Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Symptoms of genital herpes include painful blisters and often fever, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes for first time infection. Genital herpes is diagnosed with lab tests to test for the presence of the virus. Treatment for genital herpes includes antiviral medications to shorten the duration of the outbreak or reduce the risk of future outbreaks. There is no cure for genital herpes. Condoms may help prevent the spread of genital herpes. Read more: Genital Herpes in Women (Symptoms, Signs, Treatment) Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Is It Contagious? What Diseases Are Contagious?
Is it contagious? Take this quiz to learn about contagious diseases, how contagious diseases are spread, and myths and facts...
Genital Herpes Quiz: What is Genital Herpes?
What is genital herpes? Learn the causes, symptoms in men and women, and treatments for this common sexually transmitted skin...
STD Quiz: Symptoms, Testing & List
There are more sexually transmitted diseases than just the ones you've heard of. Find out what you've been missing with the STD...
Picture of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
A herpes virus that causes genital herpes, which is characterized by sores in the genital area. See a picture of Herpes Simplex...
Picture of Vagina
The vagina is an elastic, muscular canal with a soft, flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation. See a picture of...
12 Preventable STDs: Pictures, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and genital herpes are common STDs. Think you might have an STD? You’re not alone....
Viral Infection Types, Treatment, and Prevention
Watch this slideshow on Viral Infections and learn about types, treatment, and prevention of illnesses caused by viruses.
Related Disease Conditions
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection left untreated causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Still incurable, AIDS describes immune system collapse that opens the way for opportunistic infections and cancers to kill the patient. Early symptoms and signs of HIV infection include flu-like symptoms and fungal infections, but some people may not show any symptoms for years. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment for HIV infection. These combination drug regimens have made HIV much less deadly, but a cure or vaccine for the pandemic remains out of reach. HIV is usually transmitted through sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles, but can also infect someone through contact with infected blood. Sexual abstinence, safe sex practices, quitting IV drugs (or at least using clean needles), and proper safety equipment by clinicians and first responders can drastically reduce transmission rates for HIV/AIDS.
Genital Warts (HPV) Infection in Women
Genital warts is a sexually transmitted infection (STI, STD) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most common STD in the US. The warts can appear anywhere on the skin where sexual contact has occurred. The warts look like raised, flesh-colored lumps or bumps that have a cauliflower-like appearance. Signs and symptoms of genital warts in women include vaginal, vulva, or groin pain, itching, and burning where the wart(s) is. Treatment can remove warts or lesions, but it does not prevent spread of the virus, and the warts usually grow back. Removing genital warts does not prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere on the body. There is no cure for genital warts, and there is no vaccine to prevent them; however, there is a vaccine to prevent infection from four common types of HPV. Gardasil vaccine available for female adolescents and teens to prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States. STDs can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sex organs, the anus or mouth, or through contact with blood during sexual activity. Examples of STDs include, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, pubic lice (crabs), and scabies. Treatment is generally with antibiotics; however, some STDs that go untreated can lead to death.
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Bell's Palsy (Facial Nerve Problems) Paralysis Causes and Treatments
Bell's palsy is one type of facial nerve paralysis. The 7th cranial nerve controls the muscles of the face, and although scientists do not know the exact cause of Bell's palsy, they think it may be due to nerve damage from an infection, for example, the flu, common cold viruses, and more serious infections like meningitis. The symptoms of Bell's palsy vary from person to person, but can include mild weakness to total paralysis, dry eye, dry mouth, eyelid drooping, drooling, mouth drooping, dry mouth, changes in taste, and excessive tearing in one eye. People with Bell's palsy usually don't need medical treatment, however, drugs like steroids, for example, prednisone seem to be effective in reducing swelling and inflammation are used when medical is necessary. Most people with Bell's palsy begin to recover within two weeks after the initial onset of symptoms. Full recovery may take three to six months.
Women's health is an important topic area to guide a woman through the stages of her life, as well as knowing the conditions and diseases that may occur. Educating yourself so that the transitions into different phases of life is key to a healthy, happy, and productive life.
