Details about genital herpes: causes and symptoms

“We met once, but together we are forever.” No, no, these are not poems about bright and eternal love. It’s about the herpetic virus. Once in the body, it remains in it forever.

Among genital infections, genital herpes ranks second after Trichomonas. Symptoms of the disease may be absent or sometimes remind of themselves. The herpes simplex virus (HSV) in 7% is asymptomatic, but 98% of the inhabitants of the Earth are familiar with it.

How genital herpes manifests itself – characteristic symptoms

When herpes appears on the lips in the corners of the mouth, near the nose, everyone easily diagnoses himself: “The cold popped up.” At first, burning, itching bothers, then rashes appear in the form of bubbles. They burst, in their place ulcers appear, which, drying up, turn into crusts, they fall off, the face is cleared and the person thinks that he has recovered.

Perhaps he took Acyclovir tablets or used an ointment to get rid of the problem faster. This situation is typical for HSV type 1 infection. Genital herpes has exactly the same symptoms, only burning, slight swelling, itching and rashes appear on the genitals.

General manifestations are mild, but the head may hurt, muscles ache, and the temperature may rise slightly.

Genital herpes in women

Localization of herpetic eruptions in women:

  • labia;
  • vaginal mucosa;
  • Cervix;
  • cervical canal;
  • oral cavity;
  • anal area.

Long-term, untreated colpitis , leukoplakia may be of a viral nature.

10-20 days is a sufficient period for the process to stop on its own, ulcers and erosion heal, symptoms (pain, burning, itching) subside. But the virus doesn’t go away. It hides in the sacral nerves of the spinal cord.

GG in women can recur, depending on the provocative moments:

  • lack of vitamins in the diet;
  • stress;
  • low mood, anger;
  • PMS and menstruation;
  • exposure to low or high temperatures;
  • decrease in immunity.

The frequency of exacerbations reaches 1 time per week.

Genital herpes in men

GG in men can be considered urogenital in the location of rashes and ulcers in the urethra. Just urinating for such a man becomes a big problem. Localization:

  • glans penis;
  • urethra;
  • oral cavity;
  • rectum and perianal region;
  • skin of the pubis and scrotum.

Enlarged, painful lymph nodes can be palpated in the groin.

The recurrence of herpes always indicates a drop in immunity.

causative agents of the disease

Herpes simplex viruses types 1 and 2 are in the Herpesviridae family . Their close relatives are the chickenpox virus, herpes zoster, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr. Genital herpes is caused by infection with type 1 or type 2 viruses. They belong to a group of DNA-containing viruses, consisting of 80 genes.

HSV-1 – labial herpes Eyes, throat, oral mucosa, viral sore throats, rarely encephalitis, meningitis may be affected. Cause of lesions of the genitals in the case of oral-genital contact.
HSV-2 Causes GG, in a newborn, disseminated.

The description of virologists confirms that both types of “twin brothers” are 50% homologous . There is an assumption that one is descended from the other. Their similarity is great – the risk of contracting HSV-2 is reduced in those who “managed” to become infected with HSV-1 in childhood.

In the external environment, stability is high at low temperatures. When heated to 50 degrees, it dies in 30 minutes. On door handles, faucets lives up to 2 hours, on wet wipes, washcloths, towels up to 6. It has a high neurotropism .

Infection and transmission routes

Infection occurs when a virus gets from a sick person to a healthy one, regardless of the stage (relapse or remission).

  1. The sexual route is typical with vaginal contact, can be transmitted by oral-genital caresses, rubbing of intimate organs against each other, during anal intercourse or contact of the penis with the skin between the buttocks without penetrating into the lower part of the rectum.
  2. The domestic way is improbable, but it is possible. For example , when using one towel after hygiene procedures.
  3. The vertical route of transmission is the ability of a child to become infected from a sick mother during the passage through an infected birth canal.

The incubation period is from 1 to 10 days. Is it possible to have contact with a partner with manifestations of herpes on the genitals and not get sick? You can, if your immune system protects you well from unnecessary aggressors.

How does this aggressor behave without encountering resistance from reduced immunity?

  • Attached to the shell of the epithelial cell with a hook of glycoproteins, it can still be removed from it during the first day.
  • On the second day, the virus, melting the cell membrane, penetrates inside it, then into the nucleus, where after 2 hours it blocks the production of its own DNA and forces it to produce its own herpes DNA.
  • After 9 hours, the viruses exit the nucleus into the cytoplasm, acquire a supercapsid shell, and after 24 hours leave the cell they killed, attaching to erythrocytes and spreading through the blood throughout the body.

Forms of genital herpes

Next, we consider the situation when genital herpes manifested itself, which means the inglorious fall of immunity, unable to protect a person from viral aggression. Regardless of whether this happens in a male or female body, manifestations of genital herpes will be found in intimate places (on the labia, head of the penis, etc.). This is the PRIMARY FORM.

