What is herpes?
Herpes is simply the inflammation of the skin and mucus membranes along with sore blisters. This virus is typically sectioned into two categories; herpes simples 1 and herpes simplex 2. The first case causes cold sores on the face, so, nose, mouth etc. It is a reoccurring virus but can be treated with anti-viral creams. The latter of the two, herpes simplex 2, affects the genitals.
Who is affected?
It is more common in women than men as infections can easily develop where there are warm moist conditions. However, it is highly contagious and can spread easily to partners through sexual or even close contact.
Some symptoms of genital herpes includes blisters on the vulva (see the image below, taken from cancer.gov), anus and at times the upper thighs. It is very likely to have a fever and swollen glands in the groin along with the aforementioned symptoms. Genital herpes may also cause dysuria; pain when urinating.
Blisters will appear anywhere between 3-20 days after the body is infected and will become painful. It can be treated with anti-viral agents which will shorten the infection period and stop the blisters from spreading.
What if I’m pregnant?
Vaginal delivery is not advised as the virus could be passed on to the baby.
The herpes virus is one which is considered to be incurable. The nature of the disease is not a constant stream of attacks. It goes the through phases where it is active and inactive. So once contracted it remains in the body.
Genital herpes increases the risk of cervical cancer. Ladies, we at Amor stress the importance of regular cervical smear tests!
Words: Jan-Marie Revers @JMRevers