Genital herpes is a communicable viral infection located in the genital area that affects mostly women. It is sexually transmitted and is usually blistered, itchy and painful.
The disease is caused by and most often associated with the herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2. The infection caused by HSV-1 initially appear as fever blisters and cold sores around the mouth that may take two or more weeks to heal and can spread to the genital area during oral sex. On the other hand, HSV-2 is commonly associated with genital herpes that is harder to diagnose unless a laboratory test is done, because it can have no early symptoms but can still easily spread to the sexual partner.
Infection outbreaks may be elicited by stress, menstruation, immune system suppression, illness, surgery, friction caused by vigorous sexual intercourse and fatigue and may affect both men and women. Affected patients may experience lesions in the external genitalia accompanied by myalgia and fever. However, in some situations, the disease can be contagious even without experiencing any symptoms.
Genital herpes cannot be cured and no vaccines are yet available to eliminate it, but there are anti-viral medications, fusion and helicase-primase inhibitors and dietary supplements that may reduce the duration of the infection, lessen the risk of transmission through kissing and sexual contact and prevent future outbreaks.
Barrier protection is the best method to keep away from being infected by STDs that include genital herpes. A person should also observe proper hygiene, refrain from or limit sexual contact to only one who is proven free from infection. Proper use of condoms can also lessen the threat of contracting genital herpes. Always remember that open communication with your sexual partner is very important.
Consult your doctor if you think you are suffering from genital herpes or see any sign of infection. Doctors usually can spot genital herpes by blood testing and obtaining a tissue sample of the sores and blisters for laboratory examination.