I recently logged on to a chat of a bunch of young adults
with herpes. Not surprisingly, many of
them felt ashamed, frustrated and defeated, deceived by a partner who did not
share that they had the virus... Though
many of them were on an antiviral and managing their disease, they felt like
they had a lifelong chain and ball attached to them physically and
emotionally. As a health practioner I am
heartened by the fact that we can manage this disease - but I also understand
that the caution they now need to take, the fact they will have to share this
information with any possible intimate partner, can seem like an unfair burden. To put it in perspective, though, if you take
an antiviral and use a condom and refrain from having sex during recurrences or
when you suspect you are shedding - you can have a safe and fulfilling
relationship with someone special.
The truth is that in this day and age, anyone who chooses to
have intimacy or be sexually active, has to c...
<p><strong>What Is Genital Herpes?</strong></p>
<p>Genital herpes is a viral infection characterized by outbreaks of painful sores on the genitals. Most often it spreads through sexual contact. Once infected, a person carries the virus permanently in a latent form in the nerve cells; there is no cure. An initial attack and any recurrences generally last from one to three weeks, after which the infection may go into remission for months or years. Subsequent attacks tend to be less severe, and in about one-third of cases, permanent remission follows the initial outbreak.</p>
<p>Most people with genital herpes have no symptoms. In about one third of those who develop clinical symptoms, permanent remission occurs after the initial attack, most likely due to the ability of the body’s immune system to contain the virus. The remaining two thirds of people with symptoms will suffer additional outbreaks at unpredictable intervals. The first...
OK, you're in the middle of an outbreak and you‘re in pain!
How do you manage the uncomfortable and painful symptoms?
First, get medical treatment. Antiviral therapy reduces the
severity of the symptoms and duration of the symptoms when started early in an
outbreak. Beyond that, most people are on their own. Here are some ideas on
things you can try at home to minimize the symptoms:
your genital herpes sores clean and dry. Take warm baths and, after each
bath, dry your sores well.
Epsom salt bath. Throw a large handful into a warm (or cool), shallow bath
and soak. This will help the sores dry up and heal.
loose clothes that don't rub or irritate your sores. Cotton underwear is
best, and don't wear pantyhose if you don't have to. Sometimes, wearing no
underwear at all is the most comfortable.
ice packs to your sores. You may find this relieves some of the swelling
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