What are Genital Herpes? (Sexually Transmitted Infection)
Genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus one of the most common viruses in mankind and in most cases causes very mild symptoms or none at all. Even when the symptoms are more severe, they are simple to treat and can usually be very well controlled.
The trouble is that most people's perceptions ob Prostatitis Herpes the virus are based on the wide range ob Prostatitis Herpes myths about it, rather than the facts. This information is designed to help you clear up the confusion about genital herpes and start taking positive steps to get your life back to normal.
If you've just found out you have genital herpes, we hope you'll find it very reassuring to know the facts about the herpes virus and what treatment option is right for you. The information in here should also help if you're dealing with a specific issue like managing genital herpes during pregnancy, or if it's your partner who has genital herpes ob Prostatitis Herpes cold sores.
Herpes ob Prostatitis Herpes is no different to other herpes viruses: all of us have at least three of them. Most of us have had chickenpox herpes zoster. Chickenpox can recur as shingles when you get older. Most of us have had herpes simplex 1 or 2, or both. Nearly all of us are positive for Epstein Barr HH-4 antibodies, which causes glandular fever. And most of us get human herpes virus HHV 6 and 7 by the time we are aged two years.
To be infected with a herpes virus is a state of normality, not an abnormality. It happens to all adults, some of us with symptoms and some without. The key thing is not whether you are infected or not, but whether it is causing symptoms or ob Prostatitis Herpes — and if it is, then what can be done about it.
Genital herpes is a common ob Prostatitis Herpes infection caused by the herpes simplex virus HSV. As well as genital herpes, HSV can infect the mouth and cause cold sores.
A ob Prostatitis Herpes is a very primitive form of life. As an intracellular parasite, a virus cannot live by itself and is entirely dependent on the cellular machinery of the cells it invades. Viruses and bacteria are the microbial organisms that most commonly cause infection in humans, but bacteria are larger and have their own cellular ob Prostatitis Herpes which enables them to live free of cells and ob Prostatitis Herpes them easier to isolate and eliminate.
The herpes virus invades the human body, often through a crack in the skin or through the lining of the mouth and genital area. Once inside the cells, the herpes virus uses the material in the cell to reproduce itself known as replication. In ob Prostatitis Herpes process, ob Prostatitis Herpes cell is destroyed. Ob Prostatitis Herpes disruption of the host cell is ob Prostatitis Herpes for the characteristic signs blisters, etc and symptoms tingling, pain, etc of herpes infections and the release of thousands of copies of the virus.
Besides entering and taking over cells at the site of infection, particles of the herpes virus enter one of ob Prostatitis Herpes many sensory nerve ob Prostatitis Herpes which are found all over the body, and proceed to move upward to where the fibre begins near the spinal cord.
This is a small cluster of cells known as a sensory ganglion. In the case ob Prostatitis Herpes facial herpes, the herpes virus settles in a large nerve centre ganglion at the base of the skull, known as the trigeminal ganglion.
In the case of genital herpes, the herpes virus retreats to the sacral ganglion, situated near the tail of the spinal cord. Herpes simplex isn't the only virus many of us have living with ob Prostatitis Herpes. Anyone who has had chickenpox is host to the Varicella zoster virus, another member of the herpes virus family. This virus remains dormant for the rest of our lives; in some people, however, it can leave the nerve ganglia, travel down the nerve fibres and cause shingles.
Once a virus enters our body, whatever the virus, antibodies are produced to fight it. Antibodies are the body's natural form of defence and continue to be produced long after the initial episode. With genital herpes, antibodies help ensure that recurrences are milder than the first herpes episode. It is very common to find antibodies in people who have never apparently experienced an episode of genital herpes. Either the initial infection was so mild that the person was unaware that it was ob Prostatitis Herpes place, or it was totally without symptoms and therefore unrecognised.
When the HSV reactivates in the ganglion and travels down the nerve fibres to the skin surface, particles of the herpes virus may be 'shed' on the surface of the skin, with or without any signs ob Prostatitis Herpes symptoms of herpes infection present.
This is called viral shedding. During these times, HSV may be transmitted to sexual partners. There is no way to tell ob Prostatitis Herpes the herpes virus is being asymptomatically shed on the skin surface and therefore no way to predict when you may be infectious and at risk of transmitting ob Prostatitis Herpes herpes virus to a sexual partner.
However, viral shedding is most prevalent just before, during and immediately after the presence ob Prostatitis Herpes symptoms. Viral shedding does occur in association with outbreaks of genital herpes and therefore sexual contact should be avoided during ob Prostatitis Herpes times.
Between outbreaks, viral shedding may still occur asymptomatic viral shedding so, as with any new relationship, it is wise to consider using condoms to reduce the chance of transmission to sexual partners. You can get genital herpes by having sexual contact vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who carries HSV.
It used to be believed that herpes transmission passing it on only occurred if herpes blisters or sores were present. However, it is now known that transmission can occur when herpes blisters or sores are not present. This can occur ob Prostatitis Herpes two situations:. People who have recurrent genital herpes repeated episodes can transmit the herpes virus between recurrences through asymptomatic shedding. Remember it is quite possible your partner may already carry one or both of the herpes simplex viruses.
