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Preventing Herpes

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herpes prevention

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  • One of the most ideal ways to prevent herpes or reduce your risk of transmitting it would be to avoid sexual intercourse if you have visible herpes sores
  • Have yourself tested if you notice herpes symptoms, and inform your partner immediately if your results are positive
  • Being diagnosed with herpes during a pregnancy can be difficult, but the infection must be addressed to protect you and your baby from health risks

Herpes is a highly transmittable disease, so taking precaution is essential to preventing it from affecting more people. Consider the following tips if you are diagnosed with herpes or just want to lower your risk for it:1,2

  • Refrain from having sex — Do not have vaginal, anal or oral sex, especially if there are sores around your genitals. If you don’t have visible symptoms of genital herpes, but feel itchiness or tingling, don’t have sex either, because this may indicate the presence of the herpes virus.
  • If you plan on having sex with your partner, use a latex condom — Even after herpes symptoms are gone, use latex condoms during sexual intercourse, especially if you have a new partner. However, this may still be risky since a condom only covers the penis. If the virus remains on other body parts, such as around the mouth, anus and genitals,3 it’s still possible to transfer herpes via sexual contact even if you wear a condom.
  • Avoid kissing or sharing items with someone who has cold sores or if you have them — Your oral herpes risk increases if you kiss or share items with someone who has cold sores.4,5 Meanwhile, if you’re dealing with cold sores, avoid kissing people to prevent the spread of the infection6 and ensure that you don’t lend your personal items to others.7
  • Do not touch herpes sores, even if they look healed — As mentioned, the virus can remain on an infected person’s skin, and touching it can raise your herpes risk.8  Avoid touching the sores because you may transmit the virus to other people you come into contact with.
  • Be honest about your health status If you are diagnosed with herpes, let your partner know as soon as you can.
  • Get yourself and your partner tested — Whether herpes symptoms are present or not, it’s important to know if you have acquired this infection, especially if you belong to a high-risk group.9 If you’re afraid that you may have transmitted the infection to your partner, talk to them about your current situation10 and suggest that they get tested for herpes.

Does Herpes Affect Pregnant Women?

If you’re pregnant and notice herpes symptoms, consult a physician and ask to be tested. Should you be diagnosed with this infection, address it immediately and make sure to regularly have prenatal care visits.11 Pregnant women are exposed to potentially devastating health risks if they’re diagnosed with herpes at this stage of their life, such as:12

  • Miscarriage13
  • Premature delivery of the baby
  • Transfer of the herpes virus to the child that can result in neonatal herpes, a life-threatening infection

A cesarean section may be recommended if you have a herpes outbreak by the time you go into labor, so your baby has a lower risk of being exposed to the virus. Your doctor can also suggest that you take antiviral medications to prevent a herpes outbreak. However, these drugs aren’t the most ideal solution, so you may want to ask about other natural remedies that may aid in alleviating the situation.14

MORE ABOUT HERPES

Herpes: Introduction

What Is Herpes?

Herpes Types

Herpes Causes

Herpes Stages

Herpes Symptoms

Herpes Prevention

Herpes Diagnosis

Herpes Treatment

Living With Herpes

Herpes FAQ


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