By Neill Abayon
Genital herpes is classified as a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a virus. Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). The virus greatly affects the genitals of both man and woman. The virus also affects the skin in many parts of the body. There are only known two types of herpes simplex viruses. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
HSV-1 causes the most damage primarily on the mouth, throat, face, eye and the central nervous system while HSV-2 causes infections primarily on anogenital infections. Both of this type however can cause infections in all areas of the body.
These disease considered to be a chronic condition in the medical field, when we say chronic it is for a long time or a long-term condition. However, not all people who never had any symptoms means safe to this virus or maybe they can be a carrier of this virus. HSV most of the times are recurring, it could be sometimes cured and after a year it will come back again. The Hardest to this is once the person have been contacted with this viral disease it will be much more worst and getting more severe every time it will reoccur.
The genital herpes are can easily be diagnose when the infection is still present. Anybody who experiencing genital herpes symptoms should immediately seek a general practitioner or should go directly to a sexual health clinic or a GUM clinic (genito-urinary medicine). Whatever topics to be discuss or discovered while attending this session must be kept confidential between you and the medical practitioner. In case, the patient cannot seek any GUM experts, he can consult a GP or a general practitioner.
In this article we will provide more special attention to herpes virus type-2 - its symptoms, treatments and prevention.
Herpes Simplex virus type 2 is the main cause of mostly sores around the genitals or the skin surrounding the rectum near the anal area. The sores that HSV-2 causes can also be seen in some other parts of the body but the most common part of its infection are the parts that are below the body or below the waist portion or the trunk.
HSV-2 can only be spread through unsafe sexual contact with someone who is infected with the virus. It cannot be spread by kissing, by touching a person with herpes nor by using the same utensils. The virus can still spread to other people even if there are no present sores or lesions.
Herpes have symptoms which needed to determine accurately so the best thing to do is to consult a doctor so that the infection can be properly address. HSV-2 positive will experienced a flu-like symptoms even before the person can acquire lesions in different parts of the body, this is the most common symptoms in genital herpes. There will be yellowish discharge from the vagina or the penis. The infected person will feel feverish, weak and sometimes cough or a mild fever. The spotted appearance of sores which looks like blisters on the genitals or along the skin which surrounds the rectum will confirm that the person has herpes simplex virus type 2 infection. It can happen too that the blisters will develop and joins together in order to form a much larger one. The infected individual will be suffering from pain, itching and discomfort over the affected areas where the blisters appeared The sores also appears around the mouth area. There are also some significant changes on the psychological aspects of people who have herpes simplex virus type-2. They may feel troubled and anxious, the depressions may sets in accompanied with stress since there is social stigma that can appear to people having this kind of condition. So most often, the feeling to pass the infection to others will release the stress from their senses thus making them more relieve but a recent study conducted and the results proves that people who are infected are much more concerned instead for their partner rather their own situation.
Unfortunately, as of this time there were no confirmatory lab test or any diagnostic examination to determine the infection from every patient. A simple visit to a GP or general practitioner is the safest way and so far the only way to confirm the infection to a certain individual. Proper knowledge of the symptoms and a constant practice of sexual contact is the most effective way to determine whether you are infected or not. Your sexual partner must also be checked and screened to see if he got the infection too.
The infection of the virus to women doesn't cause sterility. In fact it was estimated according to survey that roughly 20% - 25% of these pregnant women suffer from HSV-2.
Herpes symptoms to woman includes the formation of small, fluid-like blisters in the vaginal area.In most women, the signs may appear very mild and tend to disappear after a few days.
One of the reasons why there are high number of people suffering from herpes is because most women who are infected with herpes simplex virus type-2 do not even realize that they have the virus in their body or they carry it already. This is because the virus can stay dormant in the women's body thus resulting to a fewer indications and making it more complicated to notice. Women who always indulge themselves in anal sex may notice lesions around anal area. The outbreaks of herpes are widely linked to the immune systems stability. When the immune system starts to weaken because of some factors, one may notice the symptoms since the virus stays dormant. Women who have multiple sexual partners have little to do to protect themselves from getting infected. Women who also suppressed their own immune system such as the results of taking medication like pills and any other contraceptives will be more posed to risk compare to those who are not taking contraceptives.
Emotional and physical stress also contributes to these factors that can quickly infects women who are more weaker in this aspect. Pregnant women can transfer the disease to the child during the delivery process. The risk even increases if the mother is a first-time HSV-2 sufferer. The transmission of the disease to the unborn are quiet rare but can possible happen through the placenta. Babies who will acquire herpes in this way are increasing their risk to suffer complications.
