Monday, September 19, 2022

What Should I Do If I Think I Have Herpes

What Should Do If You Have Herpes

How Common Is Herpes Really? | Report Card | RIOT

This is a very common question for everyone who has been contracted the HSV. If youre diagnosed with herpes based on blood tests or a swab test, it typically seeks treatment as soon as possible. Although theres no cure for herpes infections, certain treatments are available for relieving herpes symptoms. They also prevent this virus from returning. The following cure options are effective for dealing with herpes, such as

Antiviral medications, creams

Although home remedies have been reported to be useful for herpes, you should test them before using because of irritation.

Ask your doctor about treatment options for herpes and how to prevent it from spreading

Apart from treating herpes, its very crucial to reduce the spread of herpes. If you want to protect your partner from getting it, herere things you need to do:

  • Abstain from sex, including oral or vaginal sex
  • Always wear condoms or protective barrier every time you have sex when current infection is healed
  • Tell your partner about your STD
  • Learn more information about herpes
  • Boost the immune system by a healthy lifestyle
  • Avoid triggers of herpes

How Urgent Is A Post

Start post-exposure treatment for genital herpes immediately after symptoms begin to appear. Antiviral medications can help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms while also reducing the risk of transmission to sexual partners.

Swab testing is most likely to detect HSV when completed with 72 hours of symptoms first appearing. Meaning, if you suspect you are experiencing symptoms, see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

Be sure to let your healthcare provider know that you may have had exposure to genital herpes.

While there is no specific deadline to get treated for genital herpes, upon being diagnosed, your doctor can prescribe antiviral medications that can help shorten the length and severity of the outbreak. รข

Can I Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes

Yes, you can breastfeed if you have genital herpes, but not if you have a herpes sore on one of your breasts. If you have genital herpes, it is possible to spread the infection to any part of your breast, including your nipple and areola.

If you have any genital herpes sores on one or both of your breasts:

  • You can keep breastfeeding as long as your baby or pumping equipment does not touch a herpes sore.
  • Do not breastfeed from the breast with sores. Herpes is spread through contact with sores and can be dangerous to a newborn baby.
  • Pump or hand-express your milk from the breast with sores until the sores heal. Pumping will help keep up your milk supply and prevent your breast from getting overly full and painful. You can store your milk to give to your baby in a bottle for another feeding. But if parts of your pump also touch the sore while pumping, throw the milk away.

Read Also: How To Live With Genital Herpes

What It Means For Partners

Your partner has genital herpes. Your support is very important in helping you and your partner to understand what this means. When your partner goes back to the doctor, you may wish to go too, so that you can find out more about the herpes infection. In the meantime, here are answers to some questions you may have.

What About Pregnancy

Might have herpes

A pregnant woman who has genital herpes can passthe virus to her baby. A baby born with herpes might:

  • Have brain, skin, or eye problems

If you are pregnant, you should tell your health careprovider if you have herpes. If you show any signs ofherpes during pregnancy, tell your provider. Pregnancycan be managed safely if your health care providerknows about your herpes. Medicines can help babiesborn with herpes if they are treated right away.

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What Is Oral Herpes

More than half of American adults have oral herpes. Some estimates say up to 80% of American adults have oral herpes.

Oral herpes is primarily caused by HSV-1, although it is also possible to have an HSV-2 infection around the mouth.

A person with an oral herpes outbreak may first feel itching, burning, or tingling around the mouth, lips, or tongue. Later, cold sores or small blisters may develop in these areas or anywhere on the skin.

Roughly four to six days after these cold sores start leaking, they start healing by forming a crust. Outbreaks of oral herpes can last for two to three weeks, which can be shorter than the two to six weeks of a genital herpes outbreak.

People who develop symptoms of herpes may first experience tingling, itching, or burning, then notice sores or blisters forming around the mouth or genitals.

Symptoms tend to develop 220 days after exposure to the virus.

How Long Do Sores From Herpes Simplex Last

If youre infected with HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes, you may notice tingling or burning around your mouth in the days before a cold sore appears. These blisters break open and ooze fluid before forming a crust. Usually, sores last for seven to 10 days.

If youre infected with HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes, your first outbreak may last between two to four weeks. Recurrent outbreaks usually last between three to seven days.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Genital Herpes

Most women with genital herpes do not know they have it. But, if you get symptoms with the first outbreak of genital herpes, they can be severe. Genital herpes also can be severe and long-lasting in people whose immune systems do not work properly, such as women with HIV.

