One of the most common, if the most common concerns people have after being diagnosed with herpes is:
“Is my sex life over? Will I ever be able to have a normal sex life again?”
You can have a fulfilling sex life if you have genital herpes, even though it may be more complicated than it was before your diagnosis. Now, you must be careful about what you do and when you do it. Use this guide to get busy without the worry.It doesn’t take away from your ability to be intimate, but it does inform how you will be sexual.
How to Have Safe Sex With Herpes
If you have herpes, it’s important to be open and honest about it with your sexaul partner. “This is a conversation that has to come right up front if you feel like you’re going to be sexually active with someone.
Both people should get an STD test (even if you know you have herpes, you should also get tested for other diseases). “You want to know what you're each bringing to the relationship. This is a trust builder — and hiding the information can be a trust breaker.
Being open will protect you both and help your partner understand why you want to use condoms. Not sure how to get the conversation started? Check out our other article how to living with herpes.
Take Steps to Prevent the Spread
At other times, there is still a small risk of transmitting the infection, even if you are not showing no signs of genital herpes. You can read detailed information about this in the Herpes Viral Shedding section.
At other times, there is still a small risk of transmitting the infection, even if you are not showing no signs of genital herpes. You can read detailed information about this in the Herpes Viral Shedding section. You cannot catch genital herpes by sharing cups, towels or bath water, or from toilet seats. Even during an outbreak, it is only skin to skin contact with the parts of your partner’s body which have the sores which you need to avoid. You can still cuddle, share a bed, or kiss.
Sex during herpes outbreak
The risk of spreading the infection is much greater when a person has signs or symptoms of active infection.There is a risk of the virus spreading when the first signs of tingling or itching begin (prodomal period), when there is blisters and lesions as well as shortly after there is no visible symptoms. Between outbreaks, it's OK to have sex, as long as your partner understands and accepts the risk.
How Long After Herpes Outbreak Is It Safe
If you are very recently diagnosed, You would take things slowly for a month or two simply because your body has no anti-bodies to the virus。 so you will be more likely to have Outbreaks and asymptomatic shedding...and you don't know what your prodromes are yet.
At the same time, this period will be a great excuse to take things very slowly and really get to know each other. There are plenty of things you can do to explore intimacy with each other.... and in the end you will have a *better* sex life.
If you have gotten recurrent outbreaks, you may wait for 3 to 10 days after an outbreak, you can have sex again.. if u feel itching, or a slight tingle, or anything like that (aka prodromes), i would avoid sex for a few days until those feelings go away.
Women Face a Greater Risk
The risk of transmission from an infected male to an uninfected female partner is slightly higher than the risk of transmission from an infected female to an uninfected male partner. Because of the nature of male and female genitalia, women's larger expanses of mucus membranes in and around the vagina.
This also accounts for the slight gender gap in women vs. men with herpes. Approximately one in four American women in has it, while approximately one in five American men does.
Herpes Transmission Probability
Transmission between sexual partners — The herpes virus is most often transmitted between partners during oral, anal, or vaginal sex.
It is also possible for a person to develop genital herpes after exposure to a cold sore on an infected person's lip during oral sex;
The risk of contracting genital herpes increases according to the number of sex partners you have, how often you have sex, and how infrequently you use condoms.
The likelihood of passing genital herpes to a partner is highest during an outbreak (times when a sore is present).
When a person is not experiencing an outbreak, there is a 4-10% chance of transmitting it. (Women face greater risk)
Use of condoms and suppressive antiviral medication can decrease the risk of spreading the infection to partners who are not infected, especially during the first year after a person becomes infected.
Chances of getting herpes from infected partner
According to studies done by Valtrex, these are the rates of transmission per year of regular sex:
Does Condom Prevent Herpes? How Effective Are Condoms Against Herpes
Condoms are really effective for preventing herpes. Unfortunately they can only reduce the risk of herpes, not prevent it. It’s possible to get herpes with a condom because genital herpes is a viral infection transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Condoms just don’t necessarily cover all of the skin surface areas that may be affected.
