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Treatment for genital herpes

Treatment for genital herpes does not cure the disease, however, it may help to decrease the severity and duration of symptoms. For this, it should be started within the first 5 days since the onset of the first lesions in the genital region.

Usually, an urologist or gynecologist recites the use of antiviral tablets, such as:

  • Aciclovir;
  • Fanciclovir;
  • Valacyclovir.

The treatment time will depend on the medication chosen and the dose of treatment, but usually it is about 7 to 10 days, and the use of an ointment with the same active principles may also be associated.

Treatment for genital herpes

Treatment for Recurrent Genital Herpes

In cases of recurrent genital herpes with more than 6 episodes a year, the doctor may prescribe a treatment for herpes with compressed acyclovir daily for up to 12 months, reducing the chances of transmission and the onset of further symptom attacks.

Genital herpes ointments

Although they may be used, antiviral ointments for genital herpes should not be the first treatment option, as they do not penetrate properly into the skin and therefore may not have the desired effect. Therefore, treatment should always be started with antiviral pills to reduce the severity of the infection and only then should an ointment be used to try to facilitate healing.

Most often, antiviral ointments contain acyclovir and should be applied in the affected region up to 5 times a day.

In addition to these ointments, your doctor may also prescribe anesthetic creams containing lidocaine to decrease the pain and discomfort caused by the lesions. These creams should be used according to the indication of each physician and the use of anesthetics containing Benzocaine should be avoided, since this may lead to the worsening of the lesions.

Cautions during treatment

In addition to medical treatment, it is important to follow some cautions during treatment, especially to avoid passing the infection on to others and to relieve symptoms:

  • Avoid intimate contact while there are lesions, even with a condom, since the condom may not protect the other person against released secretions;
  • Wash the intimate region only with saline solution and, if necessary, add the use of a soap for the intimate region;
  • Wear cotton underwear to allow skin to breathe and prevent moisture buildup in place;
  • Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, tea or coconut water;

Other care that may help, especially if there is pain when urinating is to urinate with the genitals immersed in warm water or, in the case of women, to push away the lips so that the urine does not stick to the lesions.

Natural Treatment Option

An excellent natural treatment for genital herpes, which can complement the treatment prescribed by your doctor, is the marjoram seat bath or the hamamelis seat bath, as these medicinal plants have analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which in addition to helping in fighting the herpes virus, also can facilitate healing.

Treatment for genital herpes during pregnancy

Treatment for genital herpes in pregnancy should be indicated by the obstetrician and is usually done with oral antiviral medication such as acyclovir when:

  • The pregnant woman has symptoms of recurrent herpes during pregnancy: treatment starts from 36 weeks of gestation until delivery;
  • A pregnant woman is first infected during pregnancy: treatment should be done during the rest of the pregnancy and it is generally recommended to have a cesarean section to avoid transmitting the virus to the baby.

In the case of the pregnant woman with recurrent herpes, the normal birth can be done if the woman does not present vaginal wounds, because the risk of transmitting the infection is low.

When the treatment is not done properly, the herpes virus can be transmitted to the baby, causing neonatal herpes, which is an infection that can affect the central nervous system and put the baby's life at risk.

Signs of genital herpes improvement

Genital herpes usually improve after the 5th day of treatment and include decreased pain and wound healing in the patient's intimate region.

Signs that genital herpes are getting worse

When treatment is not done properly, genital herpes can get worse provoking swelling and redness of the intimate region, as well as the wounds filling with pus.

In addition, genital herpes can be transported to other parts of the body when the individual does not wash their hands after touching the intimate region.

Complications due to genital herpes

The main complication of genital herpes is the possibility of the wounds becoming infected, which can happen when the proper care isn't followed. When this happens, you should go to the hospital because it may be necessary to take an antibiotic.

In addition, when you have intimate contact without a condom and the wounds haven't healed, there is a greater chance of getting HIV if the partner is infected.

Bibliography >

  • FEDERAÇÃO BRASILEIRA DAS ASSOCIAÇÕES DE GINECOLOGIA E OBSTETRÍCIA. Manual de Orientação Trato Genital Inferior. 2010. Available on: <https://www.febrasgo.org.br/images/arquivos/manuais/Manual_de_Patologia_do_Trato_Genital_Inferior/Manual-PTGI-Cap-08-Herpes-genital.pdf>. Access in 15 Nov 2019
  • GROVES, Mary J. Genital Herpes: A Review. Am Fam Physician. Vol.93(11). 928-934, 2016
  • INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STD & AIDS. 2017 European guidelines for the management of genital herpes. 2017. Available on: <https://www.iusti.org/regions/europe/pdf/2017/Herpes.pdf>. Access in 19 Mar 2019
  • CDC. 2015 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines. Available on: <https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/herpes.htm>. Access in 19 Mar 2019
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