Genital herpes are sores or painful blisters in the genital area. It is commonly a sexually transmitted infection. Genital herpes may be different for each person. It may recur several times in some people and less frequent in others. Once infected, the virus lies dormant in your body and may reactivate at later stages.Usually, genital herpes is less severe when it recurs.
Genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus. There are two types of herpes simplex virus that causes genital herpes:
- HSV-1: this type usually causes cold sores around your mouth and it usually spreads by skin-to-skin contact. Recurrences are less common in this type.
- HSV-2: this type commonly causes genital herpes. It can spread through sexual contact
Symptoms of genital herpes may begin two to twelve days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include:
- Pain and itching in genital area
- Ulcers, blisters or sores in the genital area
- Painful urination
- Flu like symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches and fever
Diagnosis of genital herpes includes:
- Physical examination
- Viral culture
- PCR test
- Blood tests
The best way to prevent genital herpes is to refrain from sexual intercourse. If you do have sex, you can lower your risk of getting infected and spreading infection by the following steps:
- Use condoms
- Avoid douching
- Get tested for infections
- Avoid alcohol or drugs intake
There is no complete cure for genital herpes. Treatment involves use of antiviral medications that helps in fastening the healing process, reducing frequency of recurrence, reducing severity and minimising the chances of spreading the infection to another person.
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