Genital Herpes Prevention

The suggestions for preventing genital herpes are the same as those for preventing other sexually transmitted diseases. The key is to avoid being infected with HSV, which is highly contagious while lesions are present. The best way to prevent infection is to abstain from sexual activity or to limit sexual contact to only one person who is infection-free. Short of that, you can:

  • Use, or have your partner use, a latex condom during each sexual contact.
    Use female condoms
  • Limit the number of sex partners.
  • Avoid intercourse if either partner has an outbreak of herpes in the genital area or anywhere else.

Open communication with your partner or potential partner is important. condoms

If you're pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor that you have HSV or, if you're unsure, ask to be tested for HSV. Watch for signs and symptoms of HSV during pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend that you start taking herpes antiviral medications late in pregnancy to try to prevent an outbreak from occurring around the time of delivery. If you're having an outbreak when you go into labor, your doctor will probably suggest a Caesarean section to reduce the risk of passing the virus to your baby.

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