A frightened patient looks at forums on the Internet, comparing numerous pictures of a similar sore, it is easy to determine that his version looks exactly like in the photo. The one who goes to treat herpes to the doctor will act wisely.

The doctor examines and prescribes treatment. After a few days, the sores will heal. And the virus, having shown its neurotropism , will go into the cells and ganglia of the sacral nerves, where it will fall asleep for many years.

It’s easy to wake him up. Enough to support your immune system:

  • eat wrong,
  • do not play sports
  • don’t rest
  • stress on every occasion and without,
  • plus smoking, alcohol and drugs.

Everything will repeat itself – burning, itching, rash of bubbles in the same place. This is how the RECURRENT FORM proceeds. The recurrence of HH can occur against the background of overheating or as a result of medical manipulations.

Under the ATYPICAL FORM understand the situation when there are manifestations of chronic inflammation when HSV is detected.

How to Diagnose

Routine bacterioscopy of smears of discharge from the cervical canal or male urethra does not reveal the virus. Basic diagnostics include:

  • a blood test for the detection of antibodies to HSV;
  • PCR;
  • cultural diagnostics ( bakposev ).

Determining the dynamics of the presence and amount of immunoglobulins of different classes, the doctor can say;

  • whether there was a meeting with HSV;
  • how long ago it was;
  • How is the treatment progressing?
  • whether a relapse is possible in the near future.


I would like to warn people against a false attitude – since it is impossible to cure HSV, then it is pointless to treat it. It is not right. Untreated herpes becomes recurrent, causing even more damage to the immune system. Against this background, fungi are activated, candidiasis occurs. Increases the risk of endometriosis, the threat of cervical cancer.

The modern approach provides for a phased treatment of genital herpes. At the initial stage, a complete examination is carried out.

  1. Acute period or relapse:
    1. basic therapy with antiherpetic drugs;
    2. etiotropic therapy of concomitant infections with antibiotics;
    3. antioxidants E, C.
  2. During convalescence:
    1. maintenance antiherpetic therapy;
    2. immunomodulators ;
    3. herbal adaptogens.
  3. During remission:
    1. herpetic polio vaccine;
    2. immunomodulatory agents.
  4. Dispensary observation with laboratory control.

This scheme can be supplemented with extracorporeal antibiotic therapy or immunopharmacotherapy .

A laser is used as disinfection and acceleration of reparation.

Folk recipes from the home first aid kit

  • carrot juice and rosehip oil equally, lubricate the bubbles 2 times a day, when they burst – apply a mixture of white clay with a mass of walnuts;
  • garlic tincture. Grate a head of fresh garlic on a grater, insist on 0.5 liters of vodka for a week, shaking every day, strain. Add lemon mint leaves, after a week 100 ml of currant juice. Drink 1 tsp . 3 times a day on an empty stomach. Store at home in a dark place.


Vitagerpevac , a lyophilized inactive HSV1 and 2 antigen , has been developed and successfully used in Russia . An intradermal injection of the vaccine 0.2 ml is performed in the forearm 5 times with an interval of 7 days, with a complicated form 10 and repeated after six months.

Who needs to be vaccinated?

Patients with a chronic form and frequent exacerbations, the elderly and carriers of HIV stage 1-2.

Vaccination is contraindicated:

  • pregnancy;
  • oncology;
  • active AIDS;
  • recurrence of GG;
  • acute form of infection or exacerbation of any chronic disease;
  • allergic to gentamicin.

Non-specific prevention – a condom and taking care of your immune system.


The consequences of transferred genital herpes, even in the absence of relapses, can disturb men and women.

In men, chronic inflammatory processes are observed in the urethra, prostate, testicle and its epididymis.

The greatest danger of HSV is for pregnant women. A married couple planning a pregnancy must donate blood in advance for the presence of antibodies to the virus and undergo treatment.

If the first manifestations of genital herpes appeared during pregnancy, you should immediately see a doctor and start treatment. Acyclovir and its analogues, according to mothers, are not dangerous drugs during pregnancy. Treatment of HH reduces the likelihood of complications:

  • spontaneous miscarriage;
  • frozen pregnancy;
  • premature birth;
  • fetoplacental insufficiency;
  • intrauterine infection of the fetus.

A newborn can become infected during the passage through the birth canal, so their sanitation before childbirth is a prerequisite. It is the primary infection of the pregnant woman that is more dangerous, since with recurrent herpes, the mother’s antibodies penetrate the fetus and protect it.


Doctors have discovered another nuisance from HSV – an increased susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, do not let the disease take its course. Get treated by a doctor. Preventing relapse and achieving lasting remission is a goal you can achieve.

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