- Abstain from sexual activity as open sores around the genitals make it easier to pass on other sexually transmitted infections as well as HIV
- Complete the prescription of antiviral drugs. Left untreated, outbreaks will be more frequent and more severe
- If you are in the middle of an episode, ensure your blisters are kept clean as this reduces the chance of further infection
- Get tested every time you change partners as herpes can be symptomless and neither of you may know that you have it
On very rare occasions, blisters can become infected by bacteria and spread to other parts of the body including the brain. Symptoms develop over a few days and can include headaches, seizures, neck stiffness, dizzyness, hyperactivity, altered reflexes, confusion, speech abnormalities, memory loss and fatigue. It can also infect the eye's retina. Herpes encephalitis needs prompt treatment with anti-viral drugs.
Herpes encephalitis can be mistaken for meningitis
Despite claims that developing herpes for the first time during your pregnancy can raise the risk of miscarriage, there is no evidence to support this. However, there is a chance you may pass herpes on to your unborn child so doctors may prescribe antiviral drugs to pregnant women or suggest a Caesarean. Women who develop herpes for the first time during their third trimester have a greater chance of passing it on to their baby and in rare occasions it can be fatal. Thus, you must practise safe sex during pregnancy.
All these complications can be avoided if you get tested for herpes at least once and every time you have a new partner. To test discreetly, order an easy-to- use herpes test kit online. Your test results will be available one to three days after it reaches the laboratory.
Last updated September 6, 2016