Genital Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Most of the cases are caused due to Herpes Simplex Virus 2 or HSV 2. Although the condition can get quite severe in some cases, this virus can also stay dormant for long periods of time or come out with very mild symptoms that they could easily get mistaken for allergies and insect bites.
The statistical records show that almost two-thirds of the affected people do not experience any symptoms or experience them in very mild intensities. However, the virus can still be transmitted even when there are no visible symptoms of the condition. When the virus does resurface, the affected person can experience cores, lesions, blisters, vesicles, genital ulcers, itch and prolonged burning sensation in the genitals, anus and the upper thighs. When the symptoms are very mild, they can easily get confused for other skin conditions.
The HSV 2 viruses enter the body through the moist mucous membranes. Due to this very reason, they are more easily transmitted through saliva, semen and vaginal secretions. They also get transmitted through direct contact with the sores and blister fluid. These viruses tend to multiply very quickly after entering the host cell which is why it becomes difficult to treat them.
Genital herpes can be prevented to some extent by using protection during sex or abstaining from sexual activities completely. Latex and polyurethane condoms can completely cover the affected area and are therefore more effective in controlling the transmission. This does not, however, guarantee 100% protection against transmission. The viruses can still be transmitted even after using protection.
Males usually get affected on the glans penis while women get affected in and around the pubis, clitoris, and vulva. If the conditions get severe, the soreness also spreads towards the thighs, buttocks, and anus. The affected person can experience severe pain, itchiness, and burning sometimes accompanied by the penal or vaginal discharges.
Women could experience additional discomfort, especially during urination. Although crust formation occurs when the ulcers dry up, the healing could also be sufficiently delayed, especially if the area stays continually moist. In some rare cases, the condition can also spread to the sacral region of the spinal cord, resulting in acute urinary retention, pain, sensory loss, rashes and abnormal sensations.
Genital herpes could also be a reason for concern, especially during childbirth and pregnancy. There is every possibility of the baby to be affected by the virus irrespective of whether it is in an active or a dormant state. The virus could affect the skin, eyes, central nervous system, mouth as well as the internal organs. This could result in organ failure and even death of the fetus.
There are treatments for controlling the outbreaks, but no such medication so far to completely eradicate the virus from the body. The outbreaks can be controlled by using antiviral drugs at the earliest signs of the symptom. Incorporating mild cleansers in the daily bath could also be an effective way to control the outbreaks.