Genital herpes symptoms can be transmitted from one person to another through sexual activity.
Genital herpes is one of the most common types of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The symptoms of this infection can be very bothersome. Genital herpes symptoms may vary depending on the person’s level of health. Healthy individual usually don’t experience severe problems with the disease.
In most cases, the symptoms never seem to exist, or they may be so mild that affected individuals won’t even know that they are infected. However, in some cases, the disease may cause painful sores in the genitals which are very itchy.
After the being infected for the first time, the virus may remain dormant inside the body, particularly below the skin, in the nerve cells. The virus may reactivate from time to time, which causes more sores. Factors that cause reactivation of the virus include: menstruation, having a new sexual partner, illness, and stress. As time goes by, the chances of reoccurrence lessens and the sores doesn’t hurt as much and heals faster.
Causes of Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is caused by two types of herpes simplex virus. The herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2. The type 1 virus usually causes genital herpes symptoms such as fever blisters and cold sore in the mouth. However, it may also spread into the genitals through oral sex.
On the other hand, herpes simplex virus type 2 is the common cause of genital herpes. The virus can be transmitted in two ways, through skin-to-skin contact and sexual contact. This type of herpes simplex virus is high contagious and one of the most common. They can be acquired even if you don’t have any open sore.
Furthermore, the virus doesn’t have the capability to live outside the body for too long. This makes it impossible for the disease to be transmitted through objects such as towels and toilets.
Genital Herpes Symptoms
Genital herpes symptoms vary greatly from one person to the other. In most cases, there would be no onset of symptoms or it may be so mild that the affected person won’t even notice it. However, some people may experience bothersome symptoms such as severe pain. The symptoms may even be confusing that some may associate it with other diseases such as vaginosis and yeast infection.
The genital herpes symptoms may vary during the primary outbreak and during the reoccurrence of the disease. The symptoms during the primary outbreak tend to be more severe and last longer than recurrent outbreaks. Primary outbreak symptoms may include flu-like symptoms such as: muscle aches, headache, and fever, which usually gets better after a few days. Redness, itching, burning, and tingling may occur at the affected site. Itchy and painful blisters appear on the vagina of the women, or penis of the men. These blisters may also appear in clusters or alone. They may also affect surrounding areas such as the scrotum, thighs, buttocks, or anus. They may grow as large as a coin or remain small that is barely noticeable. These blisters may soon break and becomes oozing, shallow, and painful sores. The affected individual may also experience pain during urination. Abnormal discharges in the urethra or vagina may appear.
In some cases, symptoms may appear after several months or years after acquiring the infection. This makes it contagious due to difficulty identifying manifestations of the disease in sexual partners.
On the other hand, recurrent outbreaks of the herpes simplex virus also have blisters that are very painful. These blisters may rupture and becomes sores, which may take 6 to 12 days to heal. They are usually painful during the first 24 hours of their appearance. Symptoms of reoccurring outbreaks usually are limited to swollen glands, sores, and blisters. Flu-like symptoms doesn’t manifest in most cases. Recurrent outbreaks do not usually last long and is less severe.
In most cases, genital herpes symptoms are more sever in women compared to men.
Genital Herpes Treatment
There is no cure for genital herpes. However, certain medications such as antivirals may aid in relieving discomfort and pain during outbreaks. It also helps the sores heal more quickly. Medications for genital herpes includes: valacyclovir, famciclovir, and acyclovir.
For recurrent outbreaks, it is important to take these medications as soon as blisters appear or itching, burning, or tingling begins. They may also be required to take them daily over a period of time. By doing so, it shortens the length of the disease and helps prevent future outbreaks. It may also lessen the possibility of transmitting the disease.
People with genital herpes symptoms are also recommended to avoid extreme sunlight or heat, to prevent irritation and provide comfort. Using douches, feminine deodorant, antibacterial soaps, or perfumes is also discouraged. Wearing loose and comfortable cotton clothing is also an effective way to promote comfort. In cases of pain, mediations such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen may be taken.
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