In recent years there has been growing speculation that women with herpes who are menopausal experience a higher-than-usual occurrence of outbreaks.
To date, no large-scale study of the potential link between menopause and herpes outbreaks has been conducted. However, studies have shown that the rate of herpes contraction in older adults has increased in the past decade.
More Partners in Midlife
As the rate of midlife divorce increases, more older adults are becoming sexually active with more than one partner, which increases the rate of herpes infection in this age group. Mike Remington, physician's assistant at the University of Washington Herpes Virus Center in Seattle, believes this trend could account for the larger number of older women noticing an apparent link between herpes outbreaks and menopause.
Menopause and Stress
The link between stress and an increased frequency of herpes outbreaks has been well documented. Menopause can be a stressful experience for a woman and thus lead to more outbreaks.
Other Midlife Stress Factors
Midlife can bring many stressors, including divorce, children leaving home, a new career or a job loss. Any of these or other stress factors can increase the likelihood of a herpes outbreak.
A woman infected with herpes can safely continue to control her symptoms medically throughout menopause. "There are no adverse effects in continuing to take herpes medications such as acyclovir and Valtrex during menopause," Remington said. "If you have break-through reoccurrences with your current medication, then you may want to see your doctor and boost your dosage."
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Charles Williams
The First Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause, a phase that marks the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, is a natural biological process and is a normal part...
Brown Spotting After Menopause
"Brown spotting" is a result of what is known to the medical world as vaginal atrophy. The atrophy (disintegration of cells and...
Causes of Genital Hyperpigmentation
Genital hyperpigmentation happens when a person's skin has changed in color. This change is not caused by regular exposure to the sun....
Menopause & Bumps on the Labia
Most people notice skin changes occasionally throughout their lifetimes. Lumps and bumps, rashes and discolorations affect the body's surface. Allergies, exposure to...
Herpes Symptoms in Women
Herpes Simplex 2 is considered a sexually transmitted disease and affects the genitalia of both men and women. Women, however, are four...
Early Herpes Symptoms in Men
There are two different types of herpes. Herpes simplex 1 is called oral herpes, and herpes simplex 2 is called genital herpes....
How to Diagnose Vaginal Discharge
Some vaginal discharge is normal. A change in discharge can indicate the presence of some type of infection or a hormone imbalance....
Facts About Herpes
Herpes is a viral infection that resides in the nerves, and it usually manifests by eruptions of blisters and lesions on the...
Herpes is a highly-contagious viral infection that is transmitted by the exchange of bodily fluids, whether it be vagina, oral or anal...
Symptoms of Vaginal Herpes
The most common symptoms of vaginal herpes are pain and blistering, as almost 100 percent of patients experience these symptoms during each...