If you’ve just find out that you have herpes, you may feel isolated, scared, and even shamed. But do not panic. Herpes is totally manageable. You can lead a normal life with happiness, confidence and good relationships. Millions of people with herpes can do, too. Here is how your life was after a diagnosis, and tips for better living with herpes.
How Does Herpes Affect Your Body?
Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the US. It’s currently affecting 1 in 6 Americans under age 50. The herpes simplex virus (HSV) can be responsible for herpes. It has 2 main types including HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 can cause painful blisters and sores on the lip, around the mouth. Meanwhile, HSV-2 can cause sores on or around the genital and anal region.
Unlike other diseases, herpes does not affect the body physically. Most people with the infection do not have any symptoms at all. But when they do occur, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Painful blisters or sores in the affected area
- Itching, tingling or burning
- Painful urination
- Vaginal discharge
- Lymph node inflammation in the groin
If you’re infected with herpes for the first time, you may also have flu-like symptoms. These include fever, headache, fatigue and body aches. The symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on every person. But often, they appear within 1 to 2 weeks after you’re exposed to the virus.
Without treatment, herpes can heal on its own. But the virus still lives in your body and waits to cause a new outbreak. It means that herpes can return at any time and you will have it again and again. While some people have 1 or 2 outbreaks a year, others get them every week or every month.
Learn more: Do I Have Herpes or a Fungal Infection?
How Does Herpes Affect Your Dating and Sex Life?
Herpes is super common. If you’ve ever had sex, even just once, you’re likely to get the virus. Research shows that there are many fears around people with herpes. First, they may feel a great deal of embarrassment and anger. Second, they may worry about giving the virus to their partners. Third, they may worry about discussing their disease with another person. In fact, all people with herpes feel sadness and fear that no one will want them in the future.
A herpes diagnosis can lead some patients to remain silent about it. This means they may keep their disease as a secret from their partners. Or, they may not seek proper treatment or get tested regularly. This can make their herpes get worse and spread it to others without knowing it.
Herpes is very contagious. It can spread through skin-to-skin contact and intercourse. But having herpes doesn’t mean that your partner was cheating on you. There are non-sexual ways in which a person can contract herpes. These are:
- Touching an active sore and then touch your genitals
- Sharing toilet seats, utensils, towels, and clothing
- Sharing cups, glasses, lipsticks and tools in public spas
Living With Herpes: What to Do After Your Diagnosis
Living with herpes is not too difficult as most of you think. Have you ever had a cold sore? It’s the same as herpes on the mouth caused by HSV-1. But now instead of getting herpes on your mouth, you have it in your genital area. Here are three most common things you have to face with after a herpes diagnosis.
Coping with emotional effects of herpes
It’s common for you to feel sad, upset, guilty or ashamed after a herpes diagnosis. You may also feel that your sex life is ruined, or that no one will want to love and date with you. Maybe right, but remember that no one can love you until you love yourself first. If you’re diagnosed with herpes, here are some facts to know to get your life back.
- Herpes is super common and you’re not alone.
- It really does not affect anything.
- It says nothing about your sexual history.
- You can manage herpes.
- You can protect your partner from getting herpes.
- Herpes teaches you to be more careful with your sex life and to treat your body better.
Living with herpes in a relationship
In a relationship, trust and honesty are important. If you’re diagnosed with herpes, telling your partner. This can help improve your relationship and get your partner to better understand about herpes. Also, it can protect him or her from catching the virus from you.
Here are some helpful tips for you.
- Educate yourself as much as you can
- Choose the right time
- Prepare for the talk
- Be open and honest
- Answer all your partner’s questions
- Explore your options
- Discuss your future
The best way to prevent herpes transmission is to abstain from sex. Doctors recommend you avoid all kinds of sex during an outbreak of herpes. Between outbreaks, you can have sex, but remember to use condoms. This can lower your risk of giving and receiving herpes by 30 percent.
Dealing with a herpes outbreak
After initial infection, the virus lies dormant deep inside the nerves. When getting the right condition, it activates again and causes a new outbreak.
Some factors can trigger a herpes outbreak. These are:
- Hormone change
- Illness and infection
- Weak immune system
Here are a few tips to cope with herpes outbreaks.
- Use antiviral medications
- Consider herbs or natural remedies
- Wear cotton underwear, loose-fitting clothing
- Have warm salt baths 3-4 times a day
- Use ice packs to ease swelling and pain
- Manage stress effectively
- Eat a balanced diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Get enough sleep and rest
- Use Lysine supplement
A common topical antiviral medication for herpes in the market right now is ProsurX. It is famous for treating the symptoms and preventing outbreaks in the future. For recurrent outbreaks, Bulletproof deep immune support is effective. Don’t touch the sores. Use condoms every time you have sex. Speak to your doctor if your herpes doesn’t heal in 1 month.