Genital Herpes: Transmission and Complications
Defining Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is recognized as a form of sexually transmitted infection that affects mostly an individual’s genitals, whether it be the penis or vagina. The said infection involves HSV (herpes simplex virus), which negatively stirs both genders. When someone is engaged in unprotected sex, there is a high chance of the infection’s transmission, most especially if the sexual partner is infected with the virus.
Similar to other infections, genital herpes can also happen without the caution of different symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, they can be as follows:
Similar to other communicable diseases, genital herpes also occurs without the development of different symptoms. However, if these symptoms do happen, consider the following:
- Painful sores in or outside the vagina or penis
- Itchiness of the skin
- Appearance of small to big bumps
- Development of painful blisters (usually filled with fluid)
The treatment involving this infection can be easily accessed today, given the availability of antiviral drugs. However, when the treatment is already administered, the virus remains within the body but inactive. Furthermore, if treatment is not given, other health complications will emerge.
How does transmission happen involving genital herpes?
As already mentioned, this condition is a form of STI (sexually transmitted infection). It is acquired when sexual contact is performed without using any protective barriers. The transmission rate becomes extreme when outbreaks occur. During these times, the virus is active, making transmission very likely, regardless of gender.
In terms of protective barriers, the most common device used is condoms. Aside from that, dental dams are also used when performing oral sex. Regardless of the type of sexual contact, whether it be oral, vaginal, or even anal sex, infection associated with herpes is highly likely to occur. Transmission can happen if there are no precautions observed by both parties.
The development of painful sores and annoying blisters is enough to say that an individual is experiencing an outbreak. Simple contact with any of these symptoms makes transmission very impossible. However, this isn’t all. Even if an outbreak is absent, the illness is still probable. That is why ensuring the usage of condoms during sexual intercourse is necessary.
Getting aware if an individual has herpes
There is no concrete guideline to know if an individual has already been tainted with the said infection. If you will base certain speculation given the development of sores and blisters, yes, that would be acceptable. However, you must also know that not all individuals experience symptoms. It means that even if an individual has not developed any of the signs provided above, the transmission can occur.
For individuals who have already been diagnosed, it is their prime responsibility to prevent widespread transmission. In doing so, the number of cases involving individuals with the illness can be lessened. Furthermore, it makes treatment and recovery more efficient.
Always note that even if you have this infection, you can still enjoy your usual sexual pleasure. Just make sure that you are keeping it safe and will not be a reason for widespread transmission.
What is the relationship between herpes and pregnancy?
Correlative to other illnesses, infection involving genital herpes can also happen in infants. While this can be a very daunting aspect, the number of pregnant women having normal child-bearing and delivery is satisfactory. Given this report, it is still a must for pregnant and breastfeeding women to take the necessary precautionary measures.
A regular visit to the doctor will also help in knowing how your condition progresses. Following your doctor’s advice and instructions can help largely in preventing the infection from harming your unborn baby.
Complications involving the infection
As mentioned, if there is no treatment given, the infection can open doors for different health complications. What are these complications? Below is the list of health concerns associated with genital herpes:
- Occurrence of other STDs – The absence of antiviral drugs administration increases someone’s risk of acquiring STDs.
- Proctitis – This condition refers to the inflammation involving the rectum. It usually occurs to men having sex with other men.
- Meningitis – This condition refers to the swelling of the membranes lining or covering the brain and spinal cord.
How to prevent the transmission?
Aside from using different treatment options, such as consuming antiviral drugs to avoid acquiring other health complications, there are ways to prevent yourself from having the infection. These are as follows:
- Avoid engaging in any sexual activity when you have an outbreak. Note that transmission is active and spiking when you are having an outbreak.
- Use condoms and other protective barriers when having sex. Aside from halting possible transmission, it also keeps your sexual partner safe.
- When having an outbreak, always keep your body clean. You can do so by taking a warm shower, which can also alleviate the itchiness and annoying discomfort caused by blisters or sores.
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