Male Genital Herpes Treatment

Genital herpes logo

There is no genital herpes cure available but genital herpes treatment can help you to manage the condition. The treatment for herpes depends on if you are having the symptoms for the first time (primary infection) or if it is a recurrent outbreak.

Medical treatment includes antiviral genital herpes medication but there are also things you can do at home to ease the symptoms without medication.

Genital Herpes Medication

Antiviral genital herpes medication can prevent or shorten herpes outbreaks. While daily use of antiviral medication (suppressive therapy for genital herpes) can reduce the likelihood of passing the disease to your sexual partner.

The most common antiviral herpes penis drugs are acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir.


Acyclovir prevents the HSV virus from multiplying, reduces the pain and number of genital herpes sores in the first time outbreak (primary infection). It also decreases the frequency and severity of recurrent outbreaks. It however does not kill the virus and stops working as soon as you stop taking the medication.

Numerous placebo-controlled trials have established acyclovir efficacy as treatment for first-episode genital herpes, as well as suppressive treatment of recurrent genital herpes.

Acyclovir comes in capsules, tablets, suspension, injections and ointment form.

Valacyclovir And Famciclovir

Although acyclovir showed good results as suppressive treatment of recurrent genital herpes, new antiviral herpes drugs (valacyclovir and famciclovir) have been developed since.

Both work in similar manner as acyclovir but have longer duration of action, making them preferred by many as suppressive therapy for genital herpes.

Clinical Trials Opens in new window symbol done in 1997 found that valacyclovir was more effective than famciclovir as suppressive therapy but there was quite some controversy over the time it took to publish the results.

Valacyclovir comes only in caplets and famciclovir in tablets, meaning acyclovir is still preferred by many as it offers more treatment options.

Suppressive Therapy For Genital Herpes

Suppressive genital herpes treatment includes taking antiviral medication for extended period (for up to a year).

Suppressive therapy for genital herpes reduces the risk of passing the HSV virus to your sexual partner but it does not prevent it altogether. You still have to take necessary Precautions To Minimize The Risk of passing genital herpes to your partner.

Suppressive herpes therapy is normally reserved for those that have had more than six recurrent outbreaks within a year or with particularly severe symptoms. If the outbreaks are infrequent and the herpes symptoms mild, then it is recommended to stick with antiviral medication as and when needed.

Non-Medical Treatment For Herpes

There are number of things you can do to ease the genital herpes symptoms without medication.

  • Keeping the affected area clean will help prevent the genital herpes blister or sores from becoming infected
  • Putting ice pack wrapped in towel or cold, wet tea bags on the genital herpes sores can help soothe the pain (never apply ice directly to the skin)
  • Drinking plenty of water dilutes the urine and makes peeing less painful
  • Applying Vaseline or anesthetic cream to the blisters can also help to reduce pain during urination
  • Wear loose clothes to avoid irritating the affected area

It is recommended to see health professional before starting any genital herpes treatment.