Author: John Bear
On average, someone with recurrent genital herpes (HSV2) will have 4 to 5 outbreaks a year. They can happen often or once in a while. Many people notice that the herpes simplex virus outbreaks diminish in frequency and severity over time.
What can set off an outbreak?
Several factors may cause the herpes virus to become active again. Trigger factors will vary from one person to another person, and usually can\'t be avoided. Some outbreak triggers are believed to be the menstrual cycle, stress, sexual intercourse, injury, another illness (especially with fever), surgical trauma, steroidal medication (eg, asthma medication), and unhealthy diet.
Is herpes always contagious?
Even if you don\'t see or feel any symptoms, you can still acquire the active herpes simplex virus in your body.
How can I reduce the spread of herpes?
Genital herpes can still be spread to a sex partner even when you have no symptoms. Most new cases of genital herpes are caught from someone who has an active herpes infection with no symptoms. So, if you\'ve ever had genital herpes, it is important to always practice safer sex.
This means you should not have vaginal, oral, or anal sex with uninfected partners when you have active symptoms, such as sores. You should wait until they are completely healed. Between outbreaks, use a condom during sex. Neither of these methods is perfect, but they will help prevent the spread of herpes.
What should I do to help minimize the pain of an outbreak?
As well as taking your medicine as your doctor prescribes, you should try to:
Keep the genital area clean and dry
Wear loose-fitting clothes
Place a cool or lukewarm cloth on the affected area
Be sure not to touch the affected area
If you do accidentally touch the affected area, wash your hands with warm water and soap immediately