Wednesday, April 10, 2024

How To Protect Yourself From Herpes 2

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Protecting Against Herpes

If you think you could be at risk of unintended pregnancy, you have the option of using emergency contraception .

The emergency pill is available from some pharmacies, GPs, contraception clinics and some sexual health clinics. The IUD is available from contraception clinics, some sexual health clinics and some GPs.

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.

Can I Be Treated To Prevent Genital Herpes Transmission To My Partner

Yes. A large study showed that if one partner has herpes and the other partner is uninfected, treating the infected partner with suppressive therapy can prevent transmission of symptomatic herpes in over 90% of cases. This is an option for couples who are interested in having unprotected sex or who are planning to become pregnant.

If you are entering into a new relationship and are aware that you have herpes simplex infection, you owe it to your partner to notify them before having sex.

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How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed

Often, your doctor can diagnose genital herpes by looking at visible sores. Your doctor or nurse may also use a cotton swab to take a fluid sample from a sore to test in a lab.

Genital herpes can be hard to diagnose, especially between outbreaks. Blood tests that look for antibodies to the herpes virus can help diagnose herpes in women without symptoms or between outbreaks.

A Pap test is not used to detect genital herpes.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hsv

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Most commonly, HSV-1 causes sores around the mouth and lipsoften called cold sores or fever blisters. HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2. Typically, someone with HSV-2 will have sores around the genitals or rectum.

Symptoms are usually the most intense during the first outbreak and become less intense over time. Symptoms can last 2-4 weeks before resolving on their own without medicine, and even longer during the initial infection.

Some of the symptoms associated with HSV include itching, tingling or burning sensation, tiredness, swollen lymph nodes and flu-like symptoms, but many with HSV may have no symptoms at all.

While there are some tell-tale signs of HSV, not everyone may show visible signs or symptoms, resulting in them unknowingly transmitting it to a partner via contact, Dr. Gelow said. Unfortunately, there are no studies that show how often this happens, but we do know that the virus sheds 10-20% of the time in those who are asymptomatic.

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How Big Is The Risk Of Infection

The likelihood of being infected with genital herpes during sex depends on many factors, including how often you have sex, whether and how frequently you use condoms, and how long your partner has already been infected. Someone who has had the virus for a long time is less contagious than someone who has just been infected. In general, women have a higher risk of becoming infected than men. Having other sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV also increases the risk of transmission.

In studies with couples where one partner had genital herpes, the other partner became infected within one year in 5 to 10% of the couples. The people in these studies only rarely used condoms, though and if they did, it was mostly during an outbreak. One of these studies showed that infection occurred in an estimated 1 out of 1,000 sexual acts.

What Herpes Is And How It’s Transmitted

Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus 2 , though it can also be caused by herpes simplex virus 1 , the cirus that causes cold sores.

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease. There’s no cure for herpes and, while the initial outbreak is often the most severe, symptoms can recur periodically throughout your life, especially at times of stress or illness or during pregnancy or menstruation. Genital herpes is more common in American women than in American men, and you can get it from having unprotected sex with an infected partner, even when your partner isn’t showing any symptoms.

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Herpes In Babies Why It Is Dangerous

Babies are generally at risk from herpes, whether nasal herpes or herpes of the lip. The aggressive virus can also spread to organs in the baby. Even encephalitis is possible. Especially here, quick action is therefore called for when such a disease is noticed. Parents with acute herpes should stay away from children until they are about one and a half years old. However, infection is difficult to avoid: By age 2, about 80 percent of children come into contact with the herpes pathogen.

What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2

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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 .

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Monogamy Or Closed Relationships

Its statistically undeniable that the more sexual partners you have, the likelier you are to acquire an STD. A monogamous relationship regardless of the number of partners therein is an outstanding way to protect yourself from STDs. Still, since its possible to catch some STDs from non-sexual activities, its a good idea to test occasionally, especially if any symptoms present themselves.