Once an individual has the virus they cannot be re-infected. There are many people who are exposed to and infected by the herpes virus ob Prostatitis Herpes never develop any signs or symptoms of the herpes infection. These people carry and may 'shed' the herpes ob Prostatitis Herpes from time to time without showing symptoms and in doing so may transmit the herpes infection to their sexual partner if they have sex at that time.
Accurate diagnosis of genital herpes includes taking a history, doing a physical examination and taking a swab for laboratory testing. Diagnosis of genital herpes is easier if early ulcers or blisters containing the fluid necessary for laboratory confirmation are present. The usual procedure is for the doctor to take a swab from the area affected. A sample of the fluid from a blister or from ulcers is taken and sent away for analysis. Because it is possible for a person with genital herpes to have another sexually transmitted infection at the same time, a full genital check for sexually transmitted diseases STIs should be made.
Commercial blood tests specific for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies are now available but are not recommended for use in the general population as a routine screen. There are many reasons that a blood test to diagnose ob Prostatitis Herpes is not recommended as a routine test.
The blood test has many limitations and doesn't necessarily provide information that is ob Prostatitis Herpes in management of the infection. The time taken to develop antibodies is usually 2 to 6 weeks after infection, but it may be up to 6 months and false positives and false negatives can occur in these tests.
Because of the limitations of a blood test to diagnose herpes, it is recommended you discuss the implications of the test with someone who has experience with requesting them and interpreting the results in light of your particular presentation. It does not cause long-term ill health or affect the longevity of life. People who get genital herpes can and do lead perfectly normal lives. This, combined ob Prostatitis Herpes the pain and discomfort of the sores and, ob Prostatitis Herpes some cases, secondary infection, can leave people feeling very run-down.
Fortunately, recovery is fast once the herpes has healed. In women, the genital areas most affected are the vulva and the entrance to the vagina. Herpes ob Prostatitis Herpes can sometimes develop on the cervix. Herpes sores in men are most common on the glans end of the penisthe foreskin and shaft of the penis.
Sometimes, sores can develop on the testicles. Less ob Prostatitis Herpes, both men and women can experience herpes sores on the anus, buttocks, ob Prostatitis Herpes tops of the thighs. The most serious of these other conditions are neonatal herpes and herpetic encephalitis, both of which are relatively rare but can be deadly. The causes of herpetic encephalitis are not fully understood, but having genital herpes doesn't seem to make you more or less likely to develop it.
For others, an initial infection can be mild with minimal symptoms and often is unrecognised and undiagnosed. The majority of people who acquire genital herpes will not experience any recognisable symptoms. This is referred to ob Prostatitis Herpes the first or primary episode. The development of herpes symptoms may take longer or be less severe in some people, especially those who have developed resistance to HSV-1 from previous cold sore infection.
The herpes blisters burst, leaving ob Prostatitis Herpes ulcers which dry, scab over and heal in approximately 10 days. Sometimes the development of new herpes blisters at the early ulcer stage can prolong the herpes episode.
On the other hand, the ob Prostatitis Herpes stage may be missed completely, and ulcers may appear like cuts or cracks in the skin. The severity and range of herpes symptoms differ from person to person. Sitting ob Prostatitis Herpes a partially filled bath when urinating also helps. Both women and men can experience generalised fever, aches and pains, and a depressed run-down feeling.
Some people do not experience symptomatic ob Prostatitis Herpes recurrences, but for those who do, recurrences are usually shorter and less severe than the primary herpes episode. Recurrences are often preceded by warning symptoms also known as prodromal symptoms ob Prostatitis Herpes as tingling, itching, burning or pain. Genital herpes caused by HSV-2 recurs on average four to six times per year, while HSV-1 infection occurs less often, only about once per year. A minority will suffer more frequent herpes recurrences.
Recurrences are more likely to recur in the first year or two after acquiring genital herpes, but for many people become less frequent and less severe over time. The severity of herpes symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another. An initial episode can, at times, be so mild as to pass unnoticed and a first herpes recurrence may take place some months or even years after the first herpes infection.
These people may, however, transmit HSV to others. In such cases genital herpes can lead to confusion and ob Prostatitis Herpes in people, unable to understand ob Prostatitis Herpes sudden appearance of the herpes infection and apparent transmission from someone else.
A recurrence takes place when HSV reactivates in the nerve ganglion at the base of the spinal cord and particles of the herpes virus travel along the nerve to the site of the original herpes infection in the skin or mucous membranes e. Sometimes, the herpes virus travels down a different nerve causing recurrent symptoms at another site such as the buttocks or thighs.
Although it is ob Prostatitis Herpes known exactly why the herpes virus reactivates at various times, the cause can be separated into the physical and the psychological. Obviously, the herpes virus doesn't care what sort of sexual activity is creating the right conditions for infection, but different sexual practices create different risks.
Gay women are slightly less likely to become infected than heterosexual women, but for those who do, the impact of the herpes virus is exactly the same.
In the past, genital herpes was much more prevalent among gay men than in heterosexuals. That's no longer the case, partly because more heterosexual couples are having oral sex and becoming infected that way.