The first signs of genital herpes usually show up two to 12 days after having sexual contact with someone who has herpes. Symptoms can last from two to four weeks. There are other early symptoms of genital herpes:

  • Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
  • Flu-like symptoms, including fever

If you have any symptoms of genital herpes, see a doctor or nurse.

How Herpes Is Diagnosed

Herpes simplex (Cold sore): All you need to know

Your first step is to make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have a lesion on your genitals or believe you were exposed to herpes. “Google really can’t tell you if you have genital herpes or not,” said Dr. Shim. A diagnosis of herpes can be made with an exam, but your healthcare provider will also order a culture swab from the sore to confirm the virus.

Your healthcare provider can give you advice on easing symptoms, shortening their duration, and preventing outbreaks in the future. Taking a daily dose of the antiviral drug Valtrex can decrease transmission to a non-infected partner, said Dr. Shirazian. It can also prevent recurrent outbreaks for the person with the infection. Maintaining general healthful habitseating nutritious foods, staying active, and getting enough sleepgo a long way to keeping your immune system able to minimize outbreaks.

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What About Chlamydia The Most Common Std

Chlamydia is caused by bacteria, whereas herpes is caused by a virus. This is why chlamydia is easily treated and cured with antibiotics. However, many people have chlamydia and dont know it because they don’t have any symptoms. That’s why people who are at higher risk of chlamydia, including sexually active young women and men who have sex with other men, are advised to get a test for chlamydia every year.

If you don’t treat chlamydia, it can increase the chances of both men and women getting or giving HIV and AIDS, according to Medline Plus. Untreated chlamydia can also cause serious pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which can lead to infertility, and in men it can spread to the testicles and the tube that carries sperm, causing inflammation.

Screening for chlamydia is usually done by taking a urine sample or a swab from your genitals. Results of these tests are usually found quickly. Different testing methods are used for infections of the rectum and throat, and these take more time.

While the only way to completely avoid getting chlamydia or herpes is to not have sex, you can reduce your chances of getting both by being in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected with an STD and by using latex condoms every time you have sex.

Do Natural Remedies Help

There are several options that can be tried to ease the pain. A73612 and Donnor52059 suggest dabbing cornstarch directly on the sores. I cant find any scientific studies that have researched this, but I cant see that it would do any harm.

A73612 also recommends squirting water from a bottle over the sores when you pee. This is a time-honoured method that will help to ease the pain.

Yolandayw mentioned taking a simple painkiller such as paracetamol during an outbreak. Feelbroken advised putting Vaseline on the sores. Lidocaine 5%, a local anaesthetic gel that numbs the area, is another option. Some people find it helpful to put on five minutes before passing urine. You need to get it on prescription and it doesnt suit everyone. Some people develop sensitivity to it which makes the symptoms worse.

Yolandayw also advised using ice as a home remedy. Simply wrap the ice in a tea towel and apply for 5-10 minutes. Never put ice directly on the skin as this can cause ice burn. Drinking plenty of water can also be helpful as it reduces the concentration of urine, making it less painful when you have to pee.

D91907 mentioned putting aloe vera gel on the sores. There is some scientific evidence that aloe vera is useful for both genital and oral herpes.

Read Also: Can You Breastfeed If You Have Herpes

Read Also: Are You Born With Herpes

Who Might Get Genital Herpes

Genital herpes affects sexually active teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms, including dental dams.

Women are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black women are especially vulnerable. An estimated 1 in 2 Black women between the ages of 14 and 49 is infected with HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes.

Recurrent Episodes Of Genital Herpes

Might have herpes

Recurrences are usually less painful and shorter in duration than the first episode of genital herpes. Over time, episodes usually become less frequent and may eventually stop altogether. Infections caused by HSV1 are less likely to recur in the genital area than infections caused by HSV2.

Recurrences may be triggered by:

  • no apparent reason noted.

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Can Genital Herpes Be Prevented

The only way to prevent genital herpes and other STDs is abstinence. This means not having sex . If someone decides to have sex, using a latex condom every time can prevent most STDs.

But condoms can’t always prevent the spread of genital herpes. This is because the virus may be in the skin near the genitals .