Cold Sores (Nongenital Herpes Simplex Infections)
Herpes simplex infections are common and when they appear around the mouth and lips, people often refer to them as "cold sores" and "fever blisters." Canker sores are different than cold sores. Air droplets can spread the virus, as can direct contact with the fluid from the blisters. Cold sore treatment include over-the-counter medication, as well as prescription medications.
STDs in Men
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. STDs in men cause no symptoms or symptoms like genital burning, itching, sores, rashes, or discharge. Common infections that are sexually transmitted in men include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C and B, genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital herpes. Some STDs in men are treatable while others are not. STDs are diagnosed with tests that identify proteins or genetic material of the organisms causing the infection. The prognosis of an STD depends on whether the infection is treatable or not. Use of latex condoms can help reduce the risk of contracting an STD but it does not eliminate the risk entirely.
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.
Narcolepsy (Definition, Symptoms, Treatment, Medication)
Causes of narcolepsy, a chronic disease of the central nervous system, have not been fully determined. Some theories include abnormalities in hypocretin neurons in the brain or an autoimmune disorder. Symptoms of narcolepsy include: excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, sleep paralysis, disturbed nocturnal sleep, and automatic behavior. Diagnosis of narcolepsy is based on a clinical evaluation, specific questionnaires, sleep logs or diaries, and the results of sleep laboratory tests. Treatments of narcolepsy symptoms include medication and lifestyle changes.
Enjoying a satisfying sex life as we age is important to both physical and mental health. As we age, diseases and conditions may pose challenges in our sexual health, and sexual experiences. Learn how to manage your conditions and still have a gratifying sex life as you age.
Vaginitis (Inflammation of the Vagina)
Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis can be caused by infections, menopause, or poor hygiene. Symptoms of vaginitis include vaginal itching, discharge, odor, pain, or discomfort. Treatment for vaginitis depends on the cause. Antibiotics may be necessary for some forms of vaginitis.
Pregnancy (Week by Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but others include breast swelling and tenderness, nausea and sometimes vomiting, fatigue, and bloating. Second trimester symptoms include backache, weight gain, itching, and possible stretch marks. Third trimester symptoms are additional weight gain, heartburn, hemorrhoids, swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face, breast tenderness, and trouble sleeping. Eating a healthy diet, getting a moderate amount of exercise, also are recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Information about the week by week growth of your baby in the womb are provided.
Sexual health information including birth control, impotence, herpes, sexually transmitted diseases, staying healthy, women's sexual health concerns, and men's sexual health concerns. Learn about the most common sexual conditions affecting men and women.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Pregnancy (STDs)
When you are pregnant, many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be especially harmful to you and your baby. These STDs include herpes, HIV/AIDS, genital warts (HPV), hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Symptoms include bumps, sores, warts, swelling, itching, or redness in the genital region. Treatment of STDs while pregnant depends on how far along you are in the pregnancy and the progression of the infection.
Herpes Viral Infections of the Eye
Herpes of the eye occurs due to herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). Symptoms of herpes of the eye include pain in and around the eye, rash or sores on the eyelids, redness, swelling, and cloudiness of the cornea.
Swollen Lymph Nodes (Glands)
Lymph nodes help the body's immune system fight infections. Causes of swollen lymph nodes (glands) may include infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasites). Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes vary greatly, but may include fever, night sweats, toothache, sore throat, or weight loss. Causes of swollen lymph nodes also vary, but may include cancer, the common cold, mono, chickenox, HIV, and herpes. The treatment of swollen lymph nodes depends upon the cause.
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV infection. Symptoms and signs of AIDS include pneumonia due to Pneumocystis jiroveci, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, seizures, weakness, meningitis, yeast infection of the esophagus, and Kaposi's sarcoma. Anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) is used in the treatment of AIDS.
Are Skin Rashes Contagious?
Direct and indirect contact can spread some types of rashes from person to person. Rash treatment depends upon a rash's underlying cause. A rash that sheds large amounts of skin warrants urgent medical attention. Rashes can be either contagious or noncontagious. Noncontagious rashes include seborrheic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, psoriasis, nummular eczema, drug eruptions, hives, heat rash (miliaria), and diaper rash. Rashes usually considered contagious include molluscum contagiosum (viral), impetigo (bacterial), herpes (herpes simplex, types 1 and 2 viruses), rash caused by Neisseria meningitides (N. meningitides) (bacterial), rash and blisters that accompany shingles (herpes zoster virus), ringworm (fungal) infections (tinea), scabies (itch mite), chickenpox (viral), measles and rubella (viral), erythema infectiosum (viral), pityriasis rosea (viral), cellulitis and erysipelas (bacterial), lymphangitis (bacterial, and folliculitis (bacterial).
