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Saturday, February 15, 2014

How Can Genital Herpes Affect Your Daily Life?

Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the UK. It is caused by a virus known as the herpes simplex virus, which is also responsible for cold sores, which develop in the corners of the mouth.

How Is Genital Herpes Spread?

Genital herpes is spread through skin to skin contact and you do not have to have sexual intercourse with somebody to develop the infection. If you have intimate contact with an infected person, it is possible that you will contract the virus. It is also possible for the virus to be spread through sharing sex toys, but most cases are caused by anal, vaginal or oral sex. It is very rare for genital herpes to be passed through sharing towels, clothing or other objects, as the virus is unable to survive outside of the body.

What Are The Symptoms Of Genital Herpes?

Many people do not develop symptoms of genital herpes and some may not even know they have the infection until weeks, or even months later. The most common symptom of genital herpes is the development of small, blister-like sores in and around the genitals. The sores tend to be red and painful and they burst to create open wounds; they are most commonly found in the genitals, but may also develop in the rectum and on the thighs. In women, sores can also develop on the cervix.

Additional symptoms of genital herpes include a high temperature, generally feeling unwell, abnormal discharge and experiencing pain when you urinate. These symptoms are shared by many different sexually transmitted infections.

Coping With Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a chronic condition because the virus remains in the body. It is common for symptoms to flare up now and again, when the virus is activated after lying dormant. If you have symptoms of genital herpes and it is a recurrent infection, you may be advised to take antiviral medication and adopt some self-help techniques to help ease pain and discomfort.

Recurrent bouts of symptoms can be triggered by several factors, including illness, exposure to UV light, stress and consuming an excessive amount of alcohol.

If you have genital herpes, it will probably have an impact on your day to day life, especially in your personal relationships. You will need to take extra care when you have intimate relationships with others and be honest with other people, as they are at risk of developing the infection if they choose to have intercourse with you. The virus lies dormant for long periods of time and it is likely that you will be able to live a normal life; however, you will experience bouts of symptoms from time to time and this can be unpleasant. If you have any concerns or questions about living with genital herpes, your GP can help and there are many resources online that provide information about the infection and how to cope with symptoms.

Treating Genital Herpes

It is not possible to cure a genital herpes infection; however, treatment is available to ease symptoms and make patients feel more comfortable. You can find discreet and helpful private genital herpes treatment here.

In the first instance, when there is a primary infection, a course of antiviral medication will be prescribed. This medication, usually aciclovir, helps to slow the spread of the virus throughout the body. If the infection is recurrent, it may be beneficial to take medication or your doctor may simply advise you to adopt self-help techniques, such as:
  • Keeping the genital area clean
  • Avoiding wearing tight clothing and choosing clothes made from light, natural fabrics
  • Drinking plenty of water to reduce stinging when you pass urine
  • Apply ice packs (covered in a cloth or towel) to the affected area, to ease itching and pain
  • Apply petroleum jelly to the affected area of skin


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