Genital herpes

Pelvis | Urology | Genital herpes (Disease)


Genital herpes is a common sexually transmissible infection (STI). Symptoms of herpes genitalis include genital pain, vaginal pain, genital sores, penile discharge, vaginal discharge. Less common symptoms of herpes genitalis include fever, headache, muscle aches, pain during urination, and swollen lymph glands in the groin. After the initial infection, symptoms of herpes genitalis usually lasts 14 to 21 days. Additional episodes are usually more mild and last for 7 to 10 days.

Causes and Risk factors

Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two forms of the herpes simplex virus – HSV1 and HSV2. HSV1 more commonly occurs around the mouth but can also occur on the genitals. HSV2 occurs mainly on and around the genital area.

Recurrences are usually less painful and shorter in duration than the first episode. Over time, recurrent episodes usually become less frequent and may eventually stop altogether. Infections caused by HSV1 are less likely to recur in the genital area than infections caused by HSV2.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you have frequent episodes, antiviral medications may be taken daily to reduce the likelihood of symptoms.

There are no medications to rid your body of the herpes virus. Treatment is aimed at easing symptoms and reducing the frequency of recurrences. Symptoms can be improved by:

(1) Salt baths

(2) Pain-relieving medicines – such as paracetamol

(3) Antiviral drugs – such as acyclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir. These drugs can reduce the severity of an attack if taken early enough (preferably within three days of symptoms appearing). ...

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