You can take other actions to avoid STDs that you may encounter in non-sexual situations.

  • Avoid sharing needles

The Differing Risks For Men And Women

When someone wonders, My partner has herpes, how do I protect myself? the answer may be different for men than women.

Data show that genital herpes is more common among women than men. In 2015-2016, 15.9% of adult women were infected with HSV-2 compared to 8.2% of men. This trend may occur because its easier for a man to accidentally transmit the herpes virus to a woman during sex.

Pregnant women with genital herpes must also consider the potential risk of passing the infection along to their babies. Fortunately, there are many preventative measures women can take to protect their newborns from neonatal herpes, including having a C-section and taking antiviral medication.

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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.

How Is Herpes Simplex Treated

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There is no cure for HSV at this time, but there are affordable treatments that can help.

Antiviral medications is the treatment of choice for HSV, Dr. Gelow said. The antiviral medicine can be used per outbreak as treatment or as a daily medicine to help prevent outbreaks and decrease risk of transmitting it to others.

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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.

Nasal Herpes What Is It

Nasal herpes is not quite as common as herpes of the lip. However, it is also a form of herpes. Almost everyone is familiar with this viral disease: more than 90 percent of all people worldwide carry the virus. Under certain conditions, the disease breaks out: It then leads to an infection with the formation of blisters, in which other highly contagious viruses lie dormant. Depending on the type of virus, these blisters can appear on the lip or nose, on the eyes or even in the genital area.

Nasal herpes can be visible or invisible: The blisters extend either only to the inside of the nose or also to its surface. If this disease affects adults, it is unpleasant but harmless. However, if there are children in the house or if they are even affected themselves, the situation is different. Even under the best hygienic conditions, it is not that easy for adults to prevent their children from becoming infected. This is because the herpes virus is highly aggressive.

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How Can You Catch Herpes

Like most sexual transmitted infections , herpes is passed on when someone with an active outbreak of the virus has sexual intercourse with a partner. It may also be spread by contact with bodily fluids from an infected person, including blood, saliva, vaginal fluid, semen or any fluid expelled from a weeping herpes blister.

The virus is passed onto the other person through tiny breaks in the mucous membranes or skin. Because viruses are very small, herpes can easily spread even if the breaks are only microscopic. This means you cannot conduct a visual inspection of a partner and guarantee that they will not catch the disease.

It is also worth noting that while the virus is generally passed on during the phase when the blisters are visible on the skin, there is also the possibility of infection spreading even when blisters are not showing.

This is due to something called asymptomatic shedding. This is where the virus continues to shed into bodily fluids even when dormant. This kind of shedding is most common during the first 12 months of herpes infections. However, it may continue throughout the life of the infection and you cannot guarantee that because you have no visible sores that your partner will not be infected.

In a monogamous relationship, a female partner carries a substantially higher risk of contracting herpes from an infected male partner than vice-versa.

Why Genital Herpes Comes Back

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Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, it stays in your body.

It will not spread in your body to cause blisters elsewhere. It stays in a nearby nerve and causes blisters in the same area.

If you can, avoid things that trigger your symptoms.

Triggers can include:

  • surgery on your genital area
  • a weakened immune system for example, from having chemotherapy for cancer

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Symptoms Of Genital Herpes

Many people who have herpes don’t even realize they’re infected, because the symptoms of genital herpes can be so mild. Healthy adults often mistake the symptoms of an initial herpes outbreak for a vaginal yeast infection, jock itch or razor burn. However, the symptoms of genital herpes can also be quite painful.

Genital herpes often causes symptoms similar to the flu, in addition to the skin rash. You might experience muscle aches, fatigue and fever.

If Someone With Herpes Has No Sores Can It Still Be Passed On

If someone has herpes but no sores, can it still be passed on to another person? Spence*

Yes. Even when no sores are present, the herpes is still active in the body and can spread to others.

