According to statistics, almost 90% of people worldwide carry one or both types of the simplex virus. So even if the virus is not in your system, the risk of contracting it is very high. Here are five expert tips on how to protect yourself from herpes and the complications it could cause.
1. Stay Safe
To prevent any sexually transmitted infection (STI), you need to practice safe sex. That means that you should always use a latex condom during intercourse. But it’s important to remember that you can also contract herpes through skin-on-skin contact. So, while wearing a condom won’t help you protect yourself from herpes entirely, it can at least reduce the risk.
2. Talk to Your Partner
Honesty and openness are the pillars of a strong relationship. But they’re also important for protecting your reproductive health. Ask your partner if they have a history of STIs. If they do, they may also be more likely to have the herpes virus.
3. Avoid Sex During an Outbreak
If you’re in a monogamous relationship and your partner has an outbreak, avoid having sex until the symptoms go away. One study found that this, in combination with condoms, is a good way to protect yourself from herpes.
4. Avoid Intimacy, Too
You don’t need to have sex with an infected person to contract the herpes virus. A simple skin-on-skin contact is enough to transmit it. So if your partner has cold sores or genital warts, avoid physical contact until the outbreak is gone.
5. Don’t Have Sex While Under the Influence
Alcohol and drugs impair your ability to make rational decisions. As such, you may be less likely to use protection, which could result in an infection. It is thus important to avoid having intercourse while intoxicated.
Follow these tips to protect yourself from herpes infections. If you already have the virus, these tips can help prevent further spread. And if you suspect you may have contracted the virus, ask your doctor about the available test methods.