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Herpes is spread primarily through sexual contact. If you want to avoid spreading herpes, you may abstain from sex, use condoms, or limit your sexual partners. You may also avoid any form of sexual contact when you have an active herpes outbreak. If you are a pregnant woman, having a Cesarean section or using antiviral medications prior to delivery may help you avoid spreading the disease to your child. Additionally, you may do well to avoid kissing others when you have a herpes sore on your mouth or note signs that one is impending.
You may avoid spreading herpes by abstaining from sex. Besides that, however, you may cut down your chances of spreading the disease by having fewer sexual partners. In fact, choosing to have sex only in a monogamous relationship with a person who knows you have herpes may lower your chances of spreading the disease. This may also help you avoid contracting other sexually transmitted diseases.
Another effective way to avoid spreading herpes is to use a condom during sexual intercourse. Condoms may help reduce the risk of spreading herpes if they are used all of the time, not just when you have an active herpes outbreak. Since herpes sores sometimes appear outside of the area that is protected by condom use, you may also do well to avoid all sexual contact during an outbreak or when you think one is impending. Using dental dam may help as well, as herpes is also spread through oral sex.
Besides sexual contact, there are other ways in which you may spread the herpes virus, including kissing. You may even spread it by toughing a herpes bump on your lip and then touching your partner’s genitals. To be safe, you may do well to avoid kissing and various types of sexual touching when you have an active herpes sore. Some people also note a tingling or irritated feeling in the area in which a herpes lesion will soon appear. If this happens to you, you may choose to avoid sexual contact during this time as well.
If you are pregnant and have herpes, it is possible to spread the virus to your baby during childbirth. To avoid spreading herpes this way, you may have a Cesarean section rather than allowing the baby to travel through the birth canal, where it is possible for him to be infected. Taking antiviral medications may also help to reduce the likelihood of transmission during childbirth.