Herpes is not entirely prevented by condoms, but they slightly reduce the risk — studies say by about 30%. Condoms reduce the likelihood of transmission. For example, if you’re a man who is not having an outbreak, you would have an 8% chance of giving it to your partner. But using a condom, you’d bring that number down. (Add in antivirals, and you’ve brought it down to 2%).
Suppressive Therapy Reduce Transmission
Suppressive therapy is the use of prescription Valtrex on a daily basis, whether an outbreak is present or not. Whereas Valtrex is commonly used to stop an outbreak as it is happening, it can also be used daily to prevent outbreaks to begin with. These drugs can also reduce the severity and duration of symptoms when they do flare up. Suppressive therapy is not a cure, but it can make living with herpes easier.
There are three major drugs commonly used to treat genital herpes symptoms: acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir), and valacyclovir (Valtrex). These are all taken in pill form.
Valtrex is the brand name for Valocyclovir. Acyclovir is cheaper, but requires you to take more capsules at a time. With Valtrex, you only need to take one pill a day for the purpose of suppressive therapy.
Sex May Bring On Another Herpes Outbreak
Some people find that the friction of sexual intercourse irritates the skin and brings aother outbreak. It has to do with the individual and his/her immune system.
Having herpes - Can I still receive unprotected oral sex?
HSV1, typically results in oral herpes, or cold sores around the mouth. This form of HSV is more readily transmitted via oral contact, such as kissing, than through genital contact. HSV1 can be transmitted through both giving and receiving oral sex. It can cause both mouth and genital sores. You can also get HSV1 through vaginal and anal intercourse, and through the use of sex toys.
You might also wish to use a condom or dental dam. A dental dam is a latex barrier that can be placed over the vulva/vagina (and anal area if involved) to prevent skin-to-skin contact during oral sex.
Can HSV2 Be Transmitted By Oral Sex?
HSV-2, which is usually genital herpes, can also spread to the oral region, but it’s not as likely. It is possible, but rare, since HSV-2 doesn’t like the oral environment. In fact, only 3% of oral herpes outbreaks are from HSV-2.
Have "Normal" Sex Life When Both Partners Have Herpes
If you and your partner have the same type of herpes, you have more freedom than a couple not trying to infect one partner. If you both have HSV-2, for example, you both already have the antibodies built up and cannot be re-infected. You will also not necessarily have the same need to avoid sex during and around times of outbreak
If you have different strains of herpes; i.e. one of you has HSV-1 and one has HSV-2, read on. You are already well-protected by your antibodies. If you have HSV-2, you can still get, but might not be as likely to get, genital HSV-1. If you have HSV-1, however, you are still as susceptible to get HSV-2.
Some people want to enjoy a free sex life and join herpes dating sites to find partners with with the same type of HSV. Herpes dating sites like PositiveSingles has been online for over 18 years and help thousands of partners to have a better sex life.
Story: Having herpes has made sex life better
Ella Dawson, then a junior at Wesleyan,tell us herpes has made her sex life better. Here are her experience.
Herpes has changed my sex life and my love life so much for the better. Getting diagnosed forced me to reevaluate what I wanted in relationships and who I wanted to date and what was important to me. I had been living in this hookup culture lifestyle at Wesleyan. I had enjoyed it but I’d been craving a real relationship.
Herpes is such a great way to weed out jerks. It’s like the metal detector of douchebags because if somebody is scared of something so harmless, they’re just not worth your time. I have a really high bar for the people I date. Most people have risen to it amazingly. That’s not to say I’ve only had committed relationships; I’ve had casual sex since getting diagnosed, it’s just always with the conversation of:
This is a reality, how do we want to handle this? Do you want to use condoms? What are you most comfortable with? What makes sense for you? When were you tested most recently? What can I tell you about the virus? It opens that gate to a conversation some people are scared of. I’ve had wonderful relationships full of communication, whether they were casual or serious, because I start the conversation and then it continues to: What are you interested in? What do you want? What scares you? How have you been hurt before? It opens people up.