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Genital Herpes and Sexual Health; Everything you Need to Know

Jenn Misoulish

Jenn finished med school at the College of Medical Sciences Center and residency at Exempa Holy Joseph Clinic (presently SCL Wellbeing) in Sydney. Dr. Misoulish has now been cheerfully performing family prescription for more than 15 years.
Jenn Misoulish

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Genital Herpes

Today’s article will be discussing One sexually transmitted infection in particular. It’s a pretty nasty one known as Genital Herpes. For those of you that don’t already know, genital herpes can be described as fluid-filled “bumps” that appear on male and female genitalia from time to time if they happen to be a carrier. This is a rather uncomfortable infection, and those bumps will eventually burst and ooze, turning into painful sores and sometimes ulcers until they have been given adequate time to heal.

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Who is affected

I know that’s a pretty heavy starting point, but it’s important to know that this is NOT something you want to end up with. And if you are thinking to yourself “well it couldn’t happen to me” I would urge you to reconsider. Genital herpes affects roughly sixteen percent of the population, making it a very catchable infection indeed. Whether through oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse your risks are the same. On average that means if you and 4 of your buddies each “hook up” with someone at a club one of you will almost certainly be going home with genital herpes.

Safe sex

Obviously practicing safe sex is, as it always is, the most effective form of preventing the spread of genital herpes. But sadly there are instances where it is unavoidable. In cases of childbirth during labor, and even during nursing it is possible for the mother to spread genital herpes on to their newborn. As sad as this is it’s all the more reason to be practicing safe sex always until you find the person you want to settle down with. If thinking about potentially being the reason your child has a life long infection from birth is not a serious enough reason to be safe, I am not sure what is.

Is there a cure

That is another thing worth noting, if you do contract this infection, there is no cure and it will be with you for the rest of your life. While not always active, the symptoms of genital herpes will recur at periods throughout your life and cause you pain and discomfort. It can even be spread when you are at a period where the infection is lying dormant within you, so just because you don’t have any cuts or blisters, does not mean you cannot pass the infection on to someone you care about. Genital herpes also makes you a much more likely candidate to contract HIV during intercourse as the open sores make it easy for that virus to find it’s way into your system. Being HIV positive can cause your symptoms to become more severe and last even longer periods of time, as it can already take 2-3 weeks in general for the sores you experience to heal.

Symptoms

Symptoms may lie dormant within your body for years before occurring in a form you can see, so if for any reason you feel you may be a carrier it is important that you see your personal care provider as soon as possible to get tested if you happen to notice and bumps that may be the work of this infection. Be responsible as well, if you feel you may be a carrier you have an obligation to tell any potential or recent sexual partners of this fact so they can either get tested and treated or take proper precautions to avoid becoming a carrier.

Treatment

While there is no cure for genital herpes, there are treatment options you should consider in order to ease the burden you now bear in your life. If you are currently experiencing your first outbreak symptoms can be treated by taking an antiviral tablet. If this is not your first outbreak, you will still be given antiviral tablets but there are also a number of things you can do to help ease your symptoms. Of course, this should be obvious but you will want to make sure you keep the affected area clean. Water and even saltwater can be used to hurry along with your recovery and keep the spreading to a minimum. And finally, you will want to speak with your doctor. I may have already said this but your doctor is the best person you can go to for advice. Be safe and as always, be healthy.

13 Comments

  1. Jack Holt

    affect both men and women.
    Pain, itching, and small sores appear first. They form ulcers and scabs. After initial infection, genital herpes lies dormant in the body. Symptoms can recur for years.
    Medications can be used to manage outbreaks

  2. Joseph McEwan

    My best friend in college was diagnosed with genital herpes. She was so embarrassed and upset about it. When the symptoms first manifested, she felt like she had the flu. After that, she started having genital lesions that were so painful she couldn’t even walk. She went to the doctor, obtained a diagnosis and now is on medication.

