Genital Herpes (HSV-2): Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
What is genital herpes?
One of the most common STIs or sexually transmitted infections today is genital herpes, aslo known as herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). As its term suggests, the condition refers to an infection involving the genitals or the sexual organs of both males and females. As defined, it can be acquired when during sexual intercourse, one of the sexual partners who has been diagnosed with the infection has transmitted it to the recipient.
Every year, the cases involving individuals who have genital herpes are increasing. Although this record may be very overwhelming, the availability of antiviral drugs makes it easier for infected individuals to recover immediately. However, careful observance of the treatment process is also necessary.
What are the symptoms of this infection?
Simple itchiness in any part of the sexual organ may be normal; however, it can already be a sign of genital herpes. But how do you know if you have been already infected? Are the symptoms enough to tell of your infection? What are the lists of warnings and symptoms that you need to consider?
Consider the following factors or symptoms that may contribute to someone’s suspicions of having been infected with the herpes virus.
- Itchiness on the genital region
- Pain and tingling sensation
- The appearance of small bumps, sometimes red or white
- Painful sores
- Annoying scabs
Note that when it comes to HSV-2, it involves the male and female sex organs. It involves the vagina, penis, and even the anus or buttocks. Moreover, the symptoms can also vary depending on the location where outbreaks occur.
What are the causes of genital herpes?
Generally, the infection is brought about by the herpes simplex virus. The said virus is also associated with two different types, from which these types are the main reasons or causes of the development of the said infection.
For example, when someone who has mouth sores or ulcers performs fellatio or blowjob, there is a high tendency that the recipient of the activity will acquire the same virus. Also, always remember that the virus can be found in different body fluids, such as your own blood, saliva, semen, and vaginal secretions.
This tells that if someone engages in unprotected sex, the rate of transmission is very high. That is why using protective barriers or condoms is highly recommended.
What are the risk factors of HSV-2?
It is a fact that most women acquire the said infection. This is evident with the rising number of cases involving women compared to a lesser rate of men’s infection. The main reason is that the virus is easily spread the sexual transmission is done from males to females.
Additionally, another risk factor for the transmission is by having multiple sexual partners. If you engage in different sexual activities with different sexual partners, you will likely get the illness.
How is the infection transmitted?
For this part, the most common way that the infection is transmitted is by sexual activity. Transmission is very likely to occur, most especially if the sexual partners do not use condoms or other protective barriers. Other than that, when someone engages in illegal drugs, not knowing that the shared needles or syringes used are already contaminated with the herpes virus.
What are its possible complications?
If this certain infection is not treated immediately, it can complicate and will welcome different health complications. Just like other infections, if treatment is not administered, it becomes difficult to provide the necessary medical care.
Here are the possible complications associated with genital herpes.
- The development of other sexually transmitted diseases
- The development of meningitis
- It becomes difficult to urination, plus the inflammation of the bladder
- Inflammation involving the rectum
- Blindness or brain damage (mostly for newborns)
How is HSV-2 diagnosed?
The diagnosis involving genital herpes follows different processes. First, the healthcare professional will perform a physical examination. Part of the examination is knowing where the outbreaks happen. The healthcare professional will look for sores or blisters on the genital area.
After that, the healthcare professional may also be likely to perform a blood test. A blood sample will be extracted from your blood and have it checked. Through these steps, you will receive an accurate diagnosis and begin your treatment as much as possible.
How is the infection treated?
When you obtain a diagnosis, you will also receive a prescription. That means that you need to start your treatment immediately to prevent acquiring more health complications. The most common way of treating the infection is by consuming antiviral drugs. Through these drugs, the symptoms will be alleviated and lessen the viruses’ effects on your body. Other than that, you will also need to take a shower every day to lessen the inflammation and keep your body clean. Always update the doctor of your progress and follow your prescription sincerely.