What is genital herpes, symptoms and how to prevent it?

The Genital herpes It is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases that exists among people. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus, it is more common in women than in men, probably because transmission occurs through men to women rather than through women to men.

There are two types of herpes that can cause this disease, the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), a herpes that commonly appears in the mouth and through practices such as oral sex goes directly to the genitals, causes approximately 10% of cases of genital herpes.

And the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). This type of herpes is more common because it occurs through the exchange of fluids during sex and can be transmitted to the couple, causing 90% of cases of genital herpes.

People are at risk of getting herpes if they touch the skin of people with blisters, rashes or ulcers related to herpes, in many cases people do not know about the disease and this causes that the transmission is more frequent.

What are the symptoms of genital herpes?

Many people do not have symptoms that show the infection and some others show symptoms such as:

  • General discomfort
  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Muscle pains in the lower back
  • Pain in the buttocks, legs and knees
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the crotch
  • Pain when urinating
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder, a bladder catheter may be necessary

After several days of having contracted the genital herpes infection, both man and woman present sensations of heat and burning, the skin turns pink and blisters filled with fluid appear in the affected area.

These blisters come together to form a large blister that ends up breaking generating a wound called genital ulcer, which is very painful. A second outbreak of blisters may come shortly after the first one but it is less strong, less painful and less durable.

This disease is contagious and to date there is no cure. Some medicines such as Aciclovir or Valaciclovir help to fight the virus by decreasing the effect and helping to heal wounds faster. It is necessary to take medicines as soon as symptoms such as itching and burning appear, so that the medicine is more effective.

If the outbreaks are very frequent, the medicine should be taken daily; helping people prevent future outbreaks and even reduce the likelihood of passing it on to others.

Pregnant women can be treated during the last month of pregnancy to try to avoid transmission to the baby during delivery and if there are blister outbreaks in the days close to delivery, it can be recommended to make a cesarean.

How to prevent genital herpes

Some methods of genital herpes prevention are:

  • The correct and constant use of condoms of latex to prevent the spread and infection.
  • The use of female condoms, also effective to prevent infection.
  • Have sex with stable partners helps to prevent contagion, you must have confidence in the relationship and the person must be informed of the health condition of the couple.
  • Performing medical tests to rule out sexually transmitted infections periodically is useful to prevent them and in case of positive results helps people to treat themselves and avoid spreading them.
  • Do not perform oral sex on people with genital herpes and not let people with oral herpes perform oral sex.
  • Suspend sexual intercourse if genital herpes infection is suspected or if malformations such as redness or sores in the genital area are observed.
  • Fidelity between couples helps prevent infection for herpes and any sexually transmitted disease.

In general terms, to maintain a sexual life full of health it is important to be responsible sexual individuals.

There are many factors that can lead people to unfavorable health conditions that can end up harming both the health and the fertility of people; In addition, if people are healthy and maintain excellent communication with the couple supporting a relationship full of trust, love and fidelity; all these inconveniences and even unwanted pregnancies are avoided. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.

Women's Health : Symptoms of Vaginal Herpes (March 2023)