Genital herpes is a common condition affecting around 45 million people in the U.S. The herpes viruses responsible for genital herpes (herpes simplex virus type 2, or HSV-2; and, less commonly, herpes simplex virus type 1 or HSV-1) are transmitted through close personal contact such as sexual contact.
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,
►burning or tingling sensations in the skin.
►With the initial (first) genital herpes infection some individuals may develop symptoms of
►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.