Genital Herpes is a common infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus. You can get Herpes by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the disease. There is usually no cure for genital herpes however the symptoms can usually be controlled by antiviral medicines.
Many people will not have any visible signs or symptoms at all or not be aware of them. Some people will get symptoms within 4-5 days of coming into contact with the virus. In other people the virus may be in the body for several weeks, months or possibly years before any signs/symptoms appear. Therefore when you get symptoms it doesn't necessarily mean you've only just come into contact with the virus. Signs and symptoms of recurrent outbreaks are usually milder then the first outbreak and clear up more quickly. There is often an early warning tingling sensation and you may get flu like illness before an outbreak. The blisters and sores are usually fewer, smaller, less painful and heal more quickly. They normally appear in the same part of the body as in previous outbreaks but in some people they may appear nearby.
Symptoms: Feeling generally unwell with flu-like symptoms such as, fever, tiredness, headache, swollen glands, aches and pains in the lower back and down the legs or in the groin. This will be followed by stinging, tingling or itching in the genital or oral area. Small fluid-filled blisters anywhere in the genital or anal area, on the buttocks and tops of the thighs. These burst within a day or two leaving small red sores which can be painful. Pain when passing urine caused by the urine flowing over the sores.
Outbreak treatment options - Aciclovir 200mg - ONE tablet to be taken FIVE times a day for FIVE days or Valaciclovir/Valtrex 500mg - ONE tablet to be taken TWICE a day for FIVE days
Recurrent Herpes Suppression Treatment options - Aciclovir 400mg- ONE tablet TWICE a day or Valaciclovir/Valtrex 500mg - ONE tablet to be taken daily
It is not essential to have treatment as genital herpes will clear up by itself. However, prompt treatment at the start of an outbreak can be a great help reducing the time the outbreak lasts, help the healing process and can reduce the risk of you passing the virus on to someone else. It is strongly advised that you do not have any sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal or oral sex, if you know an outbreak is coming, while you have signs and symptoms, and for a week after the symptoms have gone. This is to help prevent you passing the infection on to someone else. Having sex while you have blisters or sores can also delay the healing process.
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