Genital herpes is an infection that is sexually transmitted. The infection can cause skin blisters and sores in the genital area. It can easily spread from one person to the next as a result of unprotected sexual activity. Curing herpes is not easy as the symptoms keep recurring. If you are infected, it is advisable to gain knowledge about the symptoms, duration, prevention and treatment methods, including natural methods that may help get rid of the symptoms once and for all.
Curing Herpes Outbreaks
If you are suffering from genital herpes, you need to be aware of the symptoms so that you may be able to treat it successfully. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Burning, itching and soreness in the genital area due to blisters. When the blisters break it can result in skin sores.
- Enlarged and painful lymph nodes in the genital area. Inflammation of the anus and rectum are also common problems that may indicate an infection.
- A general feeling of sickness accompanied by muscle ache, fever and headache.
- Difficulty in urination as the infection may affect the nerves of the bladder.
One of the most important things that you need to understand about genital herpes is that there is no cure for it. The infection can be a lifelong illness and the symptoms may return periodically. The pattern of recurrence of the symptoms may vary from one person to the other. In some individuals, the symptoms may recur each month whereas in others it can take months or years to recur.
But, there is good news about herpes duration too. Initial outbreaks — the first a person ever has — are the worst. They include the worst symptoms like flu-like aches and fever, extreme soreness, and swollen glands. The sores can last for four weeks! But after that, any later outbreaks are not as severe.
What’s more is that it is typical for outbreaks to become less and less frequent. For many people, after about five years, they just seem to stop. However, different people experience different cases so there are some other stories out there.
As curing herpes permanently is not possible, it is best to avoid getting herpes. Follow safe sexual practices and limit the number of sexual partners. It is advisable to use condoms at all times unless you are in a monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
If you are suffering from the symptoms of genital herpes, you should avoid sexual activity. Inform your partners about the infection and ensure that condoms are used for all types of sexual activity. You need to remember that even though you aren’t always contagious, sometimes even without symptoms you can infect others.
You may be able to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection by taking antiviral infection recommended by the doctor. People with genital herpes are more likely to get infected with HIV if they have unprotected sex. Pregnant women with visible ulcers from genital herpes are encouraged to go for a caesarean section so that infection can be prevented, however that isn’t always necessary in pregnant women with herpes if there is no outbreak.
You may be able to treat genital herpes with oral antiviral medications like Valtrex. Creams are also applied to the skin to treat the symptoms but these are not as effective and are not recommended by most doctors.
Although antiviral medications may not help in actually curing herpes, they can help reduce the severity of the symptoms. The duration of the symptoms may also be shortened due to these medications. Genital herpes outbreak needs to be treated at the earliest during the initial stages so that its severity can be controlled. It is best to begin an antiviral treatment within three days of the symptoms.
If the infection is recurring after a brief period, then the antiviral medication needs to be started immediately so that the outbreak is less severe. You should consider taking an antiviral medication daily if the recurrence is frequent and more severe — this is called suppressive therapy.
When you start taking antiviral medications daily, you may be able to reduce the frequency of recurrences. It can also prevent transmission of herpes to your sexual partners. The decision to treat pregnant women needs to be taken only by the doctor.
Curing Herpes Naturally
Of course there is no cure for herpes that will rid you of the virus, since it’s in your system in some sense or another for life. But curing herpes outbreaks, preventing them, and maybe even stopping them all together, have been accomplished by some people. The best way to do this is with a holistic approach.
- Manage your diet to prevent herpes outbreaks and boost your immunity. You can do this by consuming more lysine than arginine, by eating an alkaline diet, and by taking important vitamins and minerals. Read more about herpes and diet here.
- Manage your stress. Stress and herpes outbreaks go hand in hand. This is a primary trigger for most people. Get some exercise and clear your head from time to time. Relax and watch a movie, or whatever works for you.
- Read our list of natural herpes home remedies. These are generally herb-based, supplement based, or other natural methods for soothing and preventing herpes outbreaks. Of course, you should always consult with your doctor before trying anything. Which brings us to…
Consult a Doctor
Generally, it is best to consult a doctor if you have any sores or blisters in the genital area. Although there is no cure for genital herpes, the severity and frequency can be reduced if treated at the earliest time possible. As there is no set number of outbreaks each year, you need to keep a watch on the symptoms so that you are able to treat them at the earliest time.
The side effects to taking the antiviral treatment pills are mild and they are considered safe in the long run. Consult the doctor every six months if you need to take the medication each day so that they may be able to check the symptoms and provide treatment choices that suit your health condition.