Genital Herpes Treatment

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Order Genital Herpes Treatment online without seeing a doctor by filling in a simple online questionnaire. Our online doctor and pharmacy service offers a convenient and confidential way to get treatment for genital herpes. Dr Felix offe

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What is genital herpes?

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection. It produces small blisters around the genitals or anus which then burst, leaving red sores. It can take months or years for symptoms to appear, if ever. Once you contract the virus it lays dormant inside your body, occasionally producing outbreaks of visible sores and blisters. 

How do you catch genital herpes?

Genital herpes are caught by having sexual contact with a partner who has an outbreak of herpes. 

What are the different types of herpes?

There are several different types of herpes. Different strains of the herpes virus; one causes cold sores around the mouth and the other causes genital herpes. HSV-1, Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 is highly contagious and is passed on during kissing or close contact with someone who has a visible cold sore. The Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2) is spread through sexual contact and leads to genital herpes.

Who should get tested for genital herpes?

Anyone with visible symptoms should get tested for herpes. The first instance of genital herpes will produce the following symptoms: 

  • Blisters which burst to leave red, open sores around the genitals, thighs and buttocks 
  • Ulcers and blisters on the cervix 
  • Discharge from the vagina 
  • Pain during urination 
  • Feeling achy and unwell with flu-like symptoms 

What is shedding?

Shedding is when a virus has successfully reproduced within the cells that it has infected. After this, the original location of the virus releases it so that it can be spread to another person. This is one way that the herpes virus can be spread. 

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of Genital Herpes?

You may not get symptoms right away so it's possible to have genital herpes for months, even years, without knowing. The first time you have symptoms is called primary infection. These symptoms include: 

  • Small blisters around your genitals or buttocks. These will burst to leave red, open sores 
  • Cervical blisters and ulcers 
  • Discharge from the vagina 
  • Painful urination 
  • Feeling generally unwell with flu-like symptoms 

The sores will heal and disappear on their own but it's common to have recurring outbreaks. The symptoms of an outbreak are slightly different from your first infection and tend to be milder. These symptoms include: 

  • Itching, burning or tingling sensation around the genitals 
  • Painful red blisters which burst to leave open sores 
  • Blisters and ulcers on the cervix 

Genital Herpes vs Oral Herpes

There are two types of the herpes virus, one affecting the genitals and the other causing cold sores around the mouth. The Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) is the strain which causes cold sores and is highly contagious. This may be referred to as oral herpes but cold sores are not passed on during sexual contact; they can be passed on by kissing, sharing drinks or cutlery or general close contact with someone with an active cold sore. Genital Herpes are passed on during sexual contact and are caused by HSV-2, Herpes Simplex Virus type 2. 

What are the long term effects of genital herpes?

Genital herpes is a relatively harmless virus and rarely causes additional problems. It is a long term condition which causes the herpes virus to live inside your body, remaining dormant most of the time. You may have recurring outbreaks several times a year but some people may only have a few outbreaks of herpes in their lifetime. Some individuals may only experience an outbreak once. 

Treatment

How is genital herpes treated?

Antiviral tablets such as Aciclovir are prescribed to treat genital herpes. The first time you have symptoms and visible blisters or sores, you will need to visit a doctor or sexual health clinic to get treatment and stop the virus from multiplying. Aciclovir is taken for a minimum of five days. If you have more than six outbreaks of herpes a year then you'll be given a daily treatment of Aciclovir which is known as suppressive treatment. For mild symptoms and occasional outbreaks, keep the infected area clean and use an ice pack or cold flannel to soothe and speed up healing. Drinking lots of water and applying petroleum jelly to the blisters will ease the pain experienced during urination. 

Is genital herpes curable?

There is no cure for the herpes virus. It is a long term condition which lies dormant the majority of the time, causing occasional outbreaks. If your symptoms are severe or frequent, it can be managed effectively with antiviral medication. 

What are the risks if genital herpes is left undiagnosed and untreated?

If genital herpes is left undiagnosed and untreated it makes the virus more likely to spread and can affect other areas of the body such as the brain or organs in people with weakened immune systems. It will also mean you are at risk of more frequent outbreaks and uncomfortable, severe symptoms. 

How effective are condoms at preventing spreading herpes?

While using condoms lower your chances of catching or spreading herpes, they only cover the penis and therefore don't protect against other areas which carry the infection. For example, if you experience sores around the buttocks and thighs. Dental dams can help to prevent women from spreading herpes to a same sex partner. Even when you don't have active symptoms, blisters or sores, the virus can still be shed from the skin and passed on during skin-to-skin contact. It is estimated that a person with herpes is contagious in this manner 10% of the time.

Q&A

Can genital herpes cause nerve damage?

Genital herpes don't normally cause further health problems. On rare occasions, the virus can spread to other parts of the body including the brain and nervous system. This is very rare however and is more likely to affect individuals with a weak immune system.

How can we safely conceive a child if one of us has herpes?

If you have an outbreak of genital herpes around the time you are trying to get pregnant, the risk of you passing it on to the baby is extremely low at 1%. If your partner has herpes and you don't, they should take antiviral medication to lower the risk of passing it on to you. 

When is the best time to get tested?

You should get tested for genital herpes as soon as you notice any visible symptoms. You can only be tested for herpes during an outbreak of blisters or sores. 

Can you contract genital herpes by any other means than sex?

Herpes can be contracted during sexual contact. This includes any means where bodily fluids are exchanged or skin to skin contact with a partner who has an outbreak of blisters or sores. Shedding is another possible means of contracting the virus. This can occur even when an infected person has no visible symptoms and happens when the skin in the infected area releases the virus to another person. 

Is herpes an STI?

Herpes is an STI which is passed on during sexual contact. 

Who is most at risk of genital herpes?

Women are more at risk of genital herpes than men as are people with multiple sexual partners.

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