It is estimated that one in every five American has been affected by genital herpes. This shows that many people are living with this infection. So what really is genital herpes and what is the way forward after a doctor has diagnosed you with it?
What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is a common minor and sometimes recurring skin infection that occurs on the genitals. This infection is caused by an infection with herpes virus type 2(HSV-2) and is transmitted through sexual intercourse. Although it doesn’t affect your longevity of life, this STD still has no cure. As long as you are sexually active, you are in danger of getting it regardless of your gender or class.
What are the symptoms of genital herpes?
When you are in your first episode of genital herpes, you are likely to feel generally unwell, irritation in the genitals, general Bone and muscle aches, headaches, and fever. These symptoms may last for several days or weeks before being followed by reddened areas on the genitals. This may later develop into painful blisters that burst to leave scars that heal without leaving a scar. The symptoms usually resolve without treatment and may reappear from time to time since the virus stays permanently in the body.
Dating and herpes
Once you have been diagnosed with herpes, the first thing you are supposed to do is to relax and take the time to learn as much as you can about herpes dating. After that, you should gather enough courage and talk to your partner about the herpes infection. One of the hardest things may be figuring out how to tell this to your partner. However, most partners remain supportive when told and respect your honesty. In case you have been together for a while, you may recommend your partner to be also tested for the virus.
Sexual relationships and herpes
When you have been infected by herpes, there are some aspects of sexual intimacy that you may consider. These include using non-genital forms of sexual contact like condoms during the periods that the skin blisters are present. If you are experiencing very frequent herpes recurrences, you may consider taking suppressive therapy which will lower the amount of the virus in your system.
Fertility and pregnancy
Since genital herpes is not hereditary, it has no effect on fertility and cannot be transmitted either through sperms or ova. Women living with herpes do not have to worry about pregnancy since they will experience safe pregnancy and childbirth. Even after birth, there is little or no risk of the mother transmitting the virus to her baby as long as she observes normal hygiene. However, you should remember that HSV can be transmitted through oral cold sores through even just kissing.
Whenever you have any questions or concerns about herpes, your doctor should be able to help you answer them or recommend other experts who can. Also, there are support groups for people with herpes in various areas that can be a valuable source of information and support. When you talk to people about living with herpes, living with it will be very easy for you and your partner.