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Can sexual intercourse be a trigger for genital herpes?

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Some people find that the friction of sexual intercourse irritates the skin and brings on symptoms. Using a water-based lubricant can help reduce irritation. Don't use one that contains the spermicide nonoxynol-9, however. Nonoxynol-9 can irritate mucous membranes, such as the lining of the vagina. Oil-based lubricants are a no-no, too. They weaken latex, making condoms more likely to break. Even if the friction of intercourse seems to be a trigger for symptoms, it probably won't cause a flare-up every time you have sex.

SOURCES:  The American Social Health Association: National Herpes Resource Center. Terri Warren, RN, Westover Heights Clinic, Portland, Ore. Joanne Grosshans, manager, Herpes Resource Center, American Social Health Association. MELINEplus Medical Encyclopedia. "Stress management" and "Herpes labialis (oral Herpes simplex)." Cohen, F., et al. "Persistent Stress as a Predictor of Genital Herpes Recurrence." Archives of Internal Medicine," Nov. 8, 1999.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 9, 2018

SOURCES:  The American Social Health Association: National Herpes Resource Center. Terri Warren, RN, Westover Heights Clinic, Portland, Ore. Joanne Grosshans, manager, Herpes Resource Center, American Social Health Association. MELINEplus Medical Encyclopedia. "Stress management" and "Herpes labialis (oral Herpes simplex)." Cohen, F., et al. "Persistent Stress as a Predictor of Genital Herpes Recurrence." Archives of Internal Medicine," Nov. 8, 1999.

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 9, 2018

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Can colds and sunlight be triggers for genital herpes?

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