Genital herpes is basically a chronic infection that’s incurable and is caused by the herpes simplex 1 virus or HSV-1 and herpes simplex 2 virus or HSV-2. These viruses are usually transmitted through sexual activities. Treating genital herpes should address the illness’ lifelong nature.
So when you get your herpes diagnosis through a doctor or online, know that while herpes can’t be cured yet, it can be managed with the right treatment.
Treating Genital Herpes with Antiviral Medications
Upon getting your genital herpes diagnosis, you will be prescribed with oral antiviral medications to manage your symptoms during your initial episode and future episodes. You might also be advised to take these drugs every single day as a suppressive treatment for reducing your symptoms and safeguarding your partner.
Keep in mind though that these drugs won’t get rid of the herpes virus. The virus will remain in your body for your entire life, which means that if you fail to take the meds daily, you may experience more intense and regular outbreaks. You’ll also increase the risk of spreading the virus to other people.
The oral drugs used for treating genital herpes include acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir. These can help in:
- Soothing pain and genital sores during the first outbreak.
- Safeguarding sexual partners against catching the virus.
- Give the same relief during future outbreaks.
Although not all people who have herpes opts to take antiviral medications, these drugs really offer symptom relief for those who choose to take them.
Preventing Transmission and Safeguarding Your Partner
According to research, the most common fear of individuals who have herpes is that they’ll pass on the virus to their sexual partners. If this applies to you, you can prevent transmission and safeguard your partner by:
- Learning how to recognize the signs of an outbreak so you can stop having sex right away.
- Never kissing anyone or engage in sexual activities when you have cold sores, and resuming sexual activities only after all your sores have completely healed.
- Not having sex during active outbreaks.
- Using condoms always, but not depending on them when you’re in an active outbreak, as these won’t completely protect infectious areas.
- Not touching your sores since you could easily spread them to your other body parts.
- Disclosing your illness to potential sexual partners before engaging in sexual acts.
- Follow your doctor’s advice on treatment and take your medications regularly.
Awareness and Education are Vital to Treating Genital Herpes
After getting diagnosed with genital herpes, it is immensely crucial that you educate yourself about your illness and the support you need to manage your disease properly. This is very important so that you can learn to better cope with your lifelong condition. It will likewise help you prevent spreading the illness to others or transmit it inadvertently to your child if you plan on getting pregnant.
You are probably aware of the psychosocial issues surrounding having genital herpes, but being knowledgeable about it and really understanding all aspects of it could reduce those issues.