Genital herpes is so common. It’s affecting more than 3 million Americans each year. And 1 out of 5 people is estimated to have this disease at some point in their lives. Your partner can also have the chances of contracting genital herpes. Many people may be shocked and disappointed when their partners have this disease. But, remember that people with genital herpes really need acceptance and support. Here’s what you should do when you find out your partner has genital herpes.
What is genital herpes? What are my chances of contracting it from my partner?
A herpes infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It has 2 main types, including HSV-1 and HSV-2. While HSV-1 can cause oral herpes, HSV-2 can be responsible for genital herpes. Oral herpes is also known as cold sores or fever blisters. It mainly occurs on the lips, around the mouth. Genital herpes is usually referred to as herpes. It mostly affects the genitals and anal area. Genital herpes is considered to be a sexually transmitted disease. It’s extremely contagious and can be spread through sexual intercourse.
So, if you have unprotected sex with your partner, you could be infected, too. Any form of sexual contact (oral, vaginal and anal sex) can put you at risks” the doctor said. Even when you use condoms or dental dams during sex, you can possibly contract HSV. In fact, condoms cannot provide 100 percent protection against genital herpes. Directly touching your partner’s genitals can also make you become infected. This happens when your partner develops visible herpes sores on their genitals.
Related: How Do You Get Herpes?
How do I know if I’ve got infected with genital herpes?
If your partner has genital herpes, you should see a doctor and get tested, too. The doctor can ask you some questions and examine your symptoms. To confirm the diagnosis, he or she can recommend you to take a lab test or blood test.
So go to your doctor if you experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Painful sores or blisters on your genital and anal area.
- Itching, tingling and swelling in your genitals.
- Pain and burning while urinating or having sex.
- Discharge from vagina or penis.
- Flu-like symptoms, like a fever, headache, muscle ache and swollen lymph glands.
After exposure, genital herpes can take between 2 to 20 days to show up on your body. So during this period, if you notice any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor.
Can my partner have serious health problems because of genital herpes?
Genital herpes causes no major health problems beyond outbreaks. Once you’ve contracted the virus, you may have this disease for life. A genital herpes outbreak usually lasts from 2 to 3 weeks. But, it can cause pain, depression and affect a patient’s sexual activity. Common factors that increase the risk of genital herpes outbreaks are:
- Cold and sunlight
- Weakened immune system
- Surgery/ illness
- Hormonal changes
- Sexual intercourse
If your partner has genital herpes while pregnancy, it can spread the virus to her unborn child. A child affected by herpes may suffer with some serious health problems. They can involve in the skin, eye and brain problems.
Related: Life after Genital Herpes Diagnosis
How can I protect myself from catching genital herpes from my partner?
Your partner was diagnosed with genital herpes. You may have probably wondered that:
- If you could lead a normal life with your partner
- How you and your partner would have sex without spreading the disease
- If you would get genital herpes from your partner
The answer is that you can enjoy a normal and healthy sex life with your partner. To do this, you need to take a few precautions below:
If you’ve recently had sex with your infected partner, you should see a doctor to diagnose. More than 85 percent of people with genital herpes don’t know they catch it. You may already have the virus without being aware of it.
Get your partner treated immediately
Genital herpes is an incurable disease. But, there are medications to relieve symptoms and prevent recurrent outbreaks. Prosurx is the best and most common treatment option for genital herpes. It can give your partner immediate relief and stop their outbreak before it starts. Prosurx can also reduce your partner’s risks of spreading the virus to you. So, ask your partner to apply Prosurx 2-3 times a day to get rid of genital herpes.
Use protection every time
To protect yourself from catching genital herpes, you should use condoms during sex. If your partner develops symptoms, it’s necessary to avoid having sex. If the two of you get positive test, you don’t need to worry about the transmission. But, still use condoms every time to avoid other STDs. Condoms can also help stop your infection from getting worse.
Keep your immune system strong
Your body’s immune system can help fight off the virus that causes genital herpes. To keep it strong, you should eat a healthy diet and avoid bad habits (smoking, drinking). And, ask you partner to keep their immune system strong.
Related: Effective Vitamins for Herpes
If you find out your partner has genital herpes, support him or her, and protect yourself. Genital herpes is so common and it may involve more than the virus itself. You can catch the disease from your partner through sexual contact. Without treatment, genital herpes can go away on its own. But, your partner needs medications to stop symptoms and prevent transmission. If you think the disease is harming your relationship, talk to your doctor for help.