Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and is usually transmitted thorough unprotected sex or oral sex. The most common type (HSV-1) appears as cold sores on the mouth and lips, whilst HSV-2 affects the genitals, buttocks and rectum.
Anyone who is sexually active can contract this STI, though the 20 to 24 age group is most at risk. If you don’t seek a genital herpes treatment immediately, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and increase the risk of you contracting HIV.
Genital herpes is a viral infection and it cannot be cured, which means you could experience outbreaks for the rest of your life. However, genital herpes can be managed. With the right anti-viral treatment, symptoms can be reduced or even cleared and the virus can be pushed into remission.
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Many people who contract genital herpes don’t show any symptoms at first. If symptoms do present themselves, they might appear four to five days after contracting the infection, or it could be weeks, months or even years later.
If you do experience symptoms, the following are usually displayed:
Genital herpes is caused by two strains of the herpes simplex virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 causes infections on the lips or mouth as cold sores or fever blisters; and HSV-2 causes genital herpes which presents itself as red sores and blisters around the genital area.
The virus can be passed on through unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex; by sharing sex toys; through genital contact with an infected person; or through direct skin contact with an infected person.
It’s thought that six in ten people carry HSV-1, and one in ten are infected with HSV-2.
If left untreated, the herpes virus can spread to the lips, nipples, buttocks, fingers and eyes. This STI can also increase your risk of contracting or passing on HIV, particularly if you’re displaying blister symptoms. In some cases, HSV-2 has passed via vaginal birth from a mother to her baby.
Whilst anti-viral treatments are really good at helping you to manage this infection, they can’t cure it. Genital herpes treatments can reduce the intensity and frequency of outbreaks, and should be used as soon as symptoms become apparent.
Once you contract the virus, herpes will remain in your body. Genital herpes treatments won’t eradicate the virus, but you can still limit its effects. The discomfort of the first outbreaks is usually treated with Aciclovir, which needs to be taken for seven to ten days. Future outbreaks can be treated by Valtrex and Famvir.
"Genital herpes is a viral STI mostly spread through unprotected sexual intercourse and can cause sporadic outbreaks that can initially be very uncomfortable."Dr Hilary Jones
HealthExpress Medical Advisor
Unfortunately, there is no cure for genital herpes. Once infected, the virus remains in your body for life. Genital herpes is a virus and can be controlled with anti-viral medication. Some herpes simplex infections clear up even if no treatment is given; however it is strongly recommended that you take a herpes home test kit to prevent further damage to your health.
First outbreaks are often treated with Aciclovir, which must be taken for 7-10 days to ease discomfort and clear the infection. Future outbreaks can be also treated with Valtrex and Famvir.
Step 1 - Simply complete our online consultation which will be reviewed by one of our registered UK doctors.
Step 2 - They will be able to recommend a range of beneficial treatments. You will receive a diagnosis in a secure email.
Step 3 - If deemed suitable, you will have the access to login, directly to your personalised member's area, from where you will be able to place your order and receive it the next working day.
If you have tested positive for herpes, you can complete an online consultation with one of our doctors in order to find a suitable genital herpes treatment. This will allow our doctors to asses which treatment would work best with your condition, and they will write a prescription if it’s safe and necessary for you to use a particular genital herpes treatment. This prescription will be passed on to our pharmacy, which will dispense the genital herpes treatment and send it to you via free next-day delivery.