Genital Herpes Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Diagnosis

Genital herpes is an infection caused by a virus called the herpes simplex virus or HSV and it’s an extremely common infection. General herpes is spread from person to person through sex. People with genital herpes can herpes develop painful blisters or sores on their genitals or thighs or buttocks.

What is Genital herpes?

The herpes simplex virus (HSV), which also causes cold sores, is what causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection.

Blisters or sores can appear on the genitalia and the anus as a result of genital herpes outbreaks. You may experience recurrent periods of symptoms for the rest of your life if you become infected.

It’s crucial to consult a doctor as soon as you suspect you have genital herpes in order to confirm the diagnosis and begin treatment.

Video credit: Stanford Center for Health Education

Signs and symptoms-

Most HSV carriers are unaware of their infection. They might have no symptoms at all or just very minor ones.

Within two to twelve days of viral exposure, symptoms appear. They may consist of:

  • Itching or discomfort at the genitalia
  • Blisters or little pimples near the genitals, anus, or mouth
  • Discouraging ulcers develop when blisters break and leak or bleed
  • As the ulcers heal, scabs appear.
  • unpleasant urination
  • discharge from the vagina, discharge from the urethra, the tube that allows the body to expel pee

You could often have flu-like symptoms during the early epidemic, such as:

  • Fever Headache
  • Body pains
  • groin lymph nodes that are swollen

Variable symptom location-

Where the pathogen first enters the body, sores develop. By touching a sore and then rubbing or scratching another part of your body, you might transfer the illness. Your fingers and eyeballs are included in this.

Bruises can appear on or in the:

  • Buttocks
  •  Thighs
  • Rectum
  • Anus
  • Mouth
  • Urethra
  • Vulva
  • Vagina
  • Cervix
  • Penis
  • Scrotum


There are two distinct herpes simplex virus types that cause genital herpes. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) are two examples of these varieties. Even if they don’t show any symptoms, people with HSV infections can still transmit the virus to others.


The virus that causes cold sores or fever blisters is known as HSV-1. Children may come into touch with HSV-1 through intimate skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

During oral intercourse, a person who has HSV-1 in their mouth tissues can spread the virus to their partner’s genitalia. Genital herpes is a newly acquired infection.

HSV-1-related genital herpes outcomes tend to occur less frequently than HSV-2-related outcomes.

HSV-1 and HSV-2 do not thrive at room temperature. So it’s unlikely that the virus will spread via surfaces like a towel or a tap handle. However, sharing a drink or piece of cutlery or kissing might transmit the infection.


The most frequent cause of genital herpes is HSV-2. There may be a virus:

  • On sores and blisters, or on the fluid from sores
  • The oral secretions are wet.
  • The rectum’s or the vagina’s wet lining or fluids

During intercourse, the virus spreads from one person to another.

Risk factors-

The following are typical risk factors for genital herpes:

  • Sexual activity with an HSV-1 or HSV-2 carrier
  • Sexual activity without the use of a barrier (condom, dental dam) during oral, anal, or vaginal contact
  • a number of sexual partners
  • Unidentified sexual partners
  • a sexually transmitted or blood-borne illness (STBBI) currently present or formerly present

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How Is Herpes Treated?

Antiviral medication will be recommended by your doctor. These medications can improve your health and reduce an epidemic. Don’t kiss or engage in any sexual activity with anyone in the interim. Even in the absence of symptoms, the illness can still be transmitted.

How to Prevent Herpes?

Herpes is a possibility for everybody who engages in sexual activity. If you always apply a latex, polyurethane, or dental dam for every activity, you’ll significantly reduce the likelihood of it happening. Only the area that it covers is protected by the dam or condom. You and your partner should be tested for STDs before having sex, even if you don’t have herpes. You should be safe as long as you don’t have any diseases and aren’t using another person for sex.

Diagnosis of genital herpes-

Your doctor can frequently determine if you have herpes by looking at the sore and taking a swab from the sore. Genital herpes is brought on by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which can be detected by a lab test.

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