Genital Herpes - Experience

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Genital herpes in women facts

  • Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
  • Herpes simplex virus causes genital herpes by entering the skin or mucous membranes through microscopic breaks in the skin and mucous membranes.
  • There are 2 types of HSV:
    • Herpes simples virus-1, that typically causes cold sores, and
    • Herpes simples virus-2, that typically causes genital herpes.
    • Either herpes simplex virus type can cause sores on the genital areas.
  • Genital herpes is transmitted by any type of sexual contact with the genital area.
  • When symptoms are present, they may include
    • painful blisters and/or ulcers in the genital area,
    • itching, and
    • burning or tingling sensations in the skin.
  • With the initial (first) genital herpes infection some individuals may develop symptoms of
    • fever,
    • body aches and
    • swollen lymph nodes
  • Genital herpes symptoms come and go over the person's lifetime due to reactivations of the virus.
  • Diagnosis is usually done by recognizing the skin changes in the genital area but viral cultures, genetic amplification of herpes simplex virus genome material and other tests may be done.
  • There is no cure for genital herpes, but there are medications to make living with genital herpes more manageable.
  • Antiviral medications are used to reduce the severity and frequency of genital herpes.
  • Genital herpes symptoms usually develop about four days after exposure to an infected person.
  • Some natural and home remedies may help relieve and soothe symptoms severity, but provide no cure.
  • Oral antiviral medications may be used in pregnancy. Check with your OB/GYN before taking any medications if you are pregnant.
  • The prognosis of genital herpes is variable: there is no cure, and the recurrent outbreaks may vary in frequency and severity.
  • Genital herpes prevention is difficult. Condoms may prevent the disease spread during sex, but not in areas of skin not covered by a condom or during oral to genital contact.
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