What is the Genital Herpes Virus?
Genital herpes is a very common sexually transmitted disease; there are more than 3 million cases in the United Sates per year. While many who have herpes do not exhibit symptoms, it can still be transmitted. There are two types of viruses which cause genital herpes: herpes simplex type 1 and herpes simplex type 2.
HSV-1 typically causes cold sores around your mouth, but the virus can be spread to the genitals via oral sex. HSV-2 is the more common virus that causes genital herpes; it is spread via skin-to-skin genital contact. Herpes can be spread to partners even when there are no open sores present. Find out more about other sexually transmitted diseases here.
Genital Herpes Symptoms
Like other sexually transmitted infections, many infected with genital herpes are not aware of it because they either don’t exhibit any symptoms or the symptoms they do have are incredibly mild. If you suspect you have been exposed to the genital herpes virus, look out for the following symptoms:
- Itching in the genital area within a few days to a week after being exposed to someone with genital herpes
- Red bumps and/or white blisters that bleed and ooze
- Ulcers and scabs that form as the blisters heal
- Painful urination
- Swollen lymph nodes in your groin area, muscle aches, fever, headache
Herpes can infect various parts of the body, including the mouth, anus, vaginal area, vulva, cervix, penis, scrotum, and urethra. Remember, you can spread the virus to other parts of your body by touching a sore and then touching another part of your body.
Furthermore, genital herpes symptoms can come and go over a long period of time. These recurrences typically are not as painful or long-lasting as the initial herpes occurrence.
Treatment for Genital Herpes Outbreaks
While there is no cure to genital herpes, there are a variety of medications out there that can ease the pain and reduce the frequency of outbreaks. For example, prescription antiviral medications like Zovirax, Famvir, and Valtrex are the most common drugs doctors prescribe to make living with genital herpes easier.
If you exhibit symptoms of genital herpes and see a doctor, typically you will be prescribed an antiviral pill as initial treatment. After the first outbreak, you can speak with a doctor about pursuing intermittent or suppressive genital herpes treatment.
For intermittent treatment, your doctor can prescribe an antiviral drug so that when you feel another herpes outbreak coming on, you can take the pills. Then your symptoms might be milder and shorter. Suppressive treatment is sometimes pursued with people who have frequent herpes outbreaks—around 7 or more a year. With suppressive herpes treatment, one might take an antiviral pill daily which can lead to no outbreaks at all.
Schedule an appointment with Advanced Urology
It you suspect that you’ve encountered someone with a genital herpes virus or you’re exhibiting unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor. The Advanced Urology Associates specializes in caring for both male and female sexually transmitted diseases. Call our experts at Advuro for more information at 815.409.4930. We offer services near Chicago, Joliet, Frankfort, New Lenox, Morris, and Naperville, Illinois.
Please visit any of our locations in the Chicagoland area:
Advanced Urology Morris
1401 Lakewood Dr. Unit 3
Morris, IL 60450
Advanced Urology Silver Cross Location
1890 Silver Cross Blvd.
Pavilion A, Ste. 430
New Lenox, IL 60451
Advanced Urology AUA Prostate Cancer Center
1541 Riverboat Center Drive
Joliet, IL 60431