If you or your partner has herpes, reduce the risk of spread by:

  • using a condom every time you have sex . The herpes virus can live outside of the area that a condom covers, though, so a condom may not always prevent the spread.
  • avoiding sex during outbreaks
  • making sure the infected person takes antiviral medicine every day as prescribed by the health care provider

The only way to completely prevent herpes and other STDs is to not have sex .

  • *Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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These Are Common Reasons For Nasal Herpes

The reasons are not different from those for other HSV1 infections. First and foremost, it is an attacked immune system. Often stress is involved, in women hormonal fluctuations can also be a reason. Sometimes, however, no specific cause can be identified.

+ stress!+ too much sun, for example on vacation: UV radiation can cause herpes.+ hormonal causes: Menstruation and other fluctuations in hormone balance.

How To Protect Yourself


You can take several actions to protect yourself from STDs and help prevent their spread. Some are close to 100% effective, and a little thought and consideration can keep you safer still. These recommendations carry no judgment of sexual habits or personal choices they merely serve to encourage that you live your life to the fullest while protecting the well-being of yourself and others.

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How To Protect Yourself From Herpes

Aside from not having sex, there is no 100% effective way to prevent herpes. You can reduce the risk of contracting the infection by using a condom, but even a condom is not foolproof, as the virus can be transmitted even if your partner has no visible sores.

That said, if you or your partner has herpes, taking antiviral medications can significantly reduce the chances of transmission.

If you exhibit any of the symptoms of genital herpes, such as cracked, red sores around your genitals or rectum, ask your doctor for a blood test to detect HSV antibodies. Even if you test negative, regular STI screening is important for anyone who is sexually active, and free and low-cost testing resources can be found on the CDC’s website.

How Can I Prevent Giving Genital Herpes To My Partner

You can reduce the risk of passing the herpes virus to your sexual partners by taking the following steps:

  • Tell current sexual partners that you have genital herpes. You also should tell future partners before having sexual contact.

  • Be alert to the symptoms that signal an outbreak is coming. Avoid sexual contact from the time you feel symptoms until a few days after the sores have gone away.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water after any possible contact with sores.

  • Take antiviral medication on a daily basis .

  • Use male latex condoms.

Its also important to know that you can pass HSV to someone else even when you do not have sores . The virus can be present on skin that looks normal, including right before and after an outbreak.

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Home Remedies Against Herpes

+ Apply creams and ointments: with zinc, with tannins.+ Natural remedies: honey, lemon balm, tea tree oil, garlic em.

With children it is something else. Here, home remedies for herpes should be used only in consultation with the doctor. The reason is the greater sensitivity of children to essential oils such as tea tree oil. In addition, home remedies hardly help against the biggest problems: Infection of others and spreading on the own body. What the child needs is best decided by the doctor!

Herpes Causes And Risk Factors

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Causes of herpes include acquiring the virus through sexual contact, coupled with immune system suppression and sometimes nutritional deficiencies.

HSV-1 is primarily transmitted by oral-oral contact. On the other hand, HSV-2 is considered a sexually transmitted disease and usually passed during oral or vaginal sex.

A scary finding is that more cases of genital herpes than ever before are now being caused by HSV-1 , and about 85 percent of people with genital herpes dont even know it. Studies show that about 50 percent of the new genital herpes infections in young adults are due to HSV-1 and about 40 percent in older adults. The fact that most people dont ever find out theyre infected is one of the reasons that transmission rates are steadily climbing.

Risk factors for acquiring herpes include:

  • Kissing someone who has symptoms of an active herpes virus
  • Engaging in any form of unprotected sex
  • Having sex with multiple partners
  • Spreading the virus through contact with cold sores on the eyes, secretions on the fingers, or ulcers/sores on buttocks and upper thighs
  • Having certain other illnesses that lower immune function, such as HIV/AIDS, an autoimmune disorder or hepatitis
  • Eating a poor diet that causes nutrient deficiencies and lowered immunity
  • Smoking cigarettes, drinking high amounts of alcohol or abusing drugs

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