Try mentioning an STD in public and people will walk away. Genital herpes is among them, and it comes with both physical and emotional issues. Though the society has its stigmas, many people live with this condition. It may not turn fatal, but it does not have a cure. At least one person in a group of five has genital herpes.
It is a condition that we should take with weight even if we are not victims because it is contagious. Many people don’t know that they have herpes until the symptoms start worsening. We will give you every information there is regarding genital herpes to help you cope if you are a victim. Read on!
What is Genital herpes?
It is a sexually transmitted infection that belongs to the family of illnesses such as chicken pox mononucleosis and shingles. There is a similar disease that doctors call herpes simplex one that causes sores on the mouth.
Genital herpes moves from a person to the next through intimacy either orally, through anal sex or vaginal intimacy. It is worse in women since it can cause breakouts in the vagina without the knowledge of the victim. You do not see the sores or feel them at this stage.
Studies show that if you get into contact with a person with herpes, your chances of contracting the disease through intimacy are 75%. As a victim, you can spread the sores to other areas if you use one towel to dry the affected areas. The lack of washing your hands can also lead to the spread of genital herpes sores.
As women, we should be more careful than men since the outbreak can develop from simple menstruation or fatigue. Such outcomes are what makes most victims of genital herpes suffer from depression due to the embarrassment, anger, and frustration from the disease.
What are the symptoms of genital herpes?
The incubation period often occurs within the first twenty days of infection. Your skin changes its color to red and becomes sensitive to everything including touch. It can become painful or itchy before the eruption of blisters.
These blisters later open up and start seeping. This is when you should take caution the most because touching them may cause a spread. If the sores are next to the urethra, they often come with a burning or painful effect, especially during urination.
Other symptoms include a headache, muscle aches or swollen glands. The first breakout is usually the most intense. The discomfort lessens after around four weeks until the next time the second breakout occurs. During this period the virus remains dormant for a while.
How can you cope with genital herpes?
Take anti-retroviral drugs
The medicines vary in how long you should administer them. There is one that you should use daily to suppress the outbreaks and one that you should take during the episodes of herpes. Use the second one as soon as you notice the symptoms of another outbreak. This will help you minimize the severe effects of the epidemic. It also reduces the duration of the episode.
Get a friendly doctor to address this issue without embarrassment. You can work together to find the right dosage according to when you are experiencing the breakouts. The open communication can help you get the best anti-retroviral drugs for you.
Identify your triggers
Genital herpes is different for everyone. This makes the triggers also different. Keep track of your life to identify what triggers you to develop symptoms of an episode. You can treat it as soon as you know your trigger before it starts. Some of the triggers you should watch out for are like stress, infection, hormonal imbalance, the lack of appetite, UV light or some medication.
Know the early signs
You may experience some signs some few days or hours before you get an outbreak. The warning signs also vary, for instance, it may be a genital pain, pain on the hips or legs, itching or tingling. Identifying these symptoms helps you reduce the duration or treat the outbreak before it gets out of hand.
Practice stress management
Most victims with this condition languish in stress caused by regrets and anger towards people who may have given herpes. They use substances such as alcohol to try and numb their pain. Stress can stimulate herpes breakout.
Find healthy ways to manage your emotional feelings as you stop pointing figures and living in the past. Try meditation or yoga. You can talk to a counselor to help you get past the blame and focus on making yourself better.
Practice safe sex
Water-based lubricants can reduce friction during sex. It helps you not spread the disease and reduces the chances of a trigger from the friction. Do not start sex immediately, but give yourself time to heal both physically and emotionally. Talk to your partner about your condition so that both of you can work towards playing it safe.
Consider herbal supplements
Studies reveal that some herbal supplements reduce the effect of genital herpes. Amino acid lysine is one of the effective supplements that doctors recommend. Get advice from a doctor since some herbs come with side effects and interfere with your medication.
Take charge of outbreaks
Knowing how to handle episodes when they occur puts you ready and in control. Ensure that you use cotton underwear to absorb any fluids. Don’t apply ointments on your skin that may react to the sores due to harsh chemicals in them. Consume your episodic medication as instructed by your doctor. Avoid skin contact with people to avert the spread of the disease.
Check your diet
Foods like whole grains and legumes can stimulate genital herpes outbreaks. This may be theories, but they are based on people’s experience. Find out which foods don’t affect you as you eliminate the ones that do. As you eat right, ensure that you sleep well and take great care of yourself.
People have all kinds of things to say about genital herpes. Most of the things you may have heard lack scientific backing. That is why we have given you facts to reduce the stigmatization in the society. For the victims, you may lack a cure, but our techniques above will get you through the episodes. Stay safe!