Herpes Genitalis

Herpes genitalis is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). This infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD) and in a very large number of cases is asymptomatic. Herpes genitalis, also known as genital herpes, is more widespread among women than in men. This is because it is more easily for men to infect women than the opposite. In the last decades the number of reported cases of genital herpes have increased considerably especially among young adults of age 20-29. This is probably due to the increase promiscuity and not using protections.

herpes genitalis

Herpes genitalis symptoms and transmission

Herpes genitalis is transmitted through direct contact of the skin which in this particular case means sexual activities (vaginal, anal or oral) also the ones without penetration. You should be aware that the virus can be transmitted even if you are not showing any symptoms of infection. Most of the time it is people that have no clue they have been infected that end up spreading the infection to others.

The most common symptom of an infection is the manifestation of small fluid-filled blister on the skin which are going to eventually break open causing sore and crusts. Sometimes during the period of the outbreak it is possible to experience other symptoms like:

  • itching
  • fever
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • headaches
  • painful urination
  • tingling sensation

As you know now, this type of herpes can be transmitted also through oral sexual contact with an infected person. This means that is possible to transfer genital herpes from the genital area of one person to the oral area of another. It is also possible the opposite. A person infected with herpes labialis can transmit the virus to the genital area of another through oral sex. The use of condoms can reduce the risk of transmission but it will not assure complete prevention.

Herpes genitalis treatment

An important fact that you should know about herpes is that once you get infected the virus will hide inside the nervous system and stay there for all your life. This means that the virus is going to stay inside your body passing from dormant to active and causing constant outbreaks. If you are lucky you will have to deal with it only once a year, but in some cases the frequency is every month. The treatment that doctors prescribe every time you are going to experience an outbreak are always the same:

Creams – This specific cream are developed to relieve herpes symptoms and help to remove the infection. They have to be applied several times during the day until the outbreak is completely gone.

Antiviral medicines – These types of medication are not a cure but can make living with the condition easier. They help to reduce the strength and time of symptoms. The most prescribed antiviral medicine are acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir.

It is important that you know that there is no actual cure for the herpes simplex virus. Today there is not common medication that can reach the virus where it hides and eradicate it from the body. However, if you know the right method you can put the virus in a definitive dormant state where it is going to be inactive and not manifesting again. This means you are not going to experience any more outbreaks for the rest of your life.

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Herpes Simplex

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the reason behind the manifestation of herpes outbreaks on your body. This virus has two forms: herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2). The HSV type 1 is the cause of oral herpes, which can be also called herpes labialis or cold sores. Usually, this type of herpes forms on the lips and near the mouth but sometimes it can spread to the nose and cheeks. In some particular cases the herpes simplex 1 can be also the cause of genital herpes. This can happen when an infected mouth gets in contact with genitals, like in the case of oral intercourse.

herpes simplex

Normally, is the HSV type 2 that causes genital herpes. The virus develops on genitals (penis and vagina) but can also spread on the anus and glutes. The herpes simplex usually manifests on the body when the immune system is weakened. When this happens it is more likely that the virus, which stays dormant inside the body, will show on your skin. Here below you can find the situation that can trigger an herpes outbreak:

  • very high or low temperature
  • fever
  • menstruation
  • stress
  • seasonal changes
  • dehydration

How do you get herpes?

The herpes simplex virus is transmitted through direct or indirect contact with an infected person. Usually, the virus enters inside the body through cuts, abrasions or scratches on the skin. After that, the HSV is going to lie dormant inside nerve cells waiting to manifest at first occasion. The herpes simplex 1 is transmitted through saliva or through the contact with the infected area. The easiest way to get this type of herpes is through kisses or speaking too close to an infected person.

The herpes simplex 2 is transmitted through sexual activities with or without penetration. Since sometimes the virus does not show any symptoms, it is very important to be extremely careful when engaging with a new partner and always use protections. This is because even if the virus is dormant inside the body there is still a high risk to transmit it, especially through any body fluid, like sperm or saliva. Another possible way to transmit the virus of genital herpes is in the case of pregnancy. At the moment of birth, if the mother is infected she can transmit the virus to the child.

Recent studies have found that the 62% of the American population has contracted the herpes simplex 1 during adolescence. In the case of herpes simplex 2, women are more exposed. It has been found that about 1 in 4 women have HSV-2, compared to 1 in 8 men. This is because the female reproductive system is more internal and that facilitate the exposure to sexual transmitted diseases like the herpes simplex type 2.

Herpes simplex symptoms:

Usually, the first herpes outbreak is the strongest because the body has not experienced it before and it is not yet prepared. During time they will become less strong and also less frequent. The way that the virus manifest on your body is through fluid-filled blisters, which eventually are going to break open and leave you with small crusts. There are few symptoms that can make you aware of an upcoming outbreak. In the case of herpes simplex 1 you may experience a tingling sensation or itch on the mouth or around it and sometimes fever or sore throat. In the case of herpes simplex 2 usually the first symptom is a tingling sensation and discomfort in the genital area. In women there may be also vaginal discharge and internal pain. It is possible to experience fever, headache, muscles aches, swollen lymph glands in the groin and painful urination when the blisters will manifest.

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