Genital Herpes Treatment

Your doctor’s main goal during genital herpes treatment is to ease the pain and discomfort of herpes lesions. Her secondary goal is to reduce the severity, duration and frequency of outbreaks.

Depending on the severity and location of the lesions, there are a number of options available. These include oral medication, topical treatment and selected home care (discussed on another page).


Primary Genital Herpes Outbreak

The good news is that the first (or primary) outbreak is probably the worse one you’ll ever have to endure.

Most victims find that each subsequent attack is slightly less severe than its predecessor. In many cases, outbreaks will eventually disappear once your immune system develops all the antibodies need to suppress viral eruptions altogether.

The bad news is that total suppression can take anything from five to twenty years before the amazing laboratory in your immune system comes up with the right answers and acts accordingly.


Female Genital Herpes

Herpes genitalis

According to Recent research regarding contracting genital herpes conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are almost 50% more likely to be infected with genital herpes than men.

Here’s an excerpt from the study:

  • “Transmission from an infected male to his female partner is more likely than from an infected female to her male partner. Because of this, genital HSV-2 infection is more common in women (approximately one out of five women aged 14 to 49 years) than in men (about one out of nine men aged 14 to 49 years)”.

To make matters worse, during the primary outbreak, women experience harsher side effects, excessive pain, and more complications than their male counterparts do.

These include debilitating flu-like symptoms and headaches, followed by painfully swollen lymph glands in the groin. In addition, vaginal discharge and painful or difficult urination are likely to follow if the virus invades the vagina, urethra and/or cervix.

In addition, some women are more susceptible to the virus than others. Consequently, those that are, will suffer another outbreak of genital herpes blisters, followed by herpes sores, during the second week of genital herpes treatment for the primary outbreak.


Prescription Medication

Primary outbreaks are commonly treated with a 7 to 10 day course of antiviral medication. As of 2013, there were four FDA approved antiviral drugs available

  • Aciclovir (Zovirax)
  • Valaciclovir (Valtrex)
  • Famciclovir (Famvir)
  • Penciclovir

In addition, there are number of over the counter topical treatments available – the most popular being an acyclovir based salve.


Episodic Genital Herpes Treatment

The standard duration of episodic treatment for herpes is 5 days. However, CDC guidelines support the use of shorter or less frequent dosing regimens of valacyclovir.

Apart from that, a recent CDC study found that a 3-day course of valacyclovir (500 mg twice daily) is as effective as the standard 5-day regimen.


Suppressive Genital Herpes Treatment

Some doctors recommend daily antiviral therapy if you suffer six or more genital herpes outbreaks a year.

Although these drugs are expensive, suppressive treatment could improve your quality of life and reduce the chances of passing the virus on to others. However, some people using an herbal remedy called “Herpiset” find suppressive treatment unnecessary due to the reduced number of full-blown yearly outbreaks (Discussed on the next page).

See your doctor once a year if you go the suppressive treatment route; as mentioned, the severity and duration of outbreaks diminish naturally over time, therefore at some point in the future, suppressive treatment will no longer be required.

Next: Herpes Treatment at Home.


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