8 Seriously Important Herpes Facts for Women

Last modified: August 2, 2019

Richard Honaker M.D.
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What people usually think when they read or hear the word herpes, are cold sores and genitals. According to Planned Parenthood, over 50 percent of Americans have oral herpes and around one out of six Americans has genital herpes.

Everyone should definitely know more information about this extremely common STI (sexually transmitted infection). Here are some of the very useful details that you could consider in order to be more serious in practicing safe sex and preserve women’s health overall.

1. There are more than 100 varieties of the herpes virus

As stated by an ob-gyn, there are only two types that can be tested for through blood culture. Those two are the HSV-1 and HSV-2. The others are investigated more in research. You can’t have tests for them as of the moment to know if you have them.

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HSV-1 has been mostly linked with oral herpes like having cold sores and blisters on or around the mouth area. HSV-2 is more associated with genital herpes.

Be reminded that, you can get either of the two strains via the genital area. So be sure to practice safe sex unless you are certain that both you and your consistent partner are cleared of any STI. This way both men and women’s health are maintained.

2. Herpes can be misinterpreted as a yeast infection or UTI

Aside from the varieties of herpes, there are also varying levels of severity with symptoms or having no symptoms at all. The absence of symptoms is called asymptomatic shedding. If a person has never had herpes before, the signs and symptoms would usually appear like those that are usually connected with a yeast infection or UTI. Some examples of these are pain in the nether region, yellow discharge, and a feeling of something burning while peeing.

If your symptoms remain after being treated for UTI and/or the yeast infection and your doctor didn’t swab you to test for herpes when you first visited, ask them to do it the next time you go there.

There are other symptoms that could appear like bunches of red and blistery swellings that are obvious clues of oral or genital herpes. When you get infected for the first time, these bumps often manifest within two to 10 days from the onset of infection.

These bumps may pop and heal, but they return often. So to preserve women’s health in general, enforce a strict rule of practicing safe sex all the time no matter who your partner would be.

3. Herpes intensifies your chance of contracting other STIs

According to facts, it does intensify your chance, but there’s a drawback. Experts say that the risk is more behavioral than physical. For example, you contracted chlamydia while you were a teenager. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be at risk of getting herpes when you hit 30.

It’s your behavior that increases your chances of getting the infection. So when a patient tested positive for herpes, doctors usually test the patient for other STIs.

Keep in mind that HSV-2 in the genital area has been connected to heightened risk of getting HIV. Experts are not entirely sure why. There could be some local inflammation and disintegrating skin. Because of that, it would be easier for the HIV virus to infiltrate the body.

So if you’re not afraid of getting herpes, be afraid of being more susceptible to getting HIV. Be more cautious in preserving women’s health by practicing safe sex at all times.

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4. The likelihood of spreading herpes propends to reduce as time goes by

The virus loses some of its power as you age. Because your body has been fighting it for a long time, you now have lesser chances for asymptomatic shedding. You’ll have lesser chances of having outbreaks without your knowledge. This makes you less likely to transfer the virus to others. Both men and women’s health could be perpetuated with a bit of ease.

5. An outbreak can be predicted

It’s a remarkable event called prodrome. It occurs when a patient notices signs and symptoms before a lesion manifests. Some patients do identify them. The herpes virus lives in the nerve root in your spinal cord.

When it starts again, it reappears on that same nerve root and triggers a lesion in a particular area. Patients have reported itching, stinging, and burning before the outbreak happens.

Once you observe those symptoms, start treatment immediately. It may not stop the lesion from appearing, but it can diminish the length of existence and harshness of the outbreak. You could then be more vigilant in practicing safe sex or simply exercise abstinence. It would be easier for you to protect women’s health in general.

6. Condoms have limitations

They could only go so far. If there are no outbreaks, it’s okay to have sex as long as it’s safe sex. Be sure to use condoms. As reported by the Archives of Internal Medicine, being consistent in using condoms lessens your risk of transferring the virus to someone else by 30 percent. Be responsible and practice safe sex all the time. You can perpetuate women’s health by doing this.

Frankly, everybody should still remember that condoms do break and not all users know how to perfectly use it. Since the virus is transferred via skin-to-skin touching, any error could be risky for the unaffected partner. For this reason, it’s vital to ask your doctors about medication as well.

7. You can infect yourself with herpes

This is actually and surprisingly possible. For example, if you touch an open sore in your mouth area and then for whatever reason that touches your genitals too. It doesn’t usually happen as people tend to develop antibodies to avert that, but it could still happen. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the term used for it is autoinoculation and that’s what happens when you re-infect yourself.

It can even be spread to other places. As stated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, if you touch an open sore and then touch your eyes, you could get herpetic keratitis. You’re eyes contracted a viral infection.

So for general men and women’s health, don’t touch any open sores. If you accidently touch one, don’t touch anything else, especially any body part and immediately wash your hands thoroughly. Don’t forget to abstain from sex while you have the outbreaks. At times that there are no outbreaks, remember to practice safe sex whenever you have an uninfected partner.

8. Antiviral medication can be very helpful

Valtrax is one of the most prescribed medications to treat an outbreak. You would be advised to take it from three to 10 days, depending if it’s your first time or you’ve already had previous outbreaks. If it’s your first time then you would have to take it longer.

Daily suppressive therapy, such as valacyclovir could be an alternative. It provides symptom relief for patients who’ve had frequent or serious outbreaks. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine has reported that consuming it consistently could diminish your risk of infecting your partner by up to 50 percent.

There are even more upcoming options. A new JAMA research has investigated an experimental drug called pritelivir that is not yet available in the US market. The study has discovered that the drug decreased the outbreaks’ rate of occurrence and the number of days that the infected person needs to get rid of the virus. Some experts are hopeful that it will become more controllable.

While the option of pritelivir is not yet established and abstinence is not an option for you, make sure that you practice safe sex all the time to avoid getting infected. Actively conserve general women’s health at all times. You would surely not want to experience multiple infections that could get worse.

Also remember that even if medications are available, not getting infected to begin with is much better. Prevention of contracting any infection is still ideal, so practice safe sex every time you get intimate with anyone. Protect both men and women’s health by being more conscientious.

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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

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