Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease that any person can acquire. Most infected people are not aware that they have it and it is very crucial to know that even without signs, they can still pass it to others.
What is genital herpes?
An STD having two types, namely HSV1 and HSV2.
How common is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is common in the United States. From 14 to 49 years old, there are 6 who are infected.
How is genital herpes spread?
There are 3 ways herpes can be transmitted: oral, vaginal, and anal intercourse. But in general, all of these are direct skin contact.
Herpes have fluids that carry the virus and it can cause infection. You can also get herpes from someone who does not have apparent sore or do not know he or she is having it as the virus can be release from your skin and transmit to sex partners.
How can I avoid getting herpes?
- Having monogamy relationship with someone who has negative STD results
- Using condoms
Herpes symptoms can occur in men and women that are covered by latex condom. Also, outbreaks can also occur in areas not covered by condom. So there is still chance of getting condom even when you use condom.
How could herpes affect my baby if I am pregnant?
If you are conceiving a baby, then you should have frequent prenatal care visits. Notify your doctor about your herpes and its symptoms so that you will be diagnosed as there are cases of miscarriage and premature delivery due to herpes. Herpes can be transmitted to the baby and lead to deadly infection known as neonatal herpes. It is very crucial to avoid getting herpes before you get pregnant.
You may be provided with herpes medications until your pregnancy ends to reduce the risk of symptoms and passing the virus to the baby. During your delivery, the doctor will examine you for symptoms. If you have symptoms, then you will have a C-section.
How do I know if I have genital herpes?
Most people with herpes do not know that they have it. You may not notice symptoms or confuse it for other skin condition like ingrown hair or pimple. Due to this, most people are unaware that they have herpes.
Herpes sores appear like blisters in the genital and rectum area. Blisters burst and leave painful sores that may consume one or two weeks to heal. This is called an outbreak and when you experience an outbreak, you will have flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, and swollen glands.
Recurring outbreaks are common during the first year of exposure. Recurring outbreaks are less severe compared to the first. Outbreaks lessen over the year although herpes stay in the body forever.
If you notice symptoms, then you should be examined. Symptoms are bleeding between periods in women, burning sensation during urination, unusual sore, and smelly discharge from the organs.
How will my doctor know if I have herpes?
A doctor can diagnose herpes by looking at the symptoms. Doctors can also get a swab from your sores and do some tests. You should be honest with the doctor about your symptoms.
Can herpes be cured?
There is no cure for herpes but there are medicines to prevent outbreaks. One medication can be taken every day and makes it less like you will spread the virus to other people.
What happens if I don’t get treated?
Herpes are painful and can get severe for people with weak immune system. Touching the sores can spread the virus to other people as well as other parts of the body. If you accidentally touched your sores, then immediately wash your hands with disinfectant soap to prevent further infection.
People who have herpes are worried about its impact to their lives – sex life, relationships, and health. It is best to deal with this to your doctor. Even though herpes has no cure, it can still be managed. Since diagnosing herpes can affect your feeling about current and future relationship, it is crucial to know how to talk to your partner about STD.
Can I still have sex if I have herpes?
You should tell your partner honestly if you have herpes. Using condom will not guarantee safety as having symptoms can increase the chance of the virus being spread. You can still spread herpes even if there are no symptoms.
What is the link between HIV and genital herpes?
Herpes causes sores on the mouth, rectum, vagina. and etc. and it bleeds easily. When sores contact the genital organs, they increase the risk of having HIV if your partner has HIV.