The chances of neonatal infections are high if the initial outbreak occurs during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. In this case the chances of transmission is close to 30% since the body has not built enough antibodies. The decrease of chances of the neonatal infection will happen only if the mother has suffered already before the HSV-2 a couple of times as such transferred the antibodies to the child. A majority of infection in neonatal stage occur to what is referred in medical field as viral shedding. Pregnant women should go for testings so as to determined the chances of infection to the baby. It is also important to note that women who are suffering from HSV-2 should consult their doctors and sought proper precautionary advise before conceiving. By learning the HSV-2 before conceiving enables the mother to protect themselves and not only to safeguard the unborn child but also themselves.
In most cases to men, usually they experience the itching which accompanied by paid especially during urination and this could last not less than 4 weeks. Sores on the penis that can appear on the shaft and the head portion of the penis. There are also other areas that common for swelling this includes the scrotum, buttocks and thighs, anything under the trunks can be detected with swelling. After a couple of days from the infection, ulcers might rapture and in this case one may feel the bleeding ulcers. Few days will pass before it can be notice that scabs will form above the ulcerated area, thereby allowing the wound to heal. The recurrence case on men are quite rare unless the immune system has been compromised or being considerably weak. The virus can strike again even after 40 years after acquiring the first infection and this will lead to outbreaks. Outbreaks usually attributed to psychological factors and unsafe sex.
Genital herpes can be treated by selected antiviral medications. It is important to know that the available medications for herpes treatment are only used to manage the symptoms of the virus and not the virus itself. When the person is symptom free, it doesn't mean his not infected at all but rather the virus is dormant. In case of the outbreak, the medication are used only to minimize the red blisters and also to ensure that the disease will be cleared out within a few weeks of treatment. The antiviral medications will only ensure that the infected person is comfortable.
There are 3 phases involving on when are the medications should be administered to patients.
On the initial the medication is administered and the physician will prescribe a course of medication that can last up to 10 days. It is in this stage that the patient is experiencing the signs and symptoms of the disease such as the blisters and the soreness of the affected area. The main purpose of the medication is primarily designed to offer relief on the patients suffering and also to minimize the signs of getting worse. However if the sores and blisters are taking a long time to clear, your doctor may advise you to prolong the treatment and administer additional dosage. When the Initial treatment is done your doctor will prescribe additional medicine for your treatment, this is to monitor and keep track with your improvement. Intermittent therapy is next and are done as a temporary medications just in case you will experience an outbreak. In times where you can notice again the sores and blisters re-appearing, you can immediately take the medication up to 5 days and again thereafter you will notice that the sores are starting to vanish. In case if you keep experiencing the outbreaks, the physician will prescribe an antiviral that needs to be taken everyday. This is commonly known as suppressive medication. Commonly applied to patients who's experiencing up to 6-10 outbreaks a year. The suppressive medication can greatly reduce recurrence by up to 80%. Most of the people who take this treatment did not suffer from recurrent outbreaks. Suppressive medication have also proven that the chances of herpes simplex virus are greatly minimize to transfer from one person to another.
The prescribed medications of your doctor are based on the severity of the infection or the outbreak and also your immune systems status. Before taking these antiviral medications, be sure to inform your doctor of any current medications you are taking like vitamins, herbal medicines, or supplements. Be sure to tell every important detail to him. On women,tell your doctor if you are currently breast feeding or pregnant because most antiviral medicines are not recommended in that condition. Medical histories should also be reported, illnesses like heart problems, diabetes and blood related problems since the medicine may cause some contraindications.
You should always note instantly if you have a flu-like symptoms or fever. you can use sponge baths to reduce the fever and pain. On itchiness in your genital area, you can relieve that by doing sitz bath for 20-30 minutes and by warm bath to help also reduce the pain. Do not touch or pick your sores. You should maintain cleanliness and hygiene at all times.
Remember that by keeping yourself healthy, by avoiding smoking and any detrimental habit will boost your immune system will help fight and produce more antibodies to counter the virus on your body. By eating healthy foods and making your diet full of fruits and vegetables will help you overcome emotional and physical stress.Every couple must not hesitate to be screened or checked up for the disease. It is really important to equip yourself with relevant information and understanding the cause of the illness as well as giving respect to other people with HSV-2 infection to avoid complication and greatly improve the chances of preventing and controlling the infection.