Caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the US today. Yet, it?may be difficult to spot as there are actually often no symptoms in the initial stages.

How To Spot It?
Symptoms may appear as small blisters that break open and cause painful sores. These will mostly appear in the buttocks, mouth, anus, vaginal area, external genitals or cervix. These later turn into scabs that?heal within a few weeks. You might also have fever, swollen lymph nodes and itching or burning sensation in the genital area.

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How To Diagnose It?
Your doctor will examine the sores and go on a sample for lab testing. In some cases, you could possibly have to undergo?a blood test.

How Can It Get Cured?
There is still no cure for genital herpes. However, certain medications can help your outbreaks. Depending on how severe the sores are, your personal doctor will prescribe the medication and dosage.

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When you have the outbreak, follow a few basic steps to stop the infection from spreading further.

  • Keep the area dry and clean at all times.
  • Do not touch the sores. Wash your hands in case you do touch the area.
  • As the first sores appear, avoid all sexual contact till the sores completely disappear.

How To Prevent It?
While genital herpes cannot be cured, it can surely be prevented.

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  • Be Partner Wise: When it comes to sex, keep it loyal. Keep your sexual relationship limited to one partner who has been declared free of herpes after a medical exam. Get yourself tested, too.
  • Use A Condom: It may be fun without it, but it’s always safer to wear a condom while having sex. This includes wearing a condom every time for any type of sex, whether vaginal, anal or oral. Yes, there are various types of condoms available for different types of sex. Use a latex male condom or female polyurethane condom for vaginal sex, latex male condom for anal sex, and dental dam for oral sex.
  • Be Honest: With your physician! Remember to inform a medical professional and your partner about any previous case of genital herpes chances are you’ll have had.

I Have It, What Do I Do?
Get in touch with your personal doctor immediately for a test. Ensure you follow the entire course of treatment and do not stop the medication even if symptoms reduce. Avoid any type of sexual activity while you still have the symptoms or are taking the medication. Also, tell your partner about your condition.

For more information, visit the STDs section at Centers For Disease Control And Prevention website or call them at 800-232-6348. You can also visit the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) STD/STIs section or call them at 800-227-8922.

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