Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 and type 2, which can be transmitted through oral sex or the exchange of fluids produced in unprotected sexual encounters. It is a condition that is not always easy to detect; however, it is vital to do so to avoid infecting future partners and at the same time guaranteeing our health. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain the form of infection, the symptoms, and the treatment of genital herpes.
Table of Contents
How is genital herpes spread?
The spread of genital herpes can occur due to two types of viruses:
- Herpes simplex type 1: typically affects the mouth and lips. However, if the carrier has oral sex while the sores are present, the virus can be transmitted to the genital area.
- Herpes simplex type 2 is the actual cause of genital herpes and is transmitted through sexual contact.
This sexually transmitted disease (STD) is spread through unprotected vaginal or anal penetration and oral sex with someone who has this condition. In the case of both types of virus, if the carrier at that time has sores that are not dry, the liquid from them will transmit the virus when it comes into contact with the skin. In addition, the virus can also be sent even if there are no ulcers, and therefore in many cases, the carrier does not know that he has this condition.
Symptoms of genital herpes
As with other STDs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, genital herpes often does not present symptoms or ulcers. In the case of some manifestations, it is common for the affected person to confuse them with another condition without paying more attention to it.
The first outbreak of genital herpes, which usually occurs between 2 days and two weeks after infection, can present symptoms that are often confused with those of the flu, including:
- General discomfort.
- Muscle aches, especially in the lower back, buttocks, thighs, or knees.
- Swelling and pain in the lymph nodes in the groin.
Additionally, these genital signs may be present:
- In women: small and painful blisters located on the outer lips, in the vagina, around the anus, on the buttocks or thighs.
- In men: equally small and painful blisters located on the penis, scrotum, around the anus, on the buttocks, or thighs.
The blisters are painful and are filled with clear fluid. Before their appearance, the patient may experience pain, burning, and itching in the area, similar to what is felt in cases of cold sores or mouth sores. These symptoms will appear every time there is an outbreak. However, they usually do so with less intensity.
Suppose the appearance of this type of blister is detected in the areas described above. In that case, any sexual encounter should be suspended and immediately go to a gynecologist or urologist, as the case may be.
Treatment of genital herpes
Unfortunately, and as with other types of herpes, genital herpes has no cure. The treatments used are used to reduce the intensity or frequency of the outbreaks.
Medications commonly prescribed for this condition are antivirals such as acyclovir or valacyclovir, which will help decrease the blisters’ burning, pain, and discomfort caused by the blisters. In some cases, they can be prescribed for a more extended period to reduce the frequency or duration of outbreaks when they occur very frequently.
Many people who suffer from genital herpes suffer from a single outbreak and never have it again, while others have symptoms with some frequency. Treatment should be started as soon as the first discomfort appears in those cases. All types of sexual contact should be avoided during these episodes; it is also appropriate to inform your partner that you suffer from this condition to take the necessary measures.
Keys to avoid infecting another with genital herpes
Once we have been diagnosed with this condition, it is essential to talk about it with our partner, regardless of whether he has never manifested the symptoms. In addition, and to avoid infecting more people, it is appropriate:
- Avoid intimate and sexual contact when the outbreaks of this condition appear or the signs that indicate the future appearance of symptoms begin to appear.
- Using both male and female latex condoms in sexual encounters helps prevent infection, as there is a possibility that the virus will be transmitted even if there are no blisters.
- If oral or labial herpes also occurs, intimate contact should be limited, especially with the genital area.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Genital Herpes: symptoms and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.