Genital herpes is usually caused by Herpes Simplex Virus (Type 2), also known as HSV2 (HSV1 is the cold sore virus, which less commonly may infect the genital area). Around 1 in 8 people carry HSV2 , but most are unaware of it as they have no symptoms. Carriers can still pass it on, but it’s more likely to be transmitted if there are active lesions/ulcers present. The first episode usually involves intensely painful blisters, ulcers and inflammation in the genital region. It can sometimes be difficult to pass urine. Treatment may involve antiviral medication (common brands are Valtrex and Zovirax) , which must be prescribed by a doctor. Painkillers, salt baths and topical treatments may also help. The virus never leaves the body, and in some people flare ups continue to happen from to time, though symptoms tend to be a lot less severe than the first episode. If these flare ups are very frequent, preventive medication may be needed. To learn more about HSV2, read the helpful article below.