Sex with Herpes
Even if you have been tested positive for herpes or if your partner has herpes, you can still continue to have a full sex life. However, you need to take some precautions, lest you give the infection to the partner. In case, both the partners have the same type of herpes, that is genital herpes, the issue is much less complicated, as you cannot get infected twice.
Avoid Sex Before/During/After an Outbreak
It is suggested that the infected person does not have sex before an outbreak, during the outbreak and after a few days as well. That is, it is not safe to have sex in the cycle of the outbreak. It is considered safe to have sex between outbreaks, but the uninfected partner has to understand that he or she can get infected even if there are no sores present or no symptoms of herpes.
Use a Latex Condom During Sex
The best protection would be to use a latex condom during sex. However, condoms do not provide 100% guarantee against infection, yet research has proved that it provides ample protection. In case of oral sex, you can use a dental dam for maximum protection. Oral sex is safe if you don’t have cold sores on the mouth during the outbreak. Make sure that you have no broken skin on the hands and never touch a herpes sore and then touch your partner. In addition, you must also make sure that bodily fluids are not exchanged at any time.
There are many antiviral therapies to bring down the virus that you shed, enabling better protection during sex. Suppressive therapies can also be used in the form of daily pills for reducing the intensity and frequency of outbreaks. This can protect your partner from being infected. Some may not need to take daily therapy and anti viral pills can be taken whenever there is a flare up or an outbreak. You can consult your doctor regarding this. In some cases, there is a lot of friction during sex and this could irritate the skin and trigger an outbreak. To avoid this, you can use sexual lubricants that are water based. However, oil based ones can result in breaking down the latex and could cause issues.
Educate You and Your Partner about Herpes
Finally, it is important for both the sexual partners to educate themselves about herpes. It is not as serious as it seems and surely not the end of sexual life. There are many couples living with herpes and enjoying fulfilling sexual relationships, even if one of the partners is not infected. There are millions of people all over the world living with the condition and not even being aware of it. In many cases, the infection does not present with any symptoms in the person and there may not be any sores visible.