Men and women are both susceptible to genital herpes, a common sexually transmitted infection with symptoms including pain, itching and sores in the genital area. Many infected individuals, however, have little to no signs and symptoms, particularly visible sores, but they can already transmit the infection to others upon sexual contact.
Complications Are Cause for Concern
But pain, itching and sores in the genital area are not the only issues with genital herpes. Its complications are also cause for concern because of their impact on the overall well-being of the infected individuals and their partners in bed.
- Increased risk for other sexually transmitted infections. The presence of genital sores increases the risk for transmitting and/or contracting other sexually transmitted diseases including the AIDS virus. The open skin makes it easier for the pathogens to enter the system.
- Infections in newborns. Infected mothers can expose their newborn babies to the virus during the birthing process that, in turn, can result in brain damage, blindness and even death for the babies.
- Bladder issues. In a few cases, the genital sores can cause inflammation around the urethra, which will require the insertion of a catheter for bladder drainage. The urethra is the tube that delivers urine from the bladder to the outside genital area for excretion.
- Meningitis. In rare instances, genital herpes can lead to inflammation of the cerebrospinal fluid and membranes around the brain and spinal cord. This is a life-threatening condition that must be immediately addressed by physicians.
- Rectal inflammation. Known as proctitis among doctors, the lining of the rectum can be inflamed especially in men engaging in homosexual sex.
Suffice it to say genital herpes in itself is a serious concern and so are its complications. Avoid waiting for symptoms to be visible – seek medical attention as soon as you have doubts about your health or as soon as your sex partner has the symptoms – or worse, has been diagnosed with the sexually transmitted disease.
Causes for Optimism
Fortunately, not all is doom and gloom with genital herpes. Although there is no cure for the sexually transmitted infection – recurrences are all too common – there are several antiviral treatments available that can:
- Aid in healing the sores sooner especially during the initial outbreak
- Reduce the duration and severity and duration of the symptoms during subsequent outbreaks
- Lessen the frequency of recurrences
- Minimize the chances for transmission
It must be noted that these antiviral medications will only lessen the severity, duration and frequency of the symptoms – not actually prevent recurrences. Keep in mind that genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV), which will run its course with or without medications. One unconventional therapy called get rid of herpes is reviewed online.
The most common antiviral medications prescribed are Acyclovir (Zovirax), Famciclovir (Famvir), and Valacyclovir (Valtrex). Doctors usually prescribe the medications during an outbreak of symptoms but there are cases when daily intake is a must with or without symptoms, which can lessen the risks for recurrent outbreaks. Infected individuals with severe symptoms must be hospitalized so that intravenous administration of antiviral medication can be made. An effective alternative treatment is outlined in the get rid of herpes book.
Aside from the antiviral medications, infected individuals are also well-advised to find a strong support system. The diagnosis of genital herpes can be distressing, to say the least, with emotions ranging from shock and shame to anger and rejection directed at both one’s self and the person who probably passed on the infection.
It is then important to communicate with your partner about the diagnosis of genital herpes including being open and honest about your feelings. Educating yourself about the infection as well as working with your doctor to lessen the frequency of the outbreaks is also useful in successfully coping with the infection.