Genital Herpes: TreatmentsHow is genital herpes treated?
Genital herpes is not curable, but prompt diagnosis and treatment can help to reduce or delay the onset of serious complications, improve the quality of life, and minimize the spread of the disease to others. You can best manage genital herpes by consistently following your treatment plan. Treatment plans generally include medications and other treatments. Antiretroviral medications for genital herpes
Genital herpes can be controlled to various degrees with antiviral or antiretroviral medications. These drugs do not cure genital herpes but can help to speed the healing of blisters and reduce the amount of time in which the disease is most contagious. Medications include:
Other measures that help to treat and prevent the spread of genital herpes include:Avoiding touching affected areas during outbreaks
For pregnant women, having a Cesarean section delivery, especially if you have active genital herpes
Keeping affected areas clean and dry
Washing hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or touching the genital area
What are the possible complications of genital herpes?
Complications of genital herpes can be serious in some cases. You can minimize the risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Serious complications of genital herpes
- Increased risk of contracting other sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS
- Severe, recurrent outbreaks and symptoms
- Spread of herpes infection through the bloodstream into other organs and tissues of the body
- Life-threatening newborn complications of prenatal genital herpes
Newborns whose mothers have genital herpes, especially active genital herpes, during pregnancy or vaginal delivery are at risk for life-threatening complications. Exposure to the herpes virus is dangerous because a newborn’s immune system is not yet fully developed. Complications include:
If you suspect that you may have genital herpes, talk with your health care professional about being tested. A blood test can test for the specific antibodies that are produced by the immune system in response to a genital herpes infection. If you have a suspected blister or lesion, testing a small sample of cells or drainage can determine if you are infected. Your health care professional may recommend that you deliver your baby via Cesarean section to protect your baby from exposure to the herpes virus.