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Genital Herpes Health Center

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What to Ask Your Doctor About Genital Herpes

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Genital herpes raises lots of questions, whether you've just found out you have it, are trying to manage outbreaks, or have a partner who has it. To help get the answers you need, here are the most important questions you'll want to ask your doctor.

If You Are Newly Diagnosed With Genital Herpes

  • What type of herpes virus do I have?
  • Should I be tested for other sexually transmitted diseases?
  • How can I keep my partner from becoming infected?
  • How soon should my partner be tested?
  • How often can I expect to have symptoms? How will they affect my daily life?
  • Should I start taking medication? If not now, when should I consider it?
  • Will herpes complicate any other health problems I have?
  • Can I still plan to have children?
  • Can you recommend a support group or a counselor to help me deal with my diagnosis?

If You Are Living With Genital Herpes Outbreaks

  • Would I benefit from taking herpes suppression drugs every day, or should I take medication only when I have flare-ups?
  • Which drug would be the best choice for me, and why?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • What should I do if my medication causes problems or doesn't work well?
  • Is there anything else I can use to relieve my symptoms?
  • What can trigger outbreaks? Can I make lifestyle changes to help prevent them?
  • How often should my long-term partner be tested? How soon should a new partner wait to have a test?
  • What should I do if I want to have children?
  • Should I join a clinical trial for an experimental therapy?
  • Can you recommend a support group or a counselor to help me work through this?

If Your Partner Has Genital Herpes

  • If I have been infected, how long would it take for the virus to show up in tests?
  • Is it possible to have a "false negative" test result? How can I be sure that my test result is accurate?
  • Should I be tested for other sexually transmitted diseases?
  • How likely am I to be infected by my partner? What can we do to reduce the risk?
  • If I keep having sex with my partner, how often should I be tested?
  • If I become infected, would my partner and I have to change our sexual routine?
  • What symptoms should I watch for?
  • Can I still plan to have children with my partner?
  • What can I do to help my partner manage the condition?
  • Can you recommend a support group or a counselor to help me come to terms with this?

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on September 30, 2014
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