Genital herpes is one of the infections that are sexually transmitted. The herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) version of the herpes simplex virus causes genital herpes to break out. Like herpes symptoms in men, some women do not have any outward symptoms when they have this virus, but others break out in blisters around the rectum and/or genital area. When the blisters break open the sores they leave are very sore can take as much as a month to heal. Outbreaks can reappear in a matter of weeks at times. These other outbreaks are usually not as intense as the first one. They also will clear up faster.
Genital herpes is spread through direct contact with the affected area oral to genital, or genital to genital with a person who has genital herpes. Contact with open sores is the easiest way to catch it but you can get it from the infected person’s mucous membranes or skin, without the open sores. You do not have to have intercourse with the infected person to contract genital herpes. It is recommended not to have sex with someone during an active breakout on either one of your parts (depending on who is infected). Women with genital herpes should not have sex with men in between breakouts unless the men use a latex condom.
The symptoms of genital herpes are different for all women. Some do not have the blisters, and are unaware that the herpes simplex virus is in their system. However, symptoms typically appear about 1 to 2 weeks after exposure when they do show up on a woman’s body. Sores can appear on the vagina, anus and buttocks. Women may also experience sores inside their vaginas. Sores could appear on any of the skin areas, though, besides these main areas.
Women could also have problems urinating. They may also feel a burning sensation as they urinate. Along with this, they could feel achy and feverish, similar to flu symptoms. Their lymph nodes in the neck and groin could become swollen.
In severe cases, women could also have herpes keratitis that affects the eyes. It will cause the eyes to hurt, have a discharge and be sensitive to light. This could even cause diminished vision. This can happen in one or both eyes.
Luckily, some antiviral medications are available through prescription that can help alleviate the symptoms. These include famciclovir, valacyclovir, and acyclovir and they can help shorten breakouts, and lessen the severity of them. They could even prevent the breakouts from occurring in the first place. The one thing they cannot do is cure genital herpes.
A doctor may even recommend a woman take one of these medications in between breakouts. He could though just have the woman take the medication during the breakouts. She needs to consult him to see which is ideal for her personal situation.
Keeping the affected area dry and clean can help speed healing and also prevent the spread of the condition to another person. A woman should never touch the sores barehanded and if she does, she needs to wash her hands thoroughly. We covered the sexual precautions needed, earlier.
Women can lead a normal life even with the herpes simplex virus in their body as long as they follow the information listed above. It is not a death sentence to get this virus, but special care is needed to keep from spreading it. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with a doctor if they have genital herpes. Both present other situations that need special handling.