Genital herpes is a type of sexually transmitted infection, caused by the herpes simplex virus. While there is no cure for genital herpes, the treatments available below will help treat the symptoms of genital herpes. Answer the questions in our online consultation, available by clicking any of the treatments below, and our prescribers will recommend the best treatment for your condition.
Genital herpes is a life-long sexually transmitted disease (STD) that causes blisters on the genitals and the surrounding area, which then heal again and this process repeats. Herpes is a virus that is spread through unprotected sexual intercourse; the virus permanently remains in the body. The initial outbreak is usually the worst, with recurrent outbreaks causing milder symptoms in comparison. Some people never experience herpes symptoms despite having the virus, as the virus can remain dormant for a long time. Genital herpes cannot be cured or treated with antibiotics, however antiviral medications can effectively control the symptoms.
Genital herpes is caused by infection with the HSV2 virus, which is spread through unprotected sexual intercourse or other skin-to-skin contact. Outbreaks of the symptoms can be triggered by factors such as a weakened immune system, a poor diet, stress, exposure to ultraviolet light (from sunbeds) and friction around the genitalia.
Pain from urine passing over the sores - more of a problem in women
Itching around genitals and anal region
Cracked, raw or red areas around genitals
Small blisters that burst and cause painful sores around your genitals, rectum, thighs and buttocks
Flu-like symptoms - fever, aches and generally feeling unwell.
How do you get infected with Genital Herpes?
Genital herpes is contracted by direct contact with the HSV virus via any kind of unprotected sex, including oral sex with someone who gets cold sores. Cold sores are a symptom of HSV infection. An infected person can still transmit the virus even when they have no symptoms, the risk is reduced by using a condom. Women with recurrent herpes before pregnancy are at low risk of transmitting the infection to their babies. The greatest risk to babies is if the mother is experiencing their first outbreak of herpes around the time of delivery.
How long does Genital Herpes Last?
Outbreaks can occur repeatedly in a year with symptoms lasting up to 20 days. Prescription treatment is recommended to reduce the frequency and duration of outbreaks.
How do you treat the first outbreak of Genital Herpes?
Antiviral genital herpes medication for five days is recommended to treat the initial outbreak of herpes. This can be repeated for another five days to clear the symptoms if necessary. The earlier the treatment is taken, the faster the symptoms can be cleared.
What should I do if I get another Genital Herpes outbreak?
Outbreaks can be treated with antiviral medication. Warning signs associated with the onset of an outbreak consist of tingling, burning or itching around the genitals, in which case you should prepare for an outbreak and seek antiviral medication to treat the outbreak as soon as possible. Antiviral medication should be taken for five days to clear the outbreak. If outbreaks return frequently, suppression treatment may be more suitable.
What is suppression treatment?
Suppression treatment reduces the chance of outbreaks occurring. This involves taking a daily dose of antiviral medication for three months to prevent the virus replicating in the body. Suppression treatment should be considered if regular genital herpes outbreaks are experienced.