Genital Herpes: What You Must Need to Know ?


A typical sexually transmitted infection is genital herpes (STI). The herpes simplex virus causes genital herpes (HSV). Skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity usually spreads genital herpes.

Some virus-infected people might not even show any symptoms or might just have very minor ones.

They are still capable of spreading the illness. Others experience discomfort, itchiness, and ulcers in their mouth, anus, or genitalia.

Genital Herpes cannot be cured. Symptoms frequently return after the initial outbreak. Drugs can reduce symptoms. It also lessens the chance of spreading infection. A genital herpes infection can be stopped from spreading with the aid of condoms.


There are two distinct herpes simplex virus types that cause genital herpes. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and type 1 are two examples of these (HSV-1). Even if they do not show any symptoms, people with HSV infections can still transmit the virus to others.


The most frequent cause of genital herpes is HSV-2. There may be viruses:

  • On sores and blisters, or on the fluid from sores
  • The saliva or other mouth secretions are wet.
  • The rectum's or the vagina's moist lining or fluids
  • During sex, the virus spreads from one person to another.


The virus that causes cold sores or fever blisters is known as HSV-1. HSV-1 may be transmitted to people when they are young through intimate skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

During oral sex, a person who has HSV-1 in their mouth tissues can spread the virus to their partner's genitalia. Genital herpes is a newly acquired infection.

HSV-1-related genital herpes outbreaks tend to occur less frequently than HSV-2-related outbreaks.

HSV-1 and HSV-2 do not thrive at room temperature. So it is unlikely that the virus will spread via surfaces like a towel or a faucet handle. However, sharing a drink or piece of silverware or kissing could spread the infection.

How to check if you have Genital Herpes?

Consult your doctor if you think you may have genital herpes or another STI.

Risk Factors

Incidences of genital herpes are associated with:

Sexual contact that takes place either orally, vaginally, or anally. Your risk of contracting genital herpes rises when you engage in sexual activity without a barrier. Barriers include condoms and dental dams, which are condom-like protection worn during oral intercourse. Women are more prone to get genital herpes. Men can spread the virus more quickly to women than women can to men.

Having sex with several people. The quantity of partners with whom you have sex is a significant risk factor. If you have sex or participate in sexual activities, your risk is higher. Most people who have genital herpes are unaware of their illness.

Having a spouse who has the illness but refuses to take medication to treat it. Although there is no treatment for genital herpes, medications can assist to reduce outbreaks.

Certain populations or groups. Genital herpes is more frequently diagnosed in women, those with a history of STDs, older people and males who have sex with other men than in the general population. People in high-risk categories may decide to discuss their individual risks with a healthcare professional.


Most HSV carriers are unaware of their infection. They could have no symptoms at all or just very minor ones.

Within two to twelve days of viral exposure, symptoms appear. They may consist of:

  • Itching or discomfort at the genitalia
  • Blisters or little pimples near the genitals, anus, or mouth
  • Discouraging ulcers develop when blisters break and leak or bleed
  • As the ulcers heal, scabs appear.
  • Unpleasant urination
  • Discharge from the vagina 
  • Discharge from the urethra, the tube that allows the body to expel pee

You might frequently have flu-like symptoms during the initial outbreak, such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body pains
  • Groin lymph nodes that are swollen
  • Varying symptom locations

Where the pathogen first enters the body, sores develop. 

Bruises can appear on or in the:

  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Rectum
  • Anus
  • Mouth
  • Urethra
  • Vulva
  • Vagina
  • Cervix
  • Penis
  • Scrotum

Recurring epidemics

When genital herpes first flares up, symptoms frequently return. Recurring breakouts or recurrent incidents are what these are known as.

The frequency of repeated breakouts varies greatly. Most outbreaks often occur in the first year following infection. Over time, they might arise less frequently. Typically, your symptoms during subsequent outbreaks do not stay as long or are not as bad as they were during the initial attack.

A few hours or days before a new outbreak begins, you might notice warning symptoms. The prodromal signs are those. They consist of:

  • Genital pain 
  • Tingling or shooting in the legs, hips, or buttocks 


The same methods used to prevent other STDs also work to prevent genital herpes.

 Have a single long-term sexual partner who has undergone testing for STIs and has come out negative.

Use a dental dam or condom when having intercourse. These lessen the danger of illness but do not entirely eliminate skin-to-skin contact during sex.

Avoid having intercourse with someone who has genital herpes symptoms.

Pregnancy safety measures

Inform your healthcare practitioner if you have genital herpes and are pregnant. Ask your provider if you may be tested for genital herpes if you suspect you might have it.

Late in pregnancy, your doctor can advise you to take herpes antiviral medications. This is done in an effort to stop an outbreak surrounding delivery. If you are experiencing an outbreak at the time of labour, your doctor might advise a caesarean section. That procedure involves removing the infant from your uterus. It lessens the possibility of spreading the illness to your infant.


Genital herpes does not have a treatment. The following conditions may benefit from antiviral medication prescribed by a doctor:

  • During a first outbreak, medication will aid in the healing of sores
  • Reduce the number of repeat outbreaks.
  • Reduce recurring outbreaks' symptom intensity and duration
  • Lessen the likelihood that a spouse will contract the herpes virus

Medications frequently used for treating genital herpes include:

Famciclovir, Valacyclovir, and Acyclovir (Zovirax) (Valtrex).

The best course of action for you will be discussed with you by your healthcare professional. Treatment is based on a number of medical parameters, including the disease's severity, the HSV strain, sexual activity, and other factors. Depending on whether you are currently experiencing symptoms, the dose will change. The long-term usage of antiviral medications is regarded as safe.

Complications of Genital Herpes

The following are possible genital herpes complications:

Other STDs. Genital sores increase your chance of contracting or transmitting other STIs, such as HIV/AIDS.

Infection in newborns. HSV infection during birth is possible. The virus can also spread through close contact after birth or during pregnancy, but less frequently. Infections of the nervous system or internal organs are common in newborns with HSV. These neonates have a high risk of physical or developmental issues, as well as a risk of dying, even with therapy.

Illness with internal inflammation. The organs involved in urine and sexual activity may enlarge and become inflamed as a result of HSV infection. The ureter, rectum, vagina, cervix, and uterus are a few of these.

Finger illness.  A breach in the skin can allow an HSV infection to reach a finger. skin-producing blisters, oedema, and discolouration. Herpetic whitlow is the name of the illness.

Eye disease. HSV eye infection can result in discomfort, ulcers, distorted vision, and even blindness.

Brain enlargement. Encephalitis, commonly known as brain inflammation and swelling, is a rare side effect of HSV infection.

Internal organ infection. Rarely, internal organ infections brought on by HSV in circulation can occur.


For further information please access the following resources:

Emergency : +91 89686 77907

Front Desk : +91 98018 79584

Page last reviewed: Mar 14, 2023

Next review due: Mar 14, 2025

Call us

Emergency : +91 89686 77907

Front Desk : +91 98018 79584

Follow us