Genital herpes is contagious, incurable, but treatable. Genital herpes can also be asymptomatic, meaning an individual who has contracted the infection may not exhibit any signs and symptoms.
However, when people do show herpes symptoms, they usually report flu-like symptoms such as pain, tenderness, fever, body aches, nausea, and blisters/sores.
It is primarily transmitted via sexual contact, which includes contact with blisters as well. The herpes virus has two types: HSV 1 (oral herpes) and HSV 2 (genital herpes). Although HSV 2 was the primary cause of the spread of genital herpes, the cases of genital herpes caused by HSV 1 has also been on the rise of late.
There are preventative measures one can take to prevent getting infected, and there are also treatment options available to eliminate the symptoms and lower the risk of transmission.
Genital Herpes Signs
In most cases, individuals begin to experience symptoms within 2-4 days of their exposure to the virus. The initial genital herpes symptoms are typically itchy rashes or blisters, which can become pus-filled and may bleed.
A typical outbreak lasts 4-5 days. Despite the fact that the infection can carry significant risk for both men and women, women are more likely to get genital herpes than men as the female anatomy allows the virus more opportunity to burrow into the body.
Diagnosis of Genital Herpes
Medical professionals test the blood or tissue for the detection of the herpes antibodies in the body. A regular STD test is vital as the herpes virus can remain dormant in the body without causing any symptoms. Women may need more invasive testing, and men may need to provide a urine sample as well as a blood sample for conclusive results.
Being informed about an infection is of utmost importance to avoid other health complications and prevent the transmission of the virus to others. After successful treatment, some may experience an outbreak recurrence triggered by environmental factors such as infections and stress.
Treating Genital Herpes
Once you get a conclusive diagnosis, the standard method of genital herpes treatment is antiviral drugs. Some patients may take medications regularly to lower the risk of transmission of the virus as well as prevent outbreaks. Without proper care and treatment, genital herpes can lead to many serious complications, as well as the unintended spread of the STD.
Make sure you share all pertinent information your doctor and understand genital herpes and its treatment in order to live a normal and healthy life. If you have a long-term partner, an open conversation with them is also an important step to have a healthy and risk-free sex life.
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