Genital herpes is a viral infection transmitted through sex and direct skin contact. Small, painful ulcers that are visible may be genital herpes. These blisters are commonly already broken before getting a doctor to look at them.
Once you have received the type of herpes that is located around the genitals (type 2), the virus gets stored in the body, and herpes infections can flare up later on in life. Problematic perhaps, but not dangerous. One out of four Swedes carry the virus, most of them without knowing it.
The first signs of a genital herpes infection may be that the skin is red, itchy, irritated and hurting. If you’re a girl/woman, the problems usually sit in, and around, the vagina. In guys/men, herpes blisters usually appear on the penis or scrotum. There might also be symptoms appear around the rectum, on the buttocks, thighs or down her back.
The first time you get genital herpes, the infection can hit you more serious - with fever, swollen lymph nodes in the groin, and difficulty in urinating.
The herpes virus that gives a rash around the mouth (type 1) is even more common – four out of five Swedes carry this particular virus. The affected person is normally not aware of any major problems but the infection often flares up in times of stress, or when the immune system is weakened, when getting a common cold etc.
While there are visible blisters or sores, the herpes type 1 can also infect the genitals during oral sex. (If the partner also has type 1 virus already, there is no such risk.)
There is currently no vaccine to protect us from the herpes virus. Antiviral drugs can relieve the symptoms, if these get very problematic.
warning: graphic images below!
Do you think you might have this condition? Ask a dermatologist