Genital Herpes: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Prevention & Treatments

Genital Herpes: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Prevention & Treatments post thumbnail image

Many people are affected by HSV and they are not even aware of the infection. In this way, genital herpes which is usually transmitted through skin contact can remain undetected for many months and years. It has some common symptoms that are normal with other sexually transmitted diseases. It is also one of the most common forms of STDs among sexually active people. The virus has the ability to stay in the body for many years without giving an outbreak. In this way, detection of genital herpes becomes a huge problem without a proper diagnosis. When you go for a simple blood test, you can get to know the condition and take suitable action to control the symptoms. It does not have any cure and you will have to treat the symptoms whenever there is an outbreak and it causes any pain or discomfort.

Symptoms of Genital Herpes:

The unique aspect of the symptoms of Genital Herpes is that they may not show immediately after getting affected. In some cases, the symptoms may not be visible for many days, and in other cases, they may not show up for many years at a stretch and still continue to be active in the body.

–  Even when they appear, they may not surface at once and the virus can show up once in a while and come to the surface of the skin.

–  When proper symptoms appear on the skin surface, it can be said that the virus had an outbreak and this is when most people realize that they are infected with HSV.

–  What begins as tiny blisters can drastically become big sores and it can be very painful.

–  Typical symptoms also include flu and swelling of the lymph nodes.

–  They can last for many weeks and give you severe pain even when you take treatment.

–  It is also accompanied by an itching sensation near the genitals and the rectum area.

–  You will usually notice symptoms near the genital area or the inner thighs.

–  Other symptoms include body pain and headaches that last for a long duration.

–   You should be very careful about this disease when you are pregnant as it can lead to various complications and there is a chance of the infection getting passed on to the baby during delivery. For this reason, many doctors even suggest such infected women undergo C-sections to avoid complications. It can be very dangerous for the baby as the brain can get affected by this virus.

–   You need to get in touch with your doctor as soon as you notice such symptoms as these can be clear symptoms of Genital Herpes. However, even other sexually transmitted diseases or simple yeast infections can show up with similar symptoms and your doctor will examine them thoroughly to determine HSV infection in your body.

Causes of Genital Herpes:

– HSV 1 Infection: Most people having this infection develop blisters around the mouth. They can also have cold sores and it easily spreads through skin contact. You can get infected in this manner and you can also infect another person without your knowledge in this manner. This can eventually spread to the genital area when partners indulge in oral sex. However, it is not common for people to develop genital herpes through this infection.

– HSV 2 Infection: this is what causes genital herpes in a maximum number of people as it spreads easily through sexual contact. It can also spread through skin contact and it is very contagious, unlike other viruses. Even when there are no symptoms in the form of open sores, you can contact an infection when your partner is infected with this virus. The strange thing about this infection is that you may not even get to see the symptoms for many months or even years.

Diagnosis of Genital Herpes:

– Physical Examination: When you are having some symptoms of genital herpes, you can visit your doctor and go for a physical examination. Remember that some of the symptoms are generic and they may also be caused due to other STDs and infections. For this reason, you should always consult a doctor and they will be able to figure out the presence of genital herpes through physical examination. Even you can monitor your personal hygiene and ensure that you clean your private parts after sexual activities. This can drastically reduce the chances of getting infected and you should always give importance to safe sexual practices. If they are not sure about the infection, they may refer you to go for additional blood tests to confirm the disease. It can happen in many cases as there may be very few or no symptoms for many months and years even after getting infected.

– Blood Test: it becomes very easy to detect the presence of HSV in your body when you go for blood tests. Your doctor will be able to determine the infection even when there are no symptoms in your body as the virus can lay dormant in the body for many years. If your partner is showing some symptoms, it is very much possible that you may also have that infection, and taking a blood test will provide clarity on this issue. Remember that you can even donate blood during this stage unless you have some symptoms. Once this is done, you may be given some medication to control the symptoms and provide relief from pain and discomfort.

Prevention of Genital Herpes:

You can use common sense when it comes to the prevention of genital herpes as it is similar to any other sexually transmitted disease. Always ensure that you use protection when you are with your partner even though this does not guarantee that you will not contract the virus. You must understand that using condoms can lessen the chances of getting infected as there will be less physical contact with the genital organs of the partner. In the same manner, when you notice that your partner is infected with genital herpes, you should completely abstain from sex as this can easily pass the virus to your body. It is also a good idea to use dental dams whenever you want to indulge in oral sex as this will protect you to some extent and you will reduce your chances of getting infected with the virus. Not only genital herpes but you will also be able to avoid various other STDs by using dental dams during oral sex. When you notice any infection, you can take a break for some time till the wounds heal and then get back to your normal life.

