After primary infection, the onset of genital herpes lasts an average of one week to 10 days. In most cases, the symptoms are less painful and may even go unnoticed. According to people, recurrences are more or less frequent and virulent.
In case of irritation in the genital area, it is always recommended to consult a doctor. The latter will be able to highlight the presence of genital herpes thanks to:
– An examination of the symptoms and lesions.
– A viral culture test: a sample of lesions should be sent to the laboratory for analysis.
– A blood test (to detect the presence of antibodies against HSV in the blood).
Possible risks of complications
Apart from the discomfort and discomfort (physical and psychological) associated with it, genital herpes is rarely dangerous for someone otherwise healthy. However, it can cause complications for those who have an already weakened immune system due to illness or medication. In rare cases, herpes may cause meningitis, encephalitis or ocular infection (sometimes leading to blindness).
When a pregnant woman suffers from genital herpes, Caesarean delivery is usually recommended to prevent transmission of the virus to the baby through the vaginal route. Indeed, if the newborn gets the virus at birth and the infection affects his eyes, he could become blind. Finally, some studies have shown that a person with genital herpes is at greater risk of contracting the AIDS virus if exposed to it during unprotected sex.
Treatment of genital herpes
It is impossible to definitively treat genital herpes, but it is quite easy to reduce the frequency and virulence of recurrence. The drugs prescribed for genital herpes are antivirals that must be taken orally: aciclovir, famciclovir, valaciclovir. Commercially available antiviral creams are only effective against oral herpes. Depending on the frequency of genital herpes outbreaks, the treatment will be punctual: in case of an infrequent and painless seizure, just take the medication as soon as the first symptoms appear.
In the long term: if the recurrence is frequent and very painful, the drugs will be the same, but they will have to be taken regularly every day for several months. This can reduce seizures, or even stop them completely for several months or years while minimizing the risk of transmitting the virus to a sexual partner.
In the event of an outbreak of genital herpes, several solutions can also minimize discomfort. These include taking painkillers (paracetamol), wear loose clothing and undergarments of natural material (cotton), apply as needed a bag of ice on the painful area and take baths with Epsom salt.