Yeast infections vs. STDs in Men and Women
Local ResourcesFind a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- STD FAQs
- Genital Herpes FAQs
- Contagious FAQs
- Neonatal Sepsis (Sepsis Neonatorum)
- How Long After You Get Herpes Do You See an Outbreak?
- Can a Man Pass on Herpes Without Symptoms?
- Does Circumcision Prevent HIV and AIDS?
- Is Herpes During Pregnancy Dangerous to the Baby?
- Genital Herpes Treatment
- Genital Herpes Symptoms and Signs
- Ask The Experts: Women's Health
Medications & Supplements
- acyclovir ointment - topical, Zovirax
- acyclovir cream - topical, Zovirax
- valacyclovir - oral, Valtrex
- acyclovir - injection, Zovirax
- acyclovir - oral, Zovirax
- famciclovir, Famvir
- acyclovir, Zovirax
- Valtrex (valacyclovir)
- penciclovir cream - topical, Denavir
- Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
- foscarnet sodium - injection, Foscavir
- Sage (Salvia officinalis, Sage Leaf, Common Sage, Garden Sage, Black Sage)
- trifluridine drops - ophthalmic, Viroptic
- Valtrex (valacyclovir) vs. Famvir (famciclovir)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir) vs. Zovirax (acyclovir)
- Zovirax (acyclovir) vs. Abreva (docosanol)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir) vs. Valcyte (valganciclovir)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir) vs. Abreva (docosanol)
- Zovirax (acyclovir) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Side Effects of Valtrex (valacyclovir)
Prevention & Wellness
- Could MS Have Links to the Herpes Virus?
- Scientists ID Clue in Effort to Contain Herpes Virus
- Health Tip: Living With Herpes
- Experimental Genital Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise in Mice
- Dual Therapy Might Be Advance Against Genital Herpes, Animal Study Suggests
- Herpes Viruses Can Reactivate In Astronauts While in Space: Study
- Health Screenings Every Woman Needs
- Could Herpes Virus Help Cause Alzheimer's?
- Could Herpes Virus Play a Role in Alzheimer's?
- Fewer Americans Are Getting Herpes
- Vaginal Bacteria May Affect Herpes and Zika Transmission
- Genital Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise in Animal Trials
- Routine Testing for Genital Herpes of Little Benefit: U.S. Experts
- Injections Might Help Prevent Genital Herpes Transmission for Months: Study
- Task Force: Routine Genital Herpes Screening Not Recommended
- Experimental Genital Herpes Drug Shows Promise
- Experimental Gel Could Prevent Genital Herpes Infection
- Herpes Virus Tied to Angina Risk, Study Suggests
- Herpes Drug Might Help Control Spread of HIV, Too
- Genital Herpes Vaccine Shows Promise in Mouse Study
- Health Tip: Have Your Child's Eyes Checked
- HIV Prevention Drug Truvada Might Lower Genital Herpes Risk, Too
- Experimental Drug Shows Promise for Genital Herpes Treatment
- U.S. Teens More Vulnerable to Genital Herpes, Study Suggests
- Immune Cell Discovery May One Day Lead to Herpes Vaccine: Study
- Could Herpes Virus Affect Memory in Older Adults?
- New Vaccine Strategy May Fight Genital Herpes, Mouse Study Suggests
- Herpes Drugs Don't Stop Herpes Spread
- Hopeful Genital Herpes Vaccine Misses the Mark
- Genital Herpes' Silent Spread
- Herpes Drugs May Be Safe in Early Pregnancy
- Vaginal Gel May Prevent HIV
- Most Young Adults: Oral Sex Is Not Sex
- CDC: Genital Herpes Rates Still High
- Genital Herpes' Reactivation Better Understood
- Genital Herpes May Never Go Dormant
- Half a Billion Have Genital Herpes Virus
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter