If you or someone you love has just been diagnosed with genital herpes, you may be experiencing a variety of emotions, and you've probably got questions--lots of them.
It is important to be open and honest with your partner and to know the facts to keep you both healthy and safe.
What is Genital Herpes?
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex viruses (HSV) type 1 and type 2. Most genital herpes is caused by HSV type 2.
Most people do not show the symptoms of genital herpes but can still spread the virus. In fact, the herpes virus stays in the body even after all symptoms have subsided. Read more about the common symptoms of genital herpes.
Prevention and Treatment
Some drugs can lower the frequency and length of outbreaks, but there is no cure for genital herpes. However, suppressive therapy combined with safe sex practices can decrease your chances of passing the virus to your partner. Learn about the different treatments available for genital herpes.
Safe sex extends beyond using a condom for vaginal sex - it also means using a condom for anal sex, and a condom or dental dam for oral sex.
Managing Genital Herpes
Even if you do not show any of the symptoms of genital herpes, it is important to inform your sexual partner that you have the virus. It is also a good idea to inform any past sexual partners so they can get tested.
Once you have been diagnosed by your doctor, follow his or her treatment instructions and complete any drug regimen you are given. Avoid sexual activity during outbreaks and while being treated.
Your diet can affect your outbreaks. Get some advice from nutritionist Heather Reese on foods that can lower the frequency of your outbreaks.
Finally, while there is no guaranteed method of preventing the recurrence of herpes outbreaks, here are some tips to help relieve pain and discomfort. Read Ten Ways to Manage Your Symptoms and Relieve Discomfort.