People also can lower their risk of getting an STD by:

  • getting tested with any new partners before having sex
  • only having sex with one partner

People who are sexually active should get tested for STDs every year or more often if recommended by their health care provider. To find a testing site near you, visit the CDC’s National HIV and STD Testing Resources.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have Herpes

Dont panic! If you are worried about herpes, to have a discussion and an assessment of your symptoms. If you are examined and there are signs of the infection, we can take a swab from the area to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment to heal the skin. Swabs dont always confirm infection if the skin has started to heal already, so its best to try and attend as soon as symptoms are noticed so we can accurately try and make a diagnosis as soon as possible.

Sometimes patients attend our clinics because they have been told by a partner they have herpes or have heard rumours about someone they have had sexual contact with may have herpes. They want to know if they have been infected. Unfortunately, unless symptoms are present we cannot test or confirm whether infection has been passed on.

Its also important to note that the first signs of herpes infection can sometimes occur many years after initially being caught and can appear for the first time in long-term faithful relationships, so symptoms do not always relate to recent contact with the infection.

Read Also: Can Genital Herpes Go Away On Its Own

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 .

Learn To Recognize Warning Signs

Adam Ruins Everything – You Probably Have Herpes and That’s Okay (Excerpt)

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.

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What Do I Need To Know About Dating With Herpes

Some people feel like their love lives are over when they find out they have herpes, but its just not true. People with herpes have romantic and sexual relationships with each other, or with partners who dont have herpes.

Talking about STDs isnt the most fun conversation youll ever have. But its super important to always tell partners if you have herpes, so you can help prevent it from spreading.

Theres no one way to talk about having an STD, but here are some tips that may help:

  • Keep calm and carry on. Millions of people have herpes, and plenty of them are in relationships. For most couples, herpes isnt a huge deal. Try to go into the conversation with a calm, positive attitude. Having herpes is simply a health issue it doesnt say anything about you as a person.

  • Make it a two-way conversation. Remember that STDs are super common, so who knows? Your partner might have herpes too. So start by asking if theyve ever been tested or had an STD before.

  • Know your facts. Theres a lot of misinformation about herpes out there, so read up on the facts and be prepared to set the record straight. Let your partner know there are ways to treat herpes and avoid passing it on during sex.

  • Tell your past partners too, so they can get tested.

    It Is Common Not To Develop Any Symptoms

    Most people never develop any symptoms when they are infected with the virus. At least 8 in 10 people with genital herpes simplex virus do not know that they are infected. In such people, the virus stays inactive in the root of a nerve that supplies the genitals, but never causes recurrent episodes of symptoms. However, even people who do not develop symptoms may, on occasions, have virus in their genital area and therefore be infectious to sexual partners. In fact, this is how many genital herpes simplex infections are passed on.

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    Im Pregnant How Could Genital Herpes Affect My Baby

    If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, it is very important for you to go to prenatal care visits. Tell your doctor if you have ever had symptoms of, or have been diagnosed with, genital herpes. Also tell your doctor if you have ever been exposed to genital herpes. There is some research that suggests that genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage, or could make it more likely for you to deliver your baby too early.

    Herpes infection can be passed from you to your unborn child before birth but is more commonly passed to your infant during delivery. This can lead to a potentially deadly infection in your baby . It is important that you avoid getting herpes during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, you may be offered anti-herpes medicine towards the end of your pregnancy. This medicine may reduce your risk of having signs or symptoms of genital herpes at the time of delivery. At the time of delivery, your doctor should carefully examine you for herpes sores. If you have herpes symptoms at delivery, a C-section is usually performed.

    Also Check: How To Keep Herpes From Breaking Out

    How Is Herpes Simplex Diagnosed

    Herpes or something else?

    Healthcare providers may diagnose herpes simplex based on how the sores look. Your provider may take a sample from the sore. Laboratory analysis of the sample can confirm or rule out the herpes virus.

    If you dont have sores, your healthcare provider can use a blood test to check for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibody, a marker showing youve been exposed to the virus. The blood test doesnt show an active infection . But it informs your provider whether youve been exposed to the herpes virus in the past. If this is your first infection, you may not test positive for herpes if there hasnt been enough time for your body to develop antibodies. The HSV-1and HSV-2 antibody test may be repeated in eight to 12 weeks.

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