What are the risks of untreated herpes?
Once herpes is diagnosed, some people are still reluctant to get treatment. They are concerned about taking the medication or someone finding out that they have the herpes virus. There are risks to untreated herpes so it is best to consult a health care professional and start treatment as soon as possible.
The risks for untreated herpes includes the following:
• Transmission of herpes virus
• Infection spreading to other parts of the body
• Risk to baby of a pregnant woman who has herpes
• Increased frequency of outbreaks
• More severe outbreaks
• Complications related to suppressed immune system
Since untreated herpes suffers will have more genital herpes outbreaks and more severe outbreaks, there is increased risks of not only spreading herpes to a partner, but also to other parts of the body. In rare cases, the herpes virus can travel to the brain.
Pregnant women who have herpes before becoming pregnant or are infected with herpes during the pregnancy are at risk of infecting the baby with herpes. Herpes should be treated during pregnancy and monitored carefully. If there is an active herpes outbreak or if the virus is present in the blood when labor begins, a cesarean delivery will be planned to protect the baby from being exposed to the herpes virus.
Herpes treatment can reduce the frequency of herpes outbreaks and the severity of them. The medication affects how the virus reproduces. Treatment is most effective when started with the first outbreak. Symptoms can be relieved with treatment and is most effective when it is begun at the first signs (redness, itchiness, tingling) of a herpes outbreak. Without treatment there is risk of a worse outbreak and increased pain during the outbreak.
For those who have a suppressed immune system from illness or chemo treatment an untreated herpes virus infection can be of greater risk. Outbreaks can last longer and be much more severe. The open sores can be an entry point for other infections to enter the body. There is greater risk of an untreated herpes virus spreading to other parts of the body.
If you got past the embarrassment of getting tested for herpes, you can get past the embarrassment of seeing a healthcare professional for treatment to avoid the risks of an untreated herpes infections.