What is genital herpes?

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by two types of virus, that being herpes simplex virus type one (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type two (HSV-2). The area of herpes infection will include the area around the mouth, near the genitals, or rectum.

What is oral herpes?

Oral herpes is caused by HSV-1, resulting in one or more small blisters around the mouth. Many people never get any symptoms despite unknowingly carrying HSV-1 in their body, as they may have been infected during childhood or young adulthood from other people’s saliva.

What is the link between genital herpes and oral herpes?

Oral herpes came from HSV-1 and can be spread from mouth to genitals through oral sex, hence why some cases of genital herpes are the cause of HSV-1.

How is genital herpes spread?

Through sexual contact, be it vaginal, oral, or anal sex with the infected person and from non-sexual contacts such as saliva or direct contact with herpes sores.

How can I reduce my risk of getting genital herpes?

Avoid having vaginal, oral, or anal sex is the only way to avoid STDs, though, if you’re sexually active, few steps will lower the chance of getting genital herpes such as,

  • Be in a committed monogamous relationship with a partner that was tested negative for STDs or
  • Use a condom for every sexual activity.
    Condoms are useful for cutting risks of getting STDs, but herpes can appear in areas not covered by the condoms. If you’d like to avoid getting herpes, the least you can do is avoid having sex completely when your partner is having herpes symptoms.

What are the common symptoms of herpes?

Herpes symptoms are usually mild to none, and it’s mostly mistaken for being pimples or ingrown hairs. The general symptom for herpes are blisters that can break and leave painful sores, which will take about a week or more to heal. This symptom is also called “herpes outbreak” For some people, having an outbreak for the first time may cause other symptoms such as body aches, or fever too.

Herpes outbreak may occur several times over a person’s life but maybe shorter and less severe than the initial outbreak. However, contracting more of HSV-1 or HSV-2 may cause another outbreak as well.

If you notice any unusual sore on parts of your body, you can contact your doctor for advice or treatment.

How will my doctor know if I have herpes?

Your doctor can determine your symptoms by looking or taking samples from the sore and run some tests. If it’s herpes, the doctor will prescribe medication for herpes treatment to reduce the chance of spreading it.

Can herpes be cured?

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for herpes. But you can take medicines to shorten each outbreak. Herpes can be tested by blood to find an antibody, but it’s unlikely to be found unless you’re having a symptom because it mostly resides in your nerve system, not your blood.

What happens if I don’t get treated?

It’ll spread to someone else if not treated because it can spread through skin and skin contact. It can be spread to various parts of your body by touching too; to your eyes, for example. The best you can do while having herpes symptoms is by not touching it and keep treating it until it’s gone, for a while.