When you have unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone infected with the genital herpes virus, you’ll contract the disease. The use of condoms can lower transmission. However, an effective way to avoid this viral infection is by avoiding contact with the genitals and mouth of other infected people.
Safe sex is something you should know about because, at certain times, people engage in sexual activity. There are fewer chances of contracting an infectious disease when you use condoms and dental dams during sex.
Herpes spread mainly when there’s an outbreak – avoid sex with infected persons at this time. However, in the absence of symptoms and sores, this virus can spread. Use protection during sex regardless of how great everything appears.
How can I avoid passing on herpes to others?
Keep calm if you discover you’re infected with herpes. You can cut off the spread of the virus to other parts of your body and partners in several ways:
- For every anal, oral or vaginal sexual intercourse, use condoms and dental dams
- Consult your doctor on the use of herpes medication as it can lower transmission
- Avoid sex when herpes breaks out; condoms may not protect you as sores may be found in other places
- Understand when the outbreak is coming and stop having sex when you notice the signs. Sores may besymptomised by tingling, itching or burning sensation
- Till your sores disappear completely and the scabs are healed and fall off, avoid sex
- Avoid touching sores to prevent transmission to other body parts. If you touch them, wash your hands with soap and water immediately
- Avoid wetting contact lens with saliva, as oral herpes can get to your eyes
- Got a cold sore on your mouth? Avoid kissing anyone, particularly pregnant women, children and babies
- Inform your partner if you have herpes right before having sex, as both of you can collaborate and prevent transmission. Herpes doesn’t cause severe health issues, so try talking to your partner without feeling embarrassed
Herpes-infected persons have a double chance of contracting HIV. Anyone having both HIV and herpes is more likely to spread HIV to their partners. Protect yourself and your partner by using condoms. A private herpes simplex test can help you confirm whether or not you’re infected.
Living with herpes
Granted, it can be difficult dealing with the knowledge that you have herpes, but you’re not alone. There are so many persons out there with this virus that are living great lives.
What should you do when you discover you’re infected with herpes?
A multitude of feelings may show up after receiving news of contracting herpes. It’s normal to feel bad, angry, or embarrassed, but as time passes, you’ll get used to it and know that herpes isn’t the worst thing in life. Herpes-infected persons live like normal people. This infection can be treated and prevented from spreading to others in several ways.
Like we said earlier, herpes is not a dangerous disease. Outbreaks may not be pleasant, and the first episode may come with much pain. Most people have fewer outbreaks over time which may cease entirely. The virus indeed remains inside the body forever, but sores won’t always show up.
One good thing you can do about herpes is following your doctor’s treatment plan for it. Should you be emotionally disturbed about having herpes, seek help from friends, family and support groups. Inform your sexual partner(s) about your herpes status; this may not be easy, so here are some communication tips.
How to talk about having herpes to people
Telling someone you’ve got herpes is hard. But you can find peace of mind letting it out. Speak with a close friend you can trust with the news. Other family members can also lend you a shoulder to lean on. Besides, herpes is a common infection – your confidant may likely be infected too.
You can also get help online from various support groups.
How about dating with herpes?
With or without herpes, your relationship can work. So, if you’re infected, who says you can’t date uninfected or infected persons?
While it’s not easy discussing STDs, it’s critical to let your partner know if you have herpes to avoid transmitting the disease.
Here are some tips to help you talk about it:
- Broach the subject in a calm and relaxed manner. Herpes is not the worst disease! Be positive about whatever you and your partner will discuss.
- Don’t do the talking alone. Let your partner speak too. Start by asking if they’ve ever had an STD or been tested before.
- Research on herpes before discussing. There is misinformation about the infection. So, learn the facts. Tell your partner it can be treated and ways to prevent transmission exist.
- Choose the right time and place to discuss with your partner. Are you feeling nervous? Practice the talk with a close friend or yourself first before meeting your partner.
- Consider how safe you’ll be if you tell your partner in person. Think you’ll be harmed? Tell your partner about it via a phone call, text, or email.
Got a new partner? Ensure you tell them before both of you start having sex but be sure you can trust them.
Deal with your partner’s reaction to the news with calmness. Talk to them about ways herpes can be stopped from spreading. You may need to give your partner time to process the information. Many people know herpes as a common infection; it isn’t so much of a big deal.
That you or your partner is diagnosed with herpes may not mean someone cheated. Symptoms of herpes may show up after a long time, making it challenging to identify where and the time it was contracted. What is important is that both you and your partner should be tested. Should it be that you or your partner is diagnosed with herpes, discuss how it can be prevented from spreading.
Also, inform any partner you may have had in the past – they need to get screened for herpes as well.
What effect does herpes have on pregnancy?
That you are infected with herpes and become pregnant after some time is not a cause for concern. There are zero chances that your baby will contract the virus during delivery. However, do not fail to inform your doctor if you have herpes and are pregnant. It’s essential!
Herpes infection during pregnancy is hazardous, particularly during the pregnancy’s third trimester. Why? The infection can trigger premature or early birth. It can also lead to miscarriage. A baby infected with herpes will experience eye problems or brain damage. Should you experience a herpes outbreak at the beginning of labour, your doctor may recommend a C-section to deliver the baby uninfected by the virus.
Should your partner be herpes-infected and you are not, avoid sexual activity – anal, vaginal and oral – with them when you are pregnant. This method is a very common mode via which herpes is passed on. Your doctor may recommend herpes medication for you during pregnancy as it lowers the chances of spreading the disease. Women planning to get pregnant can have a private herpes simplex test at Sexual Health Clinic in London. Having oral herpes during pregnancy or birth is less risky. However, should you develop a cold sore post-childbirth, make sure your sore is completely healed before you kiss your baby. You don’t want your child to be infected.