Uploaded by mumsa1 on Dec 28, 2011
Genital herpes can be a chronic (long term) condition and can affect both men and women.
In this article:
What is genital herpes?
How Chemist Online can help
Advice & Support
What is Herpes?
Genital herpes is a common and contagious sexually transmitted infection. You can still be infected with the genital herpes virus even though you do not have any visible symptoms.
The genital herpes virus enters the body through the vagina, rectum, urethra and mouth.
Symptoms of genital herpes include:
Fluid-filled blisters on the genitals and around the anus area which can become painful and sore after bursting and becoming ulcerous
Itching and sometimes a stinging sensation in the genital area and around the rectum
Pain when urinating
Fever (and sometimes fatigue)
A feeling of being run down and unwell
Lower back pain
Herpes is caused by the contagious herpes simplex virus (HSV). The virus spreads from one person to another through close skin-on-skin contact – usually sexual contact which can be vaginal, anal or oral sex. Genital herpes can also be passed on through the sharing of sex toys.
If you are suffering from the aforementioned symptoms, or if you have had sexual intercourse with someone who you suspect may have the genital herpes (or even the genital herpes simplex virus which may be lying dormant) it is important to make an appointment to see your GP immediately. Alternatively, you can also go to your local Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) Clinic or Family Planning Clinic for tests. Your visit can be confidential if you wish, and you may not have to give your real name.
After taking your medical history and asking you some questions about your symptoms, your GP will make a further assessment by carrying out a general examination of your affected area(s). Tests which may be used in order to establish a confirmed diagnosis can include a swab of your infected area(s) and/or a blood test.
Note: As we have seen, it is possible to have genital herpes without experiencing any symptoms. This is why it is very important that your partner (and previous partners) also arranges to see their GP or to go to their local Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) Clinic or Family Planning Clinic for tests.
Treatment for genital herpes is generally a course of prescribed antiviral tablets.
The best way to avoid catching genital herpes is to take preventive measures. Always use condoms for sex and try to limit your number of sexual partners. Also, remember...