The suggestions for preventing genital herpes are the same as those for preventing other sexually transmitted infections: Abstain from sexual activity or limit sexual contact to only one person who is infection-free. Short of that, you can:
- Use, or have your partner use, a latex condom during every sexual contact
- Avoid intercourse if either partner has an outbreak of herpes in the genital area or anywhere else
If you're pregnant and know you have genital herpes, tell your doctor. If you think you might have genital herpes, ask to be tested for it.
Your doctor may recommend that you start taking herpes antiviral medications late in pregnancy to try to prevent an outbreak around the time of delivery. If you're having an outbreak when you go into labor, your doctor will probably suggest a cesarean section to reduce the risk of passing the virus to your baby.
May 21, 2014
- Genital herpes: CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/STDFact-herpes-detailed.htm. Accessed Jan. 7, 2014.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ054. Genital herpes. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq054.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140109T0914550331. Accessed Jan. 9, 2014.
- Albrecht MA. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 7, 2014.
- Genital herpes. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/genitalherpes/pages/default.aspx. Accessed Jan. 7, 2014.
- Albrecht MA. Treatment of genital herpes simplex virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 7, 2014.