Genital herpes – HSV
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by herpes simplex virus. The herpes virus causes presence of small painful blisters on the skin or the external mucus membrane. There are 2 types the Herpes simplex virus: (HSV1) and also (HSV2). HSV1 mostly affects mucus membrane of the mouth and often transmits by saliva and respiratory secretions. However, HSV2 usually affects the genitals and transmits by sexual intercourse – STD / STI.
The herpes virus enters the body through small incisions present in the skin or in tissues that secrete mucus and then it attaches inactively to sensory nerves.
The herpes virus becomes active when the immune system weakens (due to a certain disease, injury, trauma, fever, anxiety and more), and it spreads when there is direct contact of skin to skin.
Pregnant women with HSV should inform their obstetrician or midwife about it, in order to schedule them for cesarean delivery if necessary, because if the virus is present in the birth canal during delivery, it can be spread to the baby, causing neonatal herpes, a serious and sometimes fatal condition.
Most carriers of HSV do not know they have it, because they would normally have no signs or present symptoms.
Causes for Genital Herpes
- Sexual contact with someone who has HSV2.
- Children often get herpes from early contact with an infected adult or during birth and they carry it with them for the rest of their lives.
- Painful blisters or sores on or around the genitals or anus.
- A feeling of tiredness and general un-wellness with flu-like symptoms such as fever.
- Painful urination.
- Stinging, tingling or itching in the genital.
- Frequent presence of sores several times in a year.
- Swollen lymphatic nodes.