  3. Austin Eaton

    I found out that there are two herpes simplex viruses, called HSV-I and HSV-II. It used to be that almost all genital herpes was HSV-II, and oral herpes was HSV-I, but now both viruses are found in both places. So if your partner has oral herpes, you might develop genital herpes from it, even if your partner doesn’t have it genitally.

  4. Tyler Lowe

    THIS DEICES IS CALLED GENITAL HERPES.THIS DEICES IS SPREADS SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED. THIS DEICES IS ITCHING AND VERY PANIFUL DEICES.
    THIS DEICES IS SPREADS BY HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS.

  5. John Wyatt

    I remember my brother telling me the day he found out he had Genital Herpes, he made the mistake of hooking up with this hot chick at a bar one night and didn’t use protection. That’s about all it took for me to learn I needed to wrap it up if I go sticking it in crazy.

  6. Lewis Philips

    Genital herpes is certainly very embarrassing and requires a lot of care, both for yourself and not to pass to other people with whom we relate. I have had experience with a partner who had this problem, and even if the wounds were not visible at all times, it was necessary to be very careful to have sex with this person, so that it was not transmitted to me. Always use medication, use a condom and avoid having sex, even orally, during the periods when the wounds were open, because if it happens it is certain that the disease would be transmitted to you, and it is something that has no cure, is embarrassing and causes very discomfort.

  7. Dominic Burke

    A friend of mine recently got Genital Herpes from a one night stand he had with a tinder date. What started out as a salacious fling ended up being the worst mistake of his life. In the following weeks after the date he felt a great deal of pain and slowness on his penis which he thought was syphilis. He went to the doctor, got a full panel blood work and waited everyday for the nerving results. The call came in one day and the doctor mentioned that he needs to visit the facility. The doctor explained to him his results and how he contracted a STD that will not go away ever but is manageable with the ups and downs. He gave him Valtrex and told him to practice safe sex. The morale of the story is to always practice safe sex with strangers you meet on dating platforms because a simple night of fun could lead to a lifetime of management.

  8. Nathan Clare

    I started dating a man and we decided to live together. After we had been together a few months, I got a message from an ex girlfriend of his that said he had given her herpes. I had no knowledge of this. I asked him and he said that he had. I immediately got tested and was lucky, I had not contracted it. He failed to disclose this to me. I broke up with him.

  9. Jordan Lynes

    I have been living with genital herpes for close to 15 years. I got them from my ex girlfriend who cheated on me with one of he coworkers. Ever since i got the disease i’ve been going to my doctor to find the best possible medication to get rid of the problem. It’s a virus that has caused me extreme mental and physical pain.

  10. Jack Watson

    My ex girl friend had genital herpes. She did not even tell me about it until after we had had sex several times which upset me. She told me it was because she thought I would end the relationship because of it. She was really good looking and we had the best sex I have ever had with her. She is the one that broke up with me, nothing to do with the herpes, she just fell out of love.

  11. Joshua Hood

    I was dating my long term boyfriend for 7 years and I thought we were very happy. I started noticing bumps and sores in my private areas so I went to the doctor and she told me I had genital herpes. I didn’t want to believe it and thought it was a mistake but I came to terms with it quickly and realized my boyfriend must have cheated on me. He denied it at first until I told him about the herpes so he knew he had to admit it and get tested himself. I got cured for the herpes and I got rid of him as well.

  12. Hayden Whitford

    Alex got genital herpes in his early twenties. At that time he frequented bars and had many sexual encounters with different women, so he is not sure who he contracted herpes from. He now has to take medicine for the rest of his life to avoid giving herpes to his partners.

  13. Isaac Newman

    My ex boyfriend got Genital Herpes from the girl he was cheating on me with. Turns out she was in fact cheating on him as well and had contracted it through oral sex with a guy who had cold sores. In this situation, I would say I definitely dodged a bullet when my test results came back negative.

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