Treatment of Genital Herpes:

It is not possible to cure genital herpes as there is no particular medication for this disease. However, it is possible to control the symptoms by using some medication and home remedies.

– Medication: In most cases, antiviral medication is prescribed to control the outbreak. It can drastically reduce the symptoms within weeks and you will be able to go ahead with your everyday activities without any discomfort. Similarly, you may have to use medication for an extended duration to prevent future outbreaks as the virus remains dormant and can lead to an outbreak in the future.

– Home Remedies: Apart from the regular medication used to control the symptoms, you can also use home remedies as a treatment for genital herpes and this will give you good relief from pain and discomfort. You can use a warm bath to clean the affected area and always keep it as dry as possible to prevent the virus from growing in that area. You can also wear comfortable and loose clothing that allows air circulation as this can heal the wounds quickly and there will be less scope for the virus to grow in that situation. Apart from that, you can also use warm water to clean the affected area on a regular basis and dry them after this routine. This helps to curb the growth of the virus and the wounds will heal at a quicker pace with such remedies.

Complications of Genital Herpes:

– Pregnancy complications: If you are having an infection when you are about to deliver your baby, you may be at risk of passing on the virus to the newborn baby. While the infection is not life-threatening for adults in most cases, it can be fatal for the newborn baby. In some cases, it can also lead to blindness and brain damage in the long run. For this reason, it is a good idea to get yourself screened for genital herpes during your pregnancy even when there are no visible symptoms. If you notice any infection, you can take suitable precautions before your delivery.

– STD infection: When you are suffering from genital herpes, it becomes easy for the body to contract other sexually transmitted diseases. You can, however, reduce the chances of getting infected by using condoms and other protection. It is also a good idea to avoid oral sex when you have such problems as the virus can easily spread in this manner.

– Meningitis: This can also affect the cerebrospinal fluid which leads to inflammation of the spinal cord and brain. This can lead to various complications in the future when proper treatment is not given in the early stages. However, it is not common to get meningitis when you have genital herpes.

– Swelling of the urethra: The infection can also affect the urethra and this blocks the flow of urine for a long duration. In extreme cases, the urine needs to be drained through other means when the urethra is fully blocked due to complications of genital herpes.


There are many myths about genital herpes as people usually tend to get over-excited about sexual diseases. However, you need to get proper medical guidance and get yourself tested when you notice some symptoms and do not believe in the popular myths.

Myth #1. Herpes is forever:

This is entirely wrong and you need not worry about rashes and other symptoms. They will go away after a few weeks when you take proper medication. However, they may cause an outbreak in the future and you can again use medication to control the symptoms.

Myth #2 Herpes is contracted through toilet seats: This is not true as the virus usually cannot survive in the outside climate for a long time. It only happens with sexual interaction with other person and the virus in toilet seats will die as soon as they come into contact with the outside world.

Myth #3. Restrictions on blood donation: There are no restrictions with regards to donating blood and people suffering from genital herpes can safely donate blood if they do not have any symptoms during that period.

Myth #4. Genital Herpes is similar to HIV: It is not similar to HIV and it is very common even with people having only one partner. Remember that the virus usually stays dormant for many months and years and you can notice symptoms after a long time. In this way, many people affected do not even know about their status until they go for proper screening. Unless any symptoms are present, only a blood test can reveal the infection.


There is no need to stigmatize genital herpes as it is a common sexually transmitted disease among people having an active sex life. You need to understand the unique nature of this infection and remember that it can stay dormant for many years without showing any signs of infection. In this way, the person may be unknowingly transmitting the infection to the partner. However, once you get infected, there is no way to treat the problem and only symptoms can be controlled by using proper medication. The outbreak can happen in the future at any time and you need to take medication whenever there are some symptoms. Some people think that having genital herpes means that the person may be having sex with multiple partners. However, this may not be the case always as it can be transmitted even with a single sexual interaction. With proper care, it is not too difficult to manage this condition.

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