Genital Herpes: Symptoms and Treatment

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Treatment of Genital Herpes

There is no treatment for genital herpes. But the symptoms can be lessened and prevented with treatment. Treatment can also minimize the danger of contaminating others.

Your healthcare provider may recommend antiviral medications to assist prevent or decrease the pain and discomfort from an outbreak of symptoms. Medication handled a daily basis to reduce the virus can lower the number of break outs and decrease the risk of infecting others.

Can Symptoms Come Back?

Individuals who have an initial outbreak following a genital HSV infection can expect to have four to five break outs within a year.

As time goes on, your body develops more immunity to the virus, and the outbreaks may end up being less regular, even stopping altogether in some people.

What Causes Symptoms to Come Back?

When symptoms recur, they usually begin throughout times of psychological stress or health problem. That’s because, during these times, your body’s immune system might be less able to reduce the virus and keep it from becoming active.

Symptom sets off can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Disease
  • Sexual relations
  • Menstruation
  • Stress
  • Surgery
  • Trauma

Can Symptoms Be Treated at home?

There are things you can do to relieve the pain and severity of the symptoms during an outbreak. Home treatments consist of:

  • Take pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.
  • Bathe sore areas with a warm salt-water solution two times a day (1/2 teaspoon salt with 1/2 pint warm water).
  • Let air flow around the sores by wearing loose-fitting clothes.
  • Put an ice bag on the afflicted area. Wrap the ice pack in a towel or piece of fabric.
  • Get plenty of rest.

There are likewise things you can do to prevent passing the virus to other parts of your body, as well as to other individuals. Take these actions:

  • Don’t kiss when you or your partner has cold sores.
  • Prevent foreplay when either partner has oral or genital sores.
  • Don’t have genital or anal contact when any sores are present.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after touching infected areas.
  • Don’t wet your contact lenses with saliva.

How Serious of a Health Problem Are the Symptoms of Genital Herpes?

For the majority of people, genital herpes is not a serious threat to their health. Aside from the discomfort, an HSV infection is more of a psychological stressor. It can:

  • Produce stress and anxiety
  • Affect an individual’s self-confidence
  • Disrupt an individual’s complacency and intimacy

Sometimes, though, problems from genital herpes can be serious, even dangerous.

Although it’s rare, pregnant women can hand down the herpes infection to their child. This can lead to a serious and sometimes lethal infection in the baby. That’s why taking steps to prevent an outbreak at time of delivery is suggested beginning at 34 weeks into the pregnancy. If you have signs of an active viral infection when it’s time to provide, your doctor will likely advise a cesarean area for delivery.

People with genital herpes have a greater risk of an HIV infection. One factor is that fractures and breaks in the skin that result from an outbreak create openings through which HIV can get in the body.

If you have any reason to think you may have an HSV infection as the outcome of a sexual encounter– either genital or oral– contact your health care service provider.

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