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The WHO researchers estimated that 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 are infected with HSV-1, which is best known as a cause of cold sores.Another 417 million people worldwide aged 15-49 have HSV-2, the type most often thought of as a sexually transmitted disease. "Your body makes mucous to flush out bacteria — that's what discharge is." Clear or white-ish is totally fine, but if it's clumpy, yellow-green, brown-ish/tinged with blood, or fishy-smelling? "Pubic hair exists to trap vaginal discharge and bacteria away from your skin, so that it doesn't irritate you," explains Dr. So while shaving/waxing are probably fine, you may want to talk to your doc if you've been all kinds of red-and-itchy lately, or if you notice bumps on your outer labia. Some words to describe the normal scents you may or may not notice at times: musky (when you're turned on); "tinny" (during your period); and BO (there are can be set loose into the abyss of your body through the vagina, and here's why: There's an end to it! But ironically enough, trying to clean yourself down there is only going to upset the p H balance inside your vagina — and will cause the sort of stuff (infections, smells, icky-colored discharge) you're trying to prevent in the first place. That's why you should always, change out of your wet swimsuit or sweaty gym clothes ASAP.8. But know this: It's not only OK to resist the pressure to go bare — it's functional, too.Smart safe sex practices can cut the risk of spreading or catching the virus to nearly zero.And finally, if you do have herpes, there are effective treatments for helping with outbreaks, so you shouldn't feel hopeless. The guidelines from the CDC don’t recommend testing for the virus, so it’s typically not included with the routine “STD panel.” This is because a blood test for herpes only tells you whether you’ve been exposed to the virus, explains Dr. And a positive result only "raises a whole host of concerns of 'when? “There are a few days a year when herpes is active, and possibly transmitted without any symptoms present,” explains Wyand. “This doesn't happen on most days, but it's tricky, because there's no real way to know.” All this sounds really scary, but what it boils down to is the importance of practicing safe sex.

This means that sores from either one can appear anywhere on the body.

"But if there's any question, then use them." Rosser adds that communication is not only essential when it comes to having great sex, but also when preventing the spread of herpes. Herpes doesn’t affect your fertility in any way and there are plenty of safe delivery options to ensure the virus isn’t transferred to your baby, she says.

If you're infected, be honest and considerate—let your partner know, "hey this is an issue." RELATED: Things You Must Tell Your Gynecologist The reality of any STD is you don’t need to sleep around to get infected. (Genital herpes can increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, or in rare cases, a potentially dangerous infection in newborns if the mother is experiencing symptoms at the time of birth.) If you’ve been monogamous with your partner for 5, 10, even 20 years, then out of the blue he or she has a visible herpes outbreak, the only logical explanation is cheating, right? Similar to HIV or chicken pox, herpes has viral latency, or the ability to lie dormant in your body for without showing any signs or symptoms.

It pretty unsettling that so much of the population has the virus, but just because someone has the disease doesn’t mean they’re going to transmit it, Dr. In fact, most outbreaks usually occur in the first 1 to 2 years, and after that many people's bodies suppress the virus for the most part.

Having herpes or dating someone with the virus doesn't mean your sex life is doomed, either.

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