std herpes

Know Your STD: Herpes

The STD herpes is one of the most rampant sexually transmitted infections in the United States. It is far more common than you might expect. Today, we’ll be examining everything you need to know about the STD herpes.

Digging Deeper into Herpes

More commonly referred to as “herpes,” the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is

often categorized by two types of infection: herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1, or oral herpes) and herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2, or genital herpes). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, genital herpes is the second most popular sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. An estimated one in six people between the ages of 14 and 49 will contract genital herpes during their lifetime.

What are the Symptoms of the STD Herpes?

For such a common STD, herpes can be difficult to track with the naked eye. It is one of the pesky infections that may not display any visible symptoms. When symptoms are present, you need to know what to look for. An HSV-1 infection can result in “fever sores” or “cold sores” around the mouth. Unfortunately, these cold sores are so common that they are often ignored as a minor skin blemish.

Below the waist, an HSV-2 infection can cause bumps similar in appearance to those cold sores found around the mouth. These blisters typically appear around the genital or rectal areas.

During a mild outbreak, these bumps can easily be mistaken for something innocuous like an ingrown hair. Because of this, many people who have herpes may not know it. It is important for all of us to test for HSV regularly. A herpes home test can make this process simple and convenient.

How Easy Is It To Contract Herpes?

Herpes is remarkably easy to both catch and transmit. The virus is carried in the fluids found in herpes sores. Any contact with these fluids can cause transmission. Either form of HSV can be transmitted to a partner through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2, but “oral herpes” (HSV-1) can still potentially cause genital herpes if you participate in oral sex.

During the first outbreak, it is possible that the carrier will also have flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches or swollen glands.

Vaginal or Pelvic Infection:
  • Discomfort similar to a yeast, bacterial or bladder infection
  • Sores in or around the vagina, vulva or urethra
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pain while urinating
  • Headaches, body aches or flu-like symptoms
Penile Infection:
  • Sores on or around the penis
  • Pain while urinating
  • Swelling or discomfort in the groin nodes
  • Headaches, body aches or flu-like symptoms

The idea that you can’t pass on this infection without visible sores is a myth. Either form of the STD herpes, both HSV-1 and HSV-2, are transmittable at any time.

Knowing the status of your own sexual health, as well as that of your sexual partners, is the best way to stay safe. Regular use of a home testing kit is a smart way to decipher exactly what is HSV and what isn’t.

Can the STD Herpes Affect Pregnancy?

A pregnant woman may potentially pass on a herpes infection to her baby. It can lead to a miscarriage or premature birth. It is also possible for a child that has contracted HSV from his or her mother to develop an even more dangerous form of the infection called “neonatal herpes.” This is potentially fatal if not diagnosed and treated properly.

Herpes May Increase The Possibility of Contracting HIV

An untreated herpes infection can significantly increase your chances contracting HIV. While you should always be on the lookout for the symptoms of HIV in men and women, it would be better to know for sure. Herpes sores tend to break easily and HIV is transferred via the blood. You will absolutely face a greater risk of HIV infection if either category of HSV sore comes into contact with your mouth, vagina, or rectum.

How to Cure Herpes?

At this time, it is not possible to cure herpes. Once you contract the infection, it usually remains with you for the rest of your life. Fortunately, for an incurable STD herpes is quite manageable.

Proper medication can lower the frequency of outbreaks, relieve the pain from the symptoms and even shorten the amount of time that an outbreak lasts. When treated, it is even possible to limit the risk of spreading the infection to your partners.

Knowing is Half the Battle

Practicing safe sex is always a good idea. A condom can significantly reduce your chances of contracting or spreading the STD herpes. Just be aware: a sore can often occur in an area that isn’t covered by a condom. This can still leave you open to infection.

Knowledge is the best weapon against infection. Knowing when to get tested for STDs is critical. Regular, scheduled testing is the only way to be absolutely sure of your sexual health. You can order an at-home HSV testing package from myLAB Box. These tests can be taken any time, any place. They provide lab-certified results that can be checked discreetly online. At myLAB Box, we believe that knowledge is power and safe is sexy.