Womanly Concerns with Herpes
Women with herpes often experience pain when urinating. It is important to avoid problems of urinary retention by drinking plenty of fluids to dilute the urine, this can then help to reduce the pain and stinging.
Read the herpes home remedies article for more tips to relieve the pain and discomfort.
Your Menstrual Cycle
It is common for a woman to have outbreaks that are sometimes triggered by her monthly period, because of the hormone levels and changes during this time month. Other times when the female body’s hormones are influenced, such as during pregnancy or moments of stress, can also affect outbreaks as well.
During a menstrual period, it will depend upon the individual and the location of the outbreak as to whether or not a woman will want to use tampons or pads. Care should be taken to avoid contact with the symptoms as much as possible and not to spread the infection further.
For this reason, tampons are typically not recommended if any lesions are located internally. Pads are normally preferred and tend to work well, but it is safe and ok to use a tampon if this is more convenient (provided the outbreak does not make contact with the tampon during the insert).
Paying close attention to your Diet and Nutrition can help to reduce the possibility of having an outbreak occur near your period.
Discharge and Yeast Infections
Itching and inflammation in the vaginal area (vaginitis) is a common symptom with genital herpes, this can make it difficult to determine if there is a secondary infection that might also be contributing to the problem.
Although discharge problems are not normally associated with herpes, having herpes can sometimes make a woman more prone to a bacterial or yeast infection which could cause unusual discharge.
There are medications available from your Doctor and natural therapies that can help to treat a secondary infection such as candida, thrush or yeast. One natural therapy that maybe of assistance to ward off yeast infections is (a mixture of 12 herbs designed to cleanse the body of parasites and normalize bacteria).
Before deciding on a treatment it is important to know exactly what you are treating. The treatment approach can vary greatly depending on the type of vaginitis. For example, you would need to know whether the symptoms are associated with the herpes virus, or if they are caused by a candida or yeast overgrowth, an allergy or bacteria, etc.
If the irritation or abnormal discharge persists, it is important to talk with your Doctor to help determine if it is related to the herpes infection, and if not what is the underlying cause of the problem. This will help you and your Doctor determine the best possible treatment.
Herpes inside the Cervix (internal outbreaks)
Some women may experience internal lesions which are more difficult to detect. If you have been diagnosed with genital herpes and are concerned that you may have internal outbreaks, here are some things to look out for:
- Burning inside the cervix of the vagina
- A burning sensation after urinating
- Watery, white or off colored discharge
- Irritation during intercourse or masturbation
- Abdominal cramps
If you suspect that you have internal lesions please visit your Doctor for a visual examination. It is important that another condition is not overlooked if you are feeling these symptoms in the cervix.
Is there a connection with herpes and cervical cancer?
Unlike some viruses, genital herpes is NOT considered to be associated with the development of cervical cancer.
Can I become pregnant and have children?
Yes. Absolutely. Herpes, whether it be genital or oral, does not affect your ability to conceive and you can still have a happy, healthy child without any problems.
Herpes is not a genetic condition so is not passed onto your child in your DNA. There are rare complications which can occur in certain circumstances, but there are precautions that you can take to help prevent this.
The most important thing to be aware of is this. If a woman contracts herpes for the first time in her life — while she is pregnant — this can sometimes cause complications. If a woman is not infected and becomes pregnant, it is very important to take every precaution possible not to contract the virus during the term of the pregnancy.
If a woman has already been exposed to the herpes virus then she will have developed antibodies which will protect the baby while it is in the womb.
If you or your partner have ever been exposed to herpes (including cold sores or genital herpes) it is important to talk to your Doctor so that you can work together to prevent any complications.
The herpes virus is generally spread by direct skin to skin contact so can be passed onto the newborn child via delivery if there is an active outbreak in the vagina or birth canal at the time of delivery. If your Doctor suspects that the virus may be active he or she will normally recommend a caesarian. However, most women with genital herpes will have normal vaginal childbirth.