Is It OK to Have Sex During an Outbreak of Herpes?

Herpes is a common condition that affects one in six people who have had sex. The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and is considered to be a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Currently, there is no cure for herpes. People with the disease have to suffer recurring outbreaks for the rest of their lives. Moreover, herpes is highly contagious. If you have sex during an outbreak, you will be likely to pass the virus on to others. However, there are still ways to have a great sex life when you have the disease. Here is what you need to know.

Signs and symptoms of herpes

Herpes is a complicated disease. While some people may have very mild symptoms, others may have no symptoms at all. In some cases, herpes can be mistaken for other conditions, like genital warts or yeast infections. So we recommend that you see a doctor to be tested if you suspect you have herpes.

People with herpes often show symptoms within days after contracting the virus. Some take weeks, months or years before the first symptoms appear. Here is the cycle of herpes infection.

1. The first outbreak

The first outbreak of herpes usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks. During this time, you may experience a number of annoying symptoms, including:

  • Fever and flu-like symptoms
  • Headache
  • Herpes lesions. These lesions may look similar to tiny pimples or blisters. They can appear individually or in clusters. The blisters can be filled with fluid. After breaking open, they will turn into scabs and start to heal.
  • Painful urination
  • Itching, tingling or burning sensations in the area where blisters appear

Herpes usually affects the mouth, genitals, upper thighs and buttocks. After the first outbreak, the virus stays dormant in the bundle of nerves at the spine base. When the virus wakes up, it travels to the surface of the skin, causing another outbreak.

Read more: How to Know if You Have Herpes Without Symptoms

The first outbreak of herpes occurs within days after contracting the virus

The first outbreak of herpes occurs within days after contracting the virus

2. Recurrent outbreaks

The recurrent outbreak of herpes can be similar to the first one. However, symptoms tend to be milder and heal more quickly.

In recurrent outbreaks, the severity and duration of herpes will decrease. People no longer experience fever and flu-like symptoms. However, they can still have the classic lesions, or the painful sores. Symptoms can be much less painful than those in the first outbreak. The duration of recurrent outbreaks may last by half of the time it does in first one.  

Most people with herpes can feel when an outbreak is coming. For example, they can notice the tingling, itching or burning sensations in the affected area.

Read more: Is a Penis Color Change Linked to Herpes?

3. How often do herpes outbreaks occur?

The number of outbreaks a person with herpes has may vary greatly. While some may have 4 to 5 outbreaks per year, others may have less than once. As time ages, the number of outbreaks may decrease. Their symptoms may also be shorter and less severe than those in the first outbreak. There are many factors that can trigger an outbreak of herpes. They include:

  • Illness
  • Poor diet
  • Physical and emotional stress
  • Surgery
  • Monthly period
  • Steroidal medication
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Prolonged exposure to cold weather or sunlight

To prevent outbreaks, it’s important to avoid triggers and keep healthy.

Read more: Tips to Reduce Stress and Stay Healthy with Herpes

The number of herpes outbreaks may decrease over time

The number of herpes outbreaks may decrease over time

Is it OK to have sex during an outbreak of herpes?

As mentioned earlier, herpes is highly contagious. It can be transmitted easily through close skin contact. Even when you have no visible blisters or sores, the virus still can spread to others. So, doctors advise you to be open and honest with your partner. This will protect you both from the spread and help him or her understand why you want to use condoms.

When you have an outbreak of herpes, or you feel an outbreak is coming, avoid having sex. Never touch any sores you have and then touch another part of your body. If you touch the sore by accident, wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately. Make sure you don’t share any personal items (like sex toys, towels or lipsticks) with others. Wash your sex toys before and after use.

It is compulsory not to have sex during an outbreak of herpes. But between outbreaks, you still can have sex normally. Because not all people know when an outbreak is coming, you have to be cautious. To lower the risk of infection, always use condoms and dental dams for oral, vaginal and anal sex. To lower the risk of infection, always use condoms and dental dams for oral, vaginal and anal sex. Although condoms do not provide 100% protection, it is the best method for preventing STDs.

It is compulsory to not have sex during an outbreak of herpes

It is compulsory to avoid having sex during an outbreak of herpes

Finally, use medication to suppress the virus that causes herpes. You can use topical creams or ointments to get rid of herpes symptoms. Or, you can take oral medicines to speed healing and prevent recurring outbreaks. Doctors said that if you suffer from frequent outbreaks, you should use Prosurx. This is one of the best natural creams that can help treat herpes fast and effectively. Research has shown that applying Prosurx 2 to 3 times daily can offer some benefits below.  

  • Giving immediate relief from herpes symptoms
  • Reducing the severity and duration of outbreaks
  • Speeding up the healing process
  • Preventing recurrent outbreaks

If you use this cream when you feel an outbreak coming on, the blisters will never appear. To get the best results, follow as instructed exactly.  

Read more: 7 Super Foods to Shorten Herpes Outbreaks