Genital herpesis caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Most genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-2. HSV-1 is the usual cause of what most people call "fever blisters" in and around the mouth and can be transmitted from person to person through kissing. Less often, HSV-1 can cause genital herpes infections through oral sexual contact. The genital sores caused by either virus look the same. Genital herpes is spread by direct contact with an infected person. Sexual intercourse and oral sex are the most common methods of spreading genital herpes. Any type of skin-to-skin contact, however, is capable of spreading herpes. It is transmitted from one person to another during unsafe sexual activity. Genital herpes causes blisters or groups of small ulcers on and around the genitals in both men and women. People with herpes may spread the disease even if they do not realize they have an infection. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that people with herpes can transmit infection even while their disease appears to be inactive and no sores can be seen. Many people remember having an episode of genital herpes when it occurs. But as many as 90% of those infected fail to recognize the symptoms or have no symptoms at all. It is not clear whether these people never had an initial herpes outbreak or whether they never noticed a mild infection. They are contagious and may have additional outbreaks, nonetheless. The highest rates of infection are seen among the poor, those with less education, those using cocaine, and those with many sexual partners. Genital herpes is a highly contagious sexually transmitted disease. Features of genital herpes include pain, itching and sores in your genital area. Having genital herpes is no reason to avoid sex or give up on relationships though. If you or your partner is infected, you can manage the spread of HSV by taking steps to protect yourself and your partner. The majority of people who've been infected with HSV never know they have the disease because they have no signs or symptoms. The signs and symptoms of HSV can be so mild they go unnoticed. The first outbreak is generally the worst, and some people never experience a second outbreak. Other people, however, can experience outbreaks as long as 40 years after the initial outbreak.
Genital herpes symptoms include:
- Small, red bumps, blisters (vesicles) or open sores (ulcers) in the genital, anal and nearby areas
- Pain or itching around your genital area, buttocks or inner thighs
The initial symptom of genital herpes usually is pain or itching, beginning within a few weeks after exposure to an infected sexual partner. After several days, small, red bumps may appear. They then rupture, becoming ulcers that ooze or bleed. Eventually, scabs form and the ulcers heal. In women, sores can erupt in the vaginal area, external genitals, buttocks, anus or cervix. In men, sores can appear on the penis, scrotum, buttocks, anus or thighs or inside the urethra, the channel between the bladder and the penis. While you have ulcers, it may be painful to urinate. You may also experience pain and tenderness in your genital area until the infection clears. During an initial outbreak, you may have flu-like signs and symptoms, such as headache, muscle aches and fever, as well as swollen lymph nodes in your groin. Recurrences Genital herpes is different for each person. The signs and symptoms may recur for years. Some people experience numerous episodes each year. In many people, the attacks are less frequent with progress of time.
Various factors may trigger attacks:
- Menstruation and friction, such as that caused by vigorous sexual intercourse
- Immune system suppression, from medications such as steroids or chemotherapy, or due to infections, such as HIV/AIDS
These other complications may occur:
- Contraction of other STDs like AIDS
- Spread of infection to newborn by mother
Prevention of genital herpes is possible by following care:
- Use, of latex condom during each sexual contact.
- Limit the number of sex partners.
- Avoid intercourse if either partner has an outbreak of herpes in the genital area or anywhere else.
If you're pregnant, be sure to tell your doctor that you have HSV or, if you're unsure, ask to be tested for HSV. Watch for signs and symptoms of HSV during pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend that you start taking herpes antiviral medications late in pregnancy to try to prevent an outbreak from occurring around the time of delivery. If you're having an outbreak when you go into labor, your doctor will probably suggest a Caesarean section to reduce the risk of passing the virus to your baby.
If you have an active infection:
- Avoid having sex.
- Avoid touching the sores, and wash your hands after contact with sores.
- Keep the sores clean and dry.
Role of Homeopathy in Genital Herpes:
Homeopathy can give long term relief in recurrent attacks of the illness. The resistant viral infection which doesnâ€™t respond to conventional medicines can by cured permanently with constitutional homeopathic approach. Homeopathy is a system of medicine which uses bodyâ€™s own healing power to make the body free from effects of all types of chronic illness. Homeopathic medicines do not attack virus or bacteria directly hence there is no incidence that virus or bacteria become resistant to homeopathic medicine. Necessary precaution of hygiene and safe sex are important factors along with homeopathic treatment of genital herpes for better out come of the illness.