How Can I Best Learn To Cope With Herpes Simplex
Some people feel distressed or embarrassed about their herpes simplex infection. Its important to understand that the herpes virus is common. For most people, herpes doesnt significantly interfere with daily life.
To cope with negative feelings, you may consider:
- Connecting with others through support groups or online forums.
- Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or loved one.
- Speaking with a therapist.
What Are The Different Types Of Herpes
There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV I and HSV II. HSV I commonly causes oral herpes, or cold sores. This virus can show up as an upper respiratory tract infection during early childhood. HSV II is the cause of most cases of genital herpes. However, it is possible for HSV I to cause genital herpes and HSV II to cause oral herpes.
Clinicians cannot tell the difference between the two types by physical examination alone, but there are differences between the two viruses. For example, genital herpes caused by HSV II is much more likely to recur. This diagnosis can be helpful in establishing a health care plan.
How To Tell If Its A Yeast Infection Or Herpes
Vaginal yeast infections are very common up to 75 percent of women will experience this fungal infection in their lifetime, and many will have more than one, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by the fungus candida albicans. The naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, which includes candida, and bacteria. But an overgrowth of candida or penetration of the fungus into deeper vaginal cell layers can cause a yeast infection, notes the Mayo Clinic.
Symptoms of a yeast infection include:
- A burning sensation, particularly during intercourse or urination
- Redness and swelling of the vulva
- Thick, white, odorless vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese
- Watery vaginal discharge
While a vaginal yeast infection isnt considered a sexually transmitted infection and is not contagious, there is an increased risk of getting a vaginal yeast infection when you first start having regular sex. Sexual contact can sometimes cause a yeast infection, if you have a bad reaction to another persons natural genital yeast and bacteria, according to Planned Parenthood. Infections may also be linked to oral sex, notes the Mayo Clinic.
Antibiotics, pregnancy, diabetes, an impaired immune system, certain oral contraceptives, and hormone therapy can also cause an overgrowth of fungus, which can lead to a yeast infection.
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Herpes Encephalitis And Meningitis
Herpes simplex encephalitis is inflammation of the brain caused by either HSV-1 or HSV-2. It is a rare but extremely serious brain disease. Untreated, herpes encephalitis is fatal most of the time. Respiratory arrest can occur within the first 24 to 72 hours. Fortunately, rapid diagnostic tests and treatment with acyclovir have significantly improved survival rates and reduced complication rates. Nearly all who recover have some impairment, ranging from very mild neurological changes to paralysis.
Herpes simplex meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that line the brain and spinal cord. It is mainly caused by HSV-2. Like encephalitis, meningitis symptoms include headache, fever, stiff neck, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Fortunately, herpes meningitis usually resolves after about a week without complications, although symptoms can recur.
How Do People Get Genital Herpes
Infections are transmitted through contact with HSV in herpes lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions. 5 HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be shed from normal-appearing oral or genital mucosa or skin. 7,8 Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during genital contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. However, receiving oral sex from a person with an oral HSV-1 infection can result in getting a genital HSV-1 infection. 4 Transmission commonly occurs from contact with an infected partner who does not have visible lesions and who may not know that he or she is infected. 7 In persons with asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, genital HSV shedding occurs on 10.2% of days, compared to 20.1% of days among those with symptomatic infections. 8
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Transmissible Even When Dormant
Itâs possible to transmit herpes to another person whether you experience an outbreak or not.
Transmission with no symptoms is due to asymptomatic viral shedding. For example, research has found that in people with HSV-1, the virus can be reactivated in the body and allow for transmission to others without any lesions present. HSV-2 also can be transmitted without symptoms present.
Monkeypox Can Cause A Rash On The Genitals
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, according to the CDC. The monkeypox virus belongs to the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. While monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, they are less severe, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.
Additional symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, nasal congestion, or sore throat
Monkeypox symptoms usually appear within three weeks of exposure to the virus, per the CDC. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks. Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms, while others get flu-like symptoms first and then develop a rash one to four days later. Still others will only get a rash and no other symptoms.
In 2022, there was an outbreak of monkeypox in several countries that dont normally report monkeypox, including the United States.
You can also get monkeypox by touching fabrics that have been used by an infected person, or by touching objects during sex that were used by any infected person, such as fetish gear or sex toys.
