Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection usually caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2, also known as HSV2. However HSV1, which is more commonly known as the cold sore virus, can also infect the genital area. Around 1 in 8 people carry HSV2 , but most are unaware of it, as they have no symptoms. Carriers of HSV2 can still pass it on, but it’s more likely to be transmitted if there are active lesions/ulcers present. The first episode of Genital Herpes usually involves intensely painful blisters, ulcers and inflammation in the genital region. It can sometimes be difficult to pass urine. Treatment for Genital Herpes may involve antiviral medication , which must be prescribed by a doctor. Painkillers, salt baths and topical treatments such as anaesthetic gels 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 for may be needed.
In this section we look at the symptoms of Genital Herpes, how it’s spread, as well as diagnosis and treatment.