Before choosing genital herpes medication over the counter, it’s important to know what genital herpes is, what it is not, and why it happens.
What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It’s transmitted vis skin-to-skin contact and sexual contact is the primary way that the virus spreads. After the initial infection, the virus lies dormant in your body and can reactivate several times a year in the form of outbreaks of blisters on your skin. These outbreaks most often happen when your immune system is lowered, such as when you’re sick, stressed, or fatigued.
What are genital herpes symptoms?
Genital herpes can cause pain, itching, and sores on your genital area, but it’s also possible not to have any symptoms at all. In fact, most people with herpes don’t experience outbreaks and carry the virus asymptomatically. However, it’s important to know that you can be contagious even if you have no visible sores.
Both oral and genital herpes are mostly asymptomatic or unrecognized but can cause painful blisters or ulcers at the site of infection, ranging from mild to severe. Even though herpes is not curable, there is readily available herpes treatment that can help you manage outbreaks and reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms.
Genital herpes misinformation
Most people learn about herpes from movies and TV shows that often stigmatize people living withherpes. There are lots misunderstandings and myths about genital herpes out there—let’s talk about a few of them.
- “It’s not that common.” Herpes is actually very common and may be caused by both herpes simplex type 1 and type 2 (HSV-1 or HSV-2). HSV-1 causes cold sores in the mouth and by some estimates, up to 80% of the population has this virus. Although HSV-1 primarily affects the mouth and lips, it may also be transmitted to the genitals through oral sex. 1 in 8 sexually active adults have genital herpes, which is primarily caused by HSV-2. Like HSV-1, HSV-2 can infect the oral area, but it’s much less likely to cause oral herpes than HSV-1.
- "Cold sores on the mouth are not the same as genital herpes.” Cold sores and genital herpes are both caused by skin-to-skin contact with herpes simplex viruses—cold sores are a type of herpes! This myth is used to pile stigma on to people with genital herpes, but in reality, cold sores and genital herpes are not so different. Both are manageable with the right medication and people with both kinds of herpes can have normal, healthy sex lives.
- “People always know if they have genital herpes.” Most people with herpes don’t know they have it! Herpes symptoms can be extremely mild, or they may not experience any symptoms at all. Because herpes testing is not part of regular STI screenings, it’s very easy to carry the herpes virus and not realize it.
How to treat genital herpes
Genital herpes medication over the counter isn’t available, but you can ease symptoms and reduce the risk of infecting others by ordering prescription medication online. There are three major drugs commonly used to treat genital herpes symptoms: acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir), and valacyclovir (Valtrex). These are all taken in pill form. Topical numbing agents are made with lidocaine or benzocaine and can soothe pain while the outbreak resolves.
Genital herpes medication over the counter also includes popular oral pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen). These painkillers can relieve pain while reducing redness and swelling. You can also consider herbal remedies like L-Lysine that can limit replication of the herpes virus or herbal supplements that help your immune system suppress the virus.
Treatment with antiviral drugs can help people who are bothered by genital herpes outbreaks stay symptom-free longer. These drugs can also reduce the severity and duration of symptoms when they do flare up, letting you get back to your life.
Get Herpes Medication Online
Valacyclovir & Acyclovir For HSV-2
Doctor-prescribed antiviral pills used to prevent & treat outbreaks
Starting at $15.00/monthGet Started
Acyclovir Cream (HSV-2)
Doctor-prescribed antiviral cream used to decrease outbreak healing time
Starting at $10.00/monthGet Started
Lips & Privates Trio | HSV-2
A powerful trio that includes 2 prescription antivirals (oral + topical), plus powerful All-Natural Herbals to fight oral and genital outbreaks
Starting at $35.00/monthGet Started