You can also get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
Pregnant women can also spread monkeypox to their fetus.
The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox, as well as people who have an increased risk of being exposed to monkeypox, including:
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How Is It Spread
The herpes virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact with a person who has the herpes virus:
- Most often, from herpes sores or blisters
- Less often, from normal looking skin where the virusfirst entered the body
- The herpes virus enters the body through the:
- Lining of the mouth
- Regular skin that has small cracks or cuts
People with a weak immune system can get a herpesinfection more easily. A weak immune system is causedby some diseases and by somemedicines used to treat serious diseases.
People who don’t know they have herpes can still spread the virus to others.
Recurrent Episodes Of Genital Herpes
Recurrences are usually less painful and shorter in duration than the first episode of genital herpes. Over time, episodes usually become less frequent and may eventually stop altogether. Infections caused by HSV1 are less likely to recur in the genital area than infections caused by HSV2.
Recurrences may be triggered by:
- no apparent reason noted.
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Otc Treatments Vs Seeing A Doctor
If you have had yeast infections before and you are certain that is what youre experiencing, then you should be fine buying OTC medications for it. If time passes and the medications obviously arent doing anything, youll want to see a doctor as soon as possible.
If youve never had yeast infections or just arent sure, visiting a doctor is the best option. Better safe than sorry by making assumptions when lab tests can easily provide a diagnosis and a doctor can treat you while also answering all of your questions.
Do you need a doctor you can trust to give you a medical diagnosis and provide treatment? We have an incredible team that youll feel comfortable with and that can assist you! Reach out to us today if youd like to schedule an appointment.
Can Genital Herpes Be Treated
Your physician can prescribe different medications to help reduce your symptoms and speed up the healing of an outbreak. These medicines work best when you start them soon after an outbreak occurs.
To reduce pain during an outbreak:
- Sit in warm water in a portable bath or bathtub for about 20 minutes. Avoid bubble baths.
- Keep your genital area clean and dry, and avoid tight clothes.
- Take over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin.
Let your physician know if you are worried about your genital herpes. He or she can recommend a support group to help you cope with the virus.
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How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed
HSV nucleic acid amplification tests are the most sensitive and highly specific tests available for diagnosing herpes. However, in some settings viral culture is the only test available. The sensitivity of viral culture can be low, especially among people who have recurrent or healing lesions. Because viral shedding is intermittent, it is possible for someone to have a genital herpes infection even though it was not detected by NAAT or culture. 11
Type-specific virologic tests can be used for diagnosing genital herpes when a person has recurrent symptoms or lesion without a confirmatory NAAT, culture result, or has a partner with genital herpes. Both virologic tests and type-specific serologic tests should be available in clinical settings serving patients with, or at risk for, sexually transmitted infections. 11
Given performance limitations with commercially available type-specific serologic tests , a confirmatory test with a second method should be performed before test interpretation. If confirmatory tests are unavailable, patients should be counseled about the limitations of available testing before serologic testing. Healthcare providers should also be aware that false-positive results occur. In instances of suspected recent acquisition, serologic testing within 12 weeks after acquisition may be associated with false negative test results. 11
Providers are strongly encouraged to look at CDCs STI Treatment Guidelines for further diagnostic considerations.
What Does Genital Herpes Look Like
While some people with genital herpes will never have any symptoms, other people can develop symptoms within a few weeks of being infected.
Often, before the lesions appear, patients describe a prodrome, characterized by a tingling or burning sensation in the area where the lesions will develop that can be noticed during urination, along with itching or discomfort in the genital area.
You can also have the following symptoms:
- Blisters on the mouth or lips
- Fever, headache or pain in the joints
- Trouble urinating
The symptoms of genital herpes often go away and come back as recurring outbreaks. For most people, the first outbreak is the worst, and can last from two to three weeks. Future flare-ups are often less severe and do not last as long. Still, some people shed the virus regularly. The following triggers can make outbreaks more likely to occur:
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Menstrual periods
Recurrent genital herpes is most common in the first year after the initial infection and decreases as time goes on.
In many cases, anti-herpes medicine can help patients. When a person experiences a prodrome and suspects a recurrence is going to happen, they begin taking anti-herpes medications that lessen symptoms and shorten the time of the outbreak.
