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Talking to Your Doctor About Genital Herpes
General Tips for Gathering Information
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don’t forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification if necessary.
- Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What causes genital herpes?
- How did I get infected?
- What are the symptoms of a genital herpes outbreak?
- Typically, how long will the outbreaks last?
- What type of herpes simplex virus am I infected with?
- How common is genital herpes?
- How serious is genital herpes?
- How is genital herpes different than having cold sores?
- Are there any serious complications of genital herpes that I should be aware of?
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for genital herpes?
- How can I decrease my risk of contracting genital herpes?
- How do I know if my partner has genital herpes? What physical signs or symptoms should I be looking for?
- Is there a way to cure genital herpes?
- What medications are available to help me?
- How long do I have to take medications?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?
- How often do I have to take them?
- Will I have to take medication forever?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?
- Where can I get information on any new treatments or research?
- How can counseling or a support group help me if there is no cure?
- Just how risky is my lifestyle?
- How do I tell my partner that I have genital herpes?
- How do I know if I'm using a condom properly?
- How can I protect my partner?
- Should my partner come in for a test and treatment?
- Is abstinence the only way I can protect myself?
- How will having genital herpes affect my relationship with my future partners?
- Are there any dietary changes I should make?
- How often will I have an outbreak?
- How can I become pregnant if I have genital herpes? How can I get my partner pregnant if I have genital herpes?
- Can I take the same medications if I am or become pregnant? How can I protect my baby?
- Where can I get more information about genital herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
- How often should I get tested for STDs or have checkups?
- Reviewer: James Cornell, MD
- Review Date: 06/2016
- Update Date: 05/20/2015