Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease that affects at least 50 million Americans, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. The providers at Capital Women’s Care located in Fulton, Maryland, offer testing and treatment for genital herpes.
What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is a disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This virus is spread through sexual contact with an infected partner and can cause painful sores around your genitals or lips.
It’s possible to be infected with HSV without having any sores or other symptoms of genital herpes. Even without symptoms, you can still spread herpes to another person.
What are the symptoms of genital herpes?
Most of the time, people infected with HSV don’t know they have it because they don’t experience any signs or symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they can vary from person-to-person.
Genital herpes may cause severe outbreaks of many painful sores and blisters or mild symptoms that go completely unnoticed. Common signs and symptoms of genital herpes include:
Pain or itching in your genitals
Small red bumps or fluid-filled blisters around our genitals
Pain or a burning sensation while urinating
Flu-like symptoms such as fever and muscle aches
Who gets genital herpes?
About one out of every six adults in the United States carry HSV, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Genital herpes is more common in women than men, and your risk of becoming infected increases with each sexual partner you have.
You can reduce your risk of getting genital herpes by using latex condoms every time you have sex and avoiding intercourse if your partner is currently experiencing a herpes outbreak.
How do you diagnose and treat genital herpes?
First, your provider at Capital Women’s Care performs a physical exam and checks for any signs of genital herpes. If you have sores or blisters, they may take a tissue sample for laboratory testing. They may also order a blood test to check for HSV antibodies.
If you have HSV, your Capital Women’s Care provider takes the time to answer any questions you may have and explains how to best manage the disease.
Though there’s currently no cure for herpes, your OB/GYN at Capital Women’s Care can prescribe antiviral medications to help you manage the symptoms. These medicines may help reduce the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks.