Genital herpes: infection, symptoms, treatment

Genital herpes is a contagious disease that is transmitted through sexual contact and affects the intimate areas of men or women. Herpes viruses are the trigger

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Genital herpes - in short

  • Genital herpes is almost always transmitted through sexual intercourse, triggered by herpes viruses
  • The disease manifests itself with tingling, pain and blisters on the vagina, penis, the external genital area of ​​the woman and thighs
  • Genital herpes can also proceed without discomfort
  • The herpes viruses remain in the body and can be reactivated by certain factors
  • Therapy usually consists of antiviral agents such as acyclovir

What is genital herpes?

Genital herpes is caused by infection with herpes viruses and is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. The infection almost always occurs through unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner.

Causes: pathogens, transmission routes, reactivation

Genital herpes is mainly triggered by an infection with herpes simplex viruses of type 2 (HSV2), much less often by type 1 (HSV1). The latter mainly causes cold sores. However, HSV2 can also lead to cold sores or herpes in the mouth and HSV1, as mentioned, to herpes in the genital area. Genital herpes is transmitted more often from man to woman than vice versa and affects them more often. The infection typically occurs quickly after new sexual contact. The more partners a man or woman has, the higher the risk of becoming infected.

Most people get infected during sex, oral or anal sex with an infected partner if they come into contact with their mucous membranes or body fluids. People whose genital herpes causes acute symptoms and who have unprotected sexual intercourse during this phase are particularly infectious. However, it is not uncommon for an infection to proceed without symptoms, which is why those affected do not know that they have the herpes virus. They are still contagious. In up to 70 percent of cases, infected people transmit the virus without knowing it.