What You Need to Know About Genital Herpes

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Herpes. We’ve all heard of it and we know the stigma associated with it. But what do you actually know about genital herpes? If the answer is ‘not much,’ don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Read below to learn everything you need to know about genital herpes.

What is Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is an STD caused by a virus, either type 1(HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-2 typically causes genital herpes. HSV-1 causes oral herpes, which is incredibly common and can even come in the form of a cold sore. But, if you have oral herpes it’s important to be cautious when having sex, as oral herpes can be spread to the genitals through oral sex, resulting in genital herpes caused by HSV-1.

Herpes is one of the most common STDs, and more than 1 out of every 6 people in the U.S. between the ages of 14 – 49 have genital herpes.

How Do You Get Genital Herpes?

  • A herpes sore
  • Saliva or genital secretions
  • Skin in the oral or genital area

Genital herpes is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Herpes is very easily spread. If you have herpes, avoid touching your sore. If you touch your sores and then touch your eyes or other body parts, herpes may transfer to that part of the body.

However, a common myth about herpes is how easily it is spread. While it is pretty easy to contract herpes, it is NOT possible to get genital herpes from common items such as a toilet seat, swimming pool, silverware, soap, or towels.

How Can You Tell if You Have Genital Herpes?

Many people are living with herpes and don’t even know it. This is because herpes doesn’t always have symptoms. While many people with genital herpes never show symptoms, herpes sores are the most common way to tell that you have herpes. Herpes sores usually appear around the genitals, rectum, or mouth. They appear as blisters that break and leave behind painful sores. They usually take a week or longer to heal. If it is your first time ever having a herpes outbreak, you may also experience a fever, swollen glands, and body aches.

Is Genital Herpes Treatable?

Genital herpes can be treated with anti-herpes medication to shorten or even prevent herpes outbreaks. Anti-herpes medication also reduces the risk of passing the infection along to your partner. However, there is no cure for herpes. Once you are infected you will have it for the rest of your life, though the number of outbreaks you experience should decrease over time.

If your partner has genital herpes, you should:

If your partner has genital herpes, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of contracting genital herpes yourself. Be sure your partner takes their anti-herpes medication each day. You should also avoid having vaginal, anal, and oral sex with your partner if they are showing symptoms of herpes.

If you suspect you may have herpes, besafemeds can help. Fill out our diagnostic form and one of our licensed doctors or nurse practitioners will contact you to discuss your symptoms.

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