Sex with herpes can be safe, if some methods of preventing transmission are applied.
There are a few things you need to know about herpes in order to make sure you take all the precautionary methods available when engaging in intercourse while infected with herpes. The herpes simplex virus is very contagious and should be taken very seriously. You do not want to pass it on to your partner or get it from your partner. Luckily enough, there are ways to reduce the risk of contagion.
The herpes simplex virus enters a healthy body through small lesions in the skin or through genital or oral mucosa. As you cannot really protect these areas while engaging in intercourse, the infected party will have to take a few extra steps to prevent spreading his or her infection.
As the virus enters the body, it will start traveling through a nerve it finds, all the way to the spinal cord where it will settle and start to multiply. This is the first phase of infection. Following this phase, the virus will remain latent there for about a week and then it will start traveling back to the surface of the skin, causing what we call a herpes outbreak.
Sex with herpes can be very risky during such an outbreak. The best way to protect yourself or your partner from becoming infected with the virus is to abstain from sex during an outbreak.
One of the first visible symptoms is the rash, followed by blisters filled with liquid and then sores. The affected area is invaded by the virus which starts to multiply there as well. Treating the blisters or sores will push back the virus present there after a while. But due to the viral content present in the infected area, the risks of contagion are much higher.
While it is true that it is a very hard thing not to get the virus while living with someone who has it, there are ways in which we can delay the infection as much as possible. For starters, it is important to avoid contact in any way during an outbreak. Remember that even sharing drinking receptacles, towels or clothes may spread the virus. Treating the symptoms as soon as they emerge is equally important. Chances drop considerably if there are no visible symptoms or affected areas which contain the virus on the surface, ready to contaminate the other person.
As for sexual intercourse during an outbreak, it really depends on how much you are willing to risk. Specialists agree that the only sure contagion prevention method is total abstinence. But the risk is lower for an infected man to pass along the genital herpes to a woman, than an infected woman to a man. This is because, in men, genital herpes presents itself on the penis, towards the top. Using a condom will drastically reduce chances of contagion. But a woman suffering from genital herpes can present symptoms nearly anywhere around the vagina area, thus making it very hard to have intercourse without coming in direct contact with the virus.
Sex with herpes is almost unanimously frowned upon. Treating the infection and the symptoms should be a priority. Modern day treatments usually alleviate the symptoms and heal the affected area in a matter of days.
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