pass it on to someone else, thus perpetuating the vicious life cycle of an STI and 2) even if youre not worried about passing it on, if you end up in a longer-term situation with someone youll have to disclose your herpes diagnosis at some point, right? Because not telling them would be dishonest. And a relationship built on lies is bound to fail, right? You couldnt deal with that level of deceit between you and a long-term romantic partner, could you? No. Best to tell them. It sucks that you have to and we wish we lived in a society where there wasnt this much stigma around genital herpes, but we do and therefore you are obliged to disclose your status.
How is this possible? Okay, are you ready for it? This is gonna flip your lid.