Herpes genitalis

Knowledge about

Perhaps you mostly associate the word “herpes” with small, fluid-filled blisters as well as redness, swelling and pain in the skin around the mouth, on the lips or in the oral cavity itself. But herpes also occurs in other forms, the second most common of which is genital herpes, also known as HSV 2.

Herpes genitalis is a painful disorder

Herpes genitalis is herpes that primarily attacks the genitals. In this article, you can learn more about how genital herpes develops. You can read about the symptoms and you get tips for treatment and relief of pain associated with the symptoms of genital herpes.

What is genital herpes?

Most people have tried to become infected with the annoying herpes simplex 1 virus, which gives rise to outbreaks of cold sores in the mouth region – read more about herpes here. Sores on the lips caused by HSV 1 virus are very common but herpes simplex 2 – also known as herpes genitalis – is not so widespread.

It is estimated that one in five Europeans is infected with genital herpes, which causes painful sores on the skin around the genitals. Although the disease has not gained as much attention as HSV 1, it is far from uncommon.

How is genital herpes transmitted?

Just as herpes simplex 1 is transmitted through close physical contact, including primarily by kissing, herpes genitalis is transmitted through sexual contact. Transmission of the virus can occur when one of two sexual partners is infected with the HSV 2 virus. The risk is greatest during an outbreak, but can also occur before an outbreak – even before you feel the symptoms.

HSV 2 similarly attacks the cells in the epidermis and works its way via the nerve pathways to the nerve cell itself, where the virus lies latent until something triggers an outbreak.

In other words, the virus becomes an integrated part of the body. This means that there is no cure for herpes, only treatment that relieves the symptoms and shortens the duration of each outbreak.

Genital herpes and pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you must be aware that you can transmit the herpes virus to your child if you have an outbreak during childbirth. The risk of transmitting HSV to the child is greatest if you become infected with herpes during pregnancy.

You should always consult your doctor if you are previously infected with genital herpes or if you have been infected while you are pregnant. Then the doctor can help you prevent outbreaks and thus the transmission of infection. The doctor will also tell you that it is dangerous for the child if the mother has an outbreak of herpes 2 during childbirth. The newborn is easily infected and this can cause a serious risk of infection in the child and in some cases be life-threatening for the newborn.

It is important to prevent genital herpes infection by avoiding unprotected sex and you have to protect yourself against both HSV 1/cold sores and HSV 2/genital herpes. And since the HSV 1 virus, which causes cold sores, can also be transmitted to the mucous membranes of the genitals,it is important that you avoid having oral sex with a person who has herpes outbreaks in the form of cold sores on the lip.

When is herpes type 2 contagious?

Genital herpes infection is transmitted through close physical contact during an outbreak. But in fact, herpes can also be transmitted shortly before an outbreak, as there will be herpes virus on the skin even though is not yet has given any symptoms.

It is not easy to predict herpes outbreaks, as you do not know for sure what triggers them. However, there is broad agreement that during periods of reduced immunity – for example due to illness, stress or medical treatment – ​​you are more exposed to outbreaks of herpes.

Herpes can also be provoked by damage to the skin, for example in the form of tears, scratches and the like. It is therefore important that you take care when you have intercourse and ensure that you use lubricant together with a condom. In this way, you can minimize the risk of a subsequent herpes outbreak.

What are the symptoms of genital herpes?

If you are infected with herpes, you will feel a tightening sensation in the skin where the outbreak begins. It can also tingle, buzz or sting the skin, and there will typically be swelling and redness in the affected area.

After a short time, the first fluid-filled blisters will break out. These are small and sit close together in clusters. It is very important that you do not pick at the blisters, as you can transfer the virus from one place on the body to another – or to other people – by touching. And if you touch, you can prolong and worsen the outbreak, because bacteria might get into the wound.

A herpes outbreak usually lasts 7 to 10 days without treatment. After a few days, a scab will form – and do not touch this either. When the outbreak is over, the scab will fall off and normally there will be no scar left on the skin.

What does genital herpes feel like?

Anyone who has had a cold sore on the lip knows that it is not pleasant. It stings, tightens and burns the lip, which becomes red and swollen with fluid-filled blisters. You might imagine how uncomfortable this must feel when the cold sore is in one of the body’s most sensitive areas.

An outbreak of HSV 2/herpes genitalis, means that it can be painful to ride a bike, play sports, or simply sit on a chair. It is also very difficult to keep the sore clean when you go to the toilet.

How is genital herpes treated?

Genital herpes is not easy to talk about.  Having herpes on the genitals is associated with great shame, it is embarrassing and a lot of people feel downright disgusting. It is taboo and difficult to talk about – and therefore it can be difficult to get the right help.

However, it is very important that you consult your doctor if you are infected with herpes. This applies mostly to herpes 2, but actually both variants. There is no definitive cure for either herpes 1 or herpes 2 / genital herpes – once the virus is in your system, it is in you forever. But you can relieve and treat the symptoms.

The most commonly used forms of medicine against genital herpes include internal and external medicines. The former is prescribed by the doctor and taken as prescribed. Ointment and cream against genital herpes are available over the counter and is to be used as the instructions on the product

Both forms of treatment must be started the moment you feel the initial symptoms of an outbreak of herpes. These symptoms are redness, swelling and a burning or tingling sensation in the skin.

If you start the treatment of an outbreak of herpes genitalis immediately after the symptoms have appeared, you have the best chance of reducing the outbreak, so that it is both milder and of shorter duration. It is important that you do not wait until the blisters have started to appear on the skin – because in that case the treatment will have much less effect. Therefore, you must have the treatment ready until you feel the first symptoms. If you have to contact the doctor or the pharmacy first, precious time will be gone. It is most effective to treat your outbreak has quickly passed.
To meet this problem QUR Medical has produced very small and thin sachets, each containing 1.5 mg of herpes gel. You can keep these letters in your wallet, at work or wherever you need them. You need to find them the moment you feel the first symptoms whether you are at work or at school. The moment you notice that hum, tingling or swelling that tells you a new outbreak is on its way you must put on the gel. The faster you apply the gel to the affected area, the more you can protect yourself against a large and long-lasting outbreak. QUR Medical organized a large consumer survey with many hundreds of herpes patients. The survey took place over a year and a half. The result showed that 78% of the participants halved the time an outbreak lasted and halved the pain and discomfort that an outbreak usually causes.

Read more about QUR herpes gel here.