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Can I have sex during a genital herpes outbreak?

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You should avoid these sexual activities when you have sores on your genitals, or when you feel a herpes outbreak coming on:

But you could try mutual masturbation, which poses almost no risk. Just make sure there's no broken skin on your hands, and wash them with soap and warm water afterward. Never touch a herpes sore and then touch your partner. Make sure you can’t share bodily fluids by accident. You can also use sex toys on each other. Wash them before and after, and don't share.

  • Vaginal sex
  • Anal sex
  • Receiving oral sex (fellatio, cunnilingus, and analingus)

From: Genital Herpes and Your Sex Life WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:  WebMD Medical News: "Genital Herpes Treatment Cuts Spread." CDC. Warren, T. and Warren, R. The Updated Herpes Handbook. Portland Press, 2002. Terri Warren, RN. Joanne Grosshans, manager, Herpes Resource Center, American Social Health Association. American Social Health Association's National Herpes Resource Center.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 09, 2018

SOURCES:  WebMD Medical News: "Genital Herpes Treatment Cuts Spread." CDC. Warren, T. and Warren, R. The Updated Herpes Handbook. Portland Press, 2002. Terri Warren, RN. Joanne Grosshans, manager, Herpes Resource Center, American Social Health Association. American Social Health Association's National Herpes Resource Center.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 09, 2018

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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