Genital herpes refers to a sexually transmitted disease (STD), which is caused by the herpes simplex virus.
A person who is sexually active can catch this virus, and many individuals who catch the virus will never know that they have it as they do not develop symptoms, i.e., they never get painful sores.
In case genital sores develop, the outbreaks tend to be worse during the initial year. Some individuals have four or more outbreaks annually. In time, outbreaks typically become less frequent, and may even stop.
If a person has genital sore and their partner does not, they should not have sex while the sores are present, and for a few days after the sores resolve. When a person has herpes sores, they can easily infect their partner. The virus can be passed through anal, vaginal, and oral sex.
Even when a person does not have sores, they can still infect their partner. Using a condom (when an infected person does not have sores) helps prevent spreading the virus to their partner.
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides cutting-edge skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding locations.
Higher Risk of Getting HIV
If a person has genital herpes and has sex while they have sores, they increase their risk of catching HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). This virus can easily enter the body via a herpes sore.
Myths about Genital Herpes
A common myth is that people with genital herpes also have a higher risk of developing cancer. However, genital herpes does not increase an individual’s risk of getting any type of cancer.
Another myth related to genital herpes is that you can catch it from a toilet seat. In case the virus gets on a toilet seat, it cannot survive long enough to infect anyone. The virus must be inside the human body to survive.
Living with Genital Herpes
There is no cure for genital herpes, and it is a lifelong infection. In case a person has outbreaks, drugs can reduce the symptoms. Taking precautions can decrease the risk of spreading the virus to a partner who does not have genital herpes.
How Genital Herpes can affect Pregnancy
If a woman has genital herpes, it is possible to spread the virus to her baby. She can spread it to her baby while she is:
- Giving birth
- Taking care of the infant
In case the baby gets the virus while in the womb, the mother may have a miscarriage or deliver the baby prematurely. If the baby catches the virus during birth, or shortly afterwards, it can be fatal for the newborn.
What to tell the OB/GYN
It is important for the OB/GYN to know if the woman:
- Has genital herpes, even if she has had sores or symptoms for a long time
- Do not have genital herpes but are having sex with a person who does
Taking precautions under the guidance of a dermatology expert can prevent the infant from catching the virus. At present, there is no cure for genital herpes. Self-care and medicine can reduce the occurrence of outbreaks.
Dr. Ewanowski’s dermatology practice and medical spa receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for safe and proven skin care procedures.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.