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How To Reduce Your Risk Of Getting An Std
If you have any symptoms of genital herpes or any other STD, see your doctor or go to a sexual health clinic. Your doctor will know what tests to give you to detect any STDs you may have. And if youre sexually active, get screened regularly and always practice safe sex.
Additional reporting Cathy Cassata and Ingrid Strauch.
Femiclear For Genital Herpes Symptoms Multi Symptom
FemiClear for Genital Herpes Symptoms is a topical ointment that the company claims may help relieve the symptoms of genital herpes outbreaks. FemiClear states that the treatment is not a cure for herpes.
The formula contains ingredients such as:
- colloidal oatmeal
The company recommends that people apply the product at least four times a day and as often as necessary thereafter.
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Conditions That Can Mimic A Yeast Infection
Six possible causes of symptoms that may masquerade as yeast infections include:
If you arent getting relief from the usual measures, or you arent quite sure of the diagnosis, its worth a trip to the office to get checked out, says Dr. Zanotti. Call your doctor to be sure youre addressing any problems with appropriate treatment.
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Can I Donate Plasma After Getting Vaccinated For Covid
A COVID-19 vaccination wont prevent you from donating plasma. Youll be able to donate after a vaccination. You can also donate if youve received a COVID-19 vaccine booster.
There are only a few requirements to keep in mind after your COVID-19 vaccination. Youll be required to be symptom free and feel healthy on the day of your donation.
Youll also need to know which company manufactured the vaccine you received and provide their name to the plasma donation center. Your vaccination card lists this information. The three vaccines available in the United States are:
- Johnson & Johnson
If you dont know who manufactured the vaccine you received, youll need to wait 2 weeks before donating plasma.
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How Does Genital Herpes Spread
Herpes can be spread when an infected person has lesions blisters and open sores on their body or when you do not have any symptoms. Taking antiviral medicine can help you reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to your sexual partners. You can also:
- Inform your sexual partner that you have genital herpes.
- Use a condom every time you have sex.
- Refrain from having sex when you have symptoms.
- Abstain from performing oral sex if you have blisters or open sores around your mouth.
Taking A Genital Or Oral Herpes Test
Testing for genital and oral herpes may be performed with a blood sample or a sample of fluid swabbed or scraped from a sore. Both types of samples are collected by a health professional when conducted at a doctors offices, clinic, or community organization.
If a patient is experiencing an outbreak, a doctor can collect a sample for testing by swabbing or scraping a sore. Material from the sore can be used for a herpes viral culture, PCR testing,
A Tzanck smear or an antibody test.
If a patient is not currently experiencing an outbreak, a blood test may be used to identify HSV antibodies. If a doctor suspects a brain infection with HSV, a lumbar puncture may be performed to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid for analysis.
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What You Need To Know About The Links Between Hiv And Stds
Many people think that STDs are a harmless fact of life. Since most STDs can be cured, people think, Doctors give you medicine and thats the end of it, right? Well, not quite! Having an STD can increase your chances of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Initial Outbreaks Of Hsv
If youve been infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2, youll usually go through an initial outbreak. Your first herpes outbreak is also referred to as the primary outbreak, which usually happens one to two weeks after your virus exposure, and tends to be the most severe physical experience from the virus.
Not everyone with HSV-1 or HSV-2 will have an initial outbreak. Some people are completely asymptomatic, which means they can be infected with the virus without experiencing any real herpes symptoms.
During a first herpes outbreak, most people experience the physical effects of herpes , plus additional flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, sore throat and general body aches.
Herpes outbreaks usually start within several days of exposure. If youre worried that youre going through an initial outbreak of herpes, the best thing to do is check your symptoms and talk to your doctor about testing and treatment options.
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How Does Genital Herpes Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby
Neonatal herpes is one of the most serious complications of genital herpes.5,16 Healthcare providers should ask all pregnant women if they have a history of genital herpes.11 Herpes infection can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth, or babies may be infected shortly after birth, resulting in a potentially fatal neonatal herpes infection. 17 Infants born to women who acquire genital herpes close to the time of delivery and are shedding virus at delivery are at a much higher risk for developing neonatal herpes, compared with women who have recurrent genital herpes . 16,18-20 Thus, it is important that women avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy. Women should be counseled to abstain from intercourse during the third trimester with partners known to have or suspected of having genital herpes. 5,11