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Understanding Genital Herpes
Written By : Dr. James Pendergraft 
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HSV or 'Herpes Simplex Virus' is the virus which causes Genital Herpes. This virus is highly infectious and transmits from one to another due to contact with skin, like oral, vaginal or anal sex.

Causes of Genital Herpes:

The presence of HSV on the facade of the skin is enough to be transmitted to a partner. This virus is transmitted easily through the moist parts of the skin like the anus, genitals and the mouth. In a few cases, there are chances of getting infected even through other parts of the body like the skin or the eyes, which would be affected by 'Herpes Simplex'.

Genital herpes does not get transmitted through cups, towels or cutlery, as the virus is short lived when is not on the skin. Once diagnosed with HSV, this virus is reactivated very fast and causes a 'new bout of genital herpes'. This phenomenon is called 'recurrence'. Once you are infected by this virus, it lives within the nerves of the skin, but there are no symptoms. This is mostly inactive, but it gets reactivated every now and then.

The reason for the recurrence of HSV is not known, but there are certainly a few causes which accountable for the indications of the recurrence of genital herpes. For instance, abrasion in the genital area could be at the time of intercourse, which could be a cause of recurrence. There are other causes like, stress, excessive intake of alcohol, falling ill and the genital area being exposed to strong sunlight.

Symptoms of Genital Herpes:`

In most cases of HSV, there are no symptoms at the initial stages and this in turn does not make the sufferer aware of the condition. It is to be noted that, the symptoms of this virus are not known for a long period of time and in some cases not known for years too. In case you face any indications of the infection initially, it might be between four to seven days after being infected by HSV. This indication which appears is known as the primary infection. In case of indications of a primary infection, the condition is known to be a lot more severe as compared to the recurrent infections.

Symptoms of primary genital herpes are; vaginal discharge in case of women, fever, red blisters which are painful, these blisters burst and leave behind ulcers on the buttocks, rectum, external genital area and thighs, pain while passing urine, in case of women there is ulceration and blister on the cervix and a general feeling of being unwell.

These symptoms generally tend to last for about twenty days. In case of recurrent infections the symptoms would be again ulceration and blisters on the cervix in case of women, red blisters which are painful and a burning or tingling feeling in the area surrounding the genitals before the appearance of the blister. These symptoms tend to last for about seven to ten days.

Treatment of Genital Herpes:

Treatment of genital herpes depends on whether the treatment is for recurrent infection or for the first time. In case it is the first time, the treatment is done by a GUM that is Genito Urinary Medicine specialist in case you are not able to meet a GUM specialist you should at least consult a general physician who would put you on a course of anti viral tablets. In case of recurrent infection your general physician would treat you with a mild dose as the infection is less when it recurs.

There is also an episodic treatment for 6 recurrent infections in a year. Besides, there is the suppressive treatment done in case of more than six recurrent infections in a year.

To Your Health!

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