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Genital Herpes: Symptoms and Treatment

  • Published:
    02 December 2022
  • Updated:
    23 February 2024
What do you need to know about genital herpes?

Genital herpes is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), affecting the genitals and anus area. The disease is caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 - Herpes Simplex Virus. Anyone can get sick, but most carriers of genital herpes viruses don't know about them since they are latent.

Herpes infection is a chronic disease; once it gets into the body, it will remain lifelong.

Genital Herpes: Causes

Typically, a person gets infected with genital herpes through direct sexual contact. Infection can occur either by getting it from a sexual partner or by carrying the virus.

The risk of infection is much higher if one partner has herpes rashes on the skin and mucous membranes and there is close contact with another partner's skin and mucous membranes. Genital herpes exacerbations are provoked by hypothermia, physical and emotional stress, sexual intercourse, and ultraviolet exposure. Most people who become infected don't have any symptoms. In other cases, signs of herpes appear 2 to 20 days after being infected.

Symptoms of Genital Herpes

  • Flu-like manifestations - slight fever, chills, weakness, fatigue.
  • The appearance of small (2-5 mm), liquid-filled blisters on the genitals, buttocks, and anus.

The rashes are usually accompanied by itching and pain. Within a few days, the blisters burst, turning into painful ulcers. After 1 to 2 weeks, the ulcers, covered with crusts, heal.

There may also be other manifestations: pain in the groin or on the inner sides of the thighs, painful urination, and discharge from the urethra.

How to Protect Against the Herpes Virus

To avoid getting sick when you have sex, use a condom. Latex condoms, if they cover areas of skin with herpes rashes, can reduce the risk of transmission. Remember, people with active herpes should refrain from having unprotected sex. It is essential to know that even if a person does not have a manifestation of genital herpes, they can still infect their sexual partners.

Treatment for Genital Herpes

If a man detects symptoms in himself, he should not attempt self-treatment but promptly seek a urologist's assistance. The urologist will help determine whether it is herpes and, if necessary, provide guidance on how to treat the condition.

The sexual partners of infected people should be aware that they can become infected. How to talk about STDs, read in another article.

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