How you get Genital Herpes, what are the most common Genital Herpes symptoms and how you treat Genital Herpes fast.
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What is genital herpes?
It is a sexually transmitted viral infection that causes blisters on a person's genital skin (vagina, penis or testicles) or anus.
What are the symptoms?
* painful blisters and sores on the genitals
* tingling or pain in the area before the blisters appear
How common is it?
Genital herpes is very common affecting 1 in 3 adults. Upto 80% of people do not know they have the virus (Herpes Simplex) because they have few or no symptoms.
How do you get it?
The virus is usually transmitted from a cold sore on one partner's mouth to the other partner's genitals during oral sex, but can also be caught during sex if a partner has active genital sores. Sometimes the first episode of symptoms appears months or years after being first infected. This is why a first episode can occur during a current faithful sexual relationship. It is not clear why this happens, but may be due to the way the immune system reacts to the virus in different people.
Can it come back?
After the first episode, it can come back again even after a long time as the virus stays in your system. Flare-ups tend to be less severe and shorter than the first episode lasting from 7-10 days. Recurrences tend to be less frequent over time which can vary greatly between individuals. Some people have 6 or more a year, others have much less. Some people notice particular triggers like sunlight, physical illness, excess alcohol or stress that trigger a flare-up. You can use anti-viral treatments to control flare-ups.
What treatments are there?
There are treatments available called Aciclovir (Lovir) and Valaciclovir (Vaclovir). They work by preventing the virus from replicating so your immune system can fight the infection. If started early, it reduces the severity and duration of symptoms. These medications are only available on prescription.
How do I take it?
If this is your first episode, you must see your doctor for a swab and examination as sometimes other infections may be present that need treatment eg Chlamydia.
For a flare-up of confirmed genital herpes the treatment is 3 days of Vaclovir, or 2 days of Aciclovir.
If you are getting 6 episodes or more a year or severe attacks it is usually best to take Vaclovir or Aciclovir every day. The recurrences will either stop completely or their frequency and severity are greatly reduced. General advice is to take this for a year and stop for 3 months to see if the recurrences are still frequent or bothersome.
**Link to what genital herpes rash looks like: https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/genital-herpes-images/
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