While there is no male or female strand of genital herpes, there are differences in how it can affect men and women. In this article we look at how to treat treat genital herpes specifically in women.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is one of two strains of the herpes simplex virus (HSV), with cold sores caused by the HSV-1 strain and genital herpes by the HSV-2 strain.
With figures estimating that 10% of the UK population carries HSV-2 by the age of 25, it is one of the most widely held STIs. While there is no ‘male’ or ‘female’ strand of HSV-2, genital herpes is more common in women, with one in four women having the STI, as opposed to one in five men.
While genital herpes is more often passed from men to women, than from women to men, both men and women catch genital herpes in the same way: from skin-to-skin contact.
This skin-to-skin contact usually comes during sexual intercourse and is most commonly from anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
If an area of your body has been infected with HSV-2 then you may experience an itching or tingling sensation, along with soreness.
Other symptoms of genital herpes in women include:
Genital herpes appear as blisters which burst and leave red sores. These usually appear on your thighs, anus, buttocks, or genitals. However, because genital herpes comes as the result of skin-to-skin contact, they can also appear on your mouth, lips, and tongue.
You can contract genital herpes while pregnant. If you do so during your first trimester there is a low risk of you miscarrying, along with a chance that you will pass on the infection to your unborn child.
If you contract genital herpes during the later part of your pregnancy then there is an increased chance of you passing it on to your child.
While there is no known cure for HSV-2, there are a number of treatments available to help women who have contracted it. These include:
These treatments are all available from a registered pharmacy and can be purchased online, or from a high street pharmacist.
Genital herpes is one of the most common STIs to affect women. If you are afflicted with genital warts then don’t suffer in silence. Contact your GP, sexual health clinic, or registered professional, and seek advice on how best to tackle your genital herpes.
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