4 Reasons Not to Freak Out About Your Positive Herpes Test
If you are having symptoms of herpes, don’t fret as knowing your condition is a blessing as you can talk with your primary care doctor and get the best treatment plan that works for you. Getting diagnosed with herpes does not mean the end of life as it is something normal, even more than we think, and many people can get infected without knowing about it. Visit an experienced and board-certified gynecologist at the century medical and dental center to know about treatment options and live a normal life without stressing yourself. Consulting a gynecologist is the best way to learn more about what you need to do to keep yourself and your partner safe.
What Is Herpes?
Herpes is a group of viruses that cause painful blisters and sores. The most common viruses are herpes zoster which causes chickenpox and shingles, and herpes simplex virus of HSV type 1 and 2. Type 1 can cause cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth, while type 2 can cause sores on the genitals.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Once you are infected, you have the virus for the rest of your life.
What to Do if You Are Diagnosed With Herpes?
Herpes is, without any doubt, one of the stigmatized, feared, and misunderstood sexually transmitted infections (STI). People who test positive for herpes end up with a lot of anxiety and distress because they think it to be something that will destroy their reproductive organs and their sex life.
It is necessary to know that there is nothing to freak out about if you have tested positive for herpes. Even though it is a sexually transmitted disease and causes painful sores on the mouth or the genitals, depending on the type of infection you have, it is not the end of life, and it can be cured with treatment.
Two types of simplex virus can cause painful sores on the mouth and genitals. They are:
- HSV-1 – It primarily causes sores on the mouth. It can be contracted by kissing someone with the virus or sharing personal items such as utensils, lipsticks, or toothbrushes.
- HSV-2 – It usually causes genital lesions and is generally transmitted by sexual contact.
It was believed that HSV-1 causes lesions above the waist while HSV-2 causes lesions below the waist. It is an oversimplification and nothing more. Oral HSV-1 can be communicated to the genitals by oral sex and genitals in the same way, HSV-2 can be communicated to the mouth. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can cause lesions in the mouth, the genitals, and in other areas, including around the anus, in the eyes, or in areas where the skin has been affected.
Symptoms of Herpes
Many people who get herpes never have symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms are mild and mistaken for another skin condition. If you experience symptoms, they may include:
- Painful sores in the genital area, anus, buttocks, or thighs
- Painful urination;
- Vaginal discharge;
- Tender lumps in the groin.
During the first outbreak, also called primary herpes, you may experience flu-like symptoms such as body aches, fever, and headache. If you have a herpes infection, you will have an outbreak of sores and symptoms from time to time. The symptoms are usually less severe than the primary outbreak, and the frequency of outbreak also decreases over time.
Misconceptions About Positive Herpes Test
Having herpes can make you feel mad, embarrassed, ashamed, or upset, but it does not have to be a big deal. Treatments for herpes, along with the right care can help you enjoy healthy relationships and live normal lives.
More than facts, misconceptions are commonly known by people which makes them freak out when they test positive for herpes. Diagnosing herpes is incredibly common, and understanding what it is, how it is caused, and how it can be treated can help you better deal with it.
According to gynecologists, clearing up the myths and misconceptions about herpes can help to understand why a positive herpes test is not the end of the world.
Exposure to HSV Is Very Common
A blood test is used to check for herpes which tells the doctor whether your immune system has detected the presence of the herpes virus. If you have been exposed to herpes, the body creates antibodies that remain present for the rest of your life. Exposure to HSV is very common, and half of the people have been exposed to HAV-1, but many of them remain unaware that they were exposed as they do not notice an outbreak.
It is not until they get tested that people learn that they have HSV. Many people get exposed to the virus, but they do not know anything about it.
Symptoms of HSV Are Short-Lived and Mild
Many people who test positive for herpes antibodies have no symptoms, but they cannot recall even a single outbreak. Other individuals affected by the herpes virus have repetitive outbreaks of painful sores in or around the mouth or vagina. Some people only notice vaginal irritation or discharge. In most cases, the first exposure to the herpes virus causes the most severe outbreak during which the skin lesions may be accompanied by systemic flu-like symptoms.
Recurrent outbreaks occur in the same location where the initial outbreak occurred, but the good thing is that these recurrences are mild. Also, many people who live with herpes outbreaks learn that they are prone to certain triggers. People with herpetic infections can learn to manage their triggers to minimize the chances of an outbreak.
HSV Is Not a Catastrophe in Pregnancy
Many women diagnosed with genital herpes are worried about the implications of the infection on pregnancy. They fear they will not be able to conceive or will not be able to deliver vaginally. These myths often exaggerate the risk of herpes in pregnancy. Infants are generally at risk only if they pass through a birth canal while their mother has an active HSV lesion.
Medication is used during the last few weeks of pregnancy to decrease viral shedding and reduce the risk of an outbreak at the time of childbirth. While many women test positive before exposure to herpes, it does not mean it requires a C-section for delivery. For the majority of people, HSV infection does not affect pregnancy.
It Does Not Stop Your Sex Life
Getting diagnosed with genital herpes is not the end of your sex life. If one partner has a history of HSV infection, medications can be used to reduce viral shedding and lessen the risk of sexual transmission of the virus. Condoms can lower the risk even more. If you have a history of herpes infection, it is necessary to be honest with your partner so that you can work together and come up with the best solutions.
Getting diagnosed with herpes is not a catastrophe it is made to believe. You must know where you stand and what type of virus you have contracted. Doctors encourage testing for all sexually active people. If you suspect you were exposed to the herpes virus, visit a gynecologist for an evaluation. The doctors not only answer all your questions but help with long-term management strategies too.
If you experience frequent outbreaks, about 3 to 4 per year, you must take doctor’s recommended medications that shorten the duration of symptoms and diminish the likelihood of spreading the virus.
The best way to prevent getting herpes is not to have sex with anyone who has the virus. It can spread even when the person who has it does not show any symptoms. If your partner has herpes, there is no way of knowing that you will not get it. Having herpes is not the end of the world, and you don’t need to freak out as you can enjoy normal life by following the doctor’s advice, taking medication, and keeping others safe from catching the virus. Consult an experienced gynecologist at the Century Medical and Dental Center if you have tested positive for herpes or have any symptoms. The top specialists in NY provide the best advice regarding the prevention and treatment of this sexually transmitted infection.