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Genital Herpes Symptoms And Manifestations In Women

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Genital Herpes Symptoms And Manifestations In Women

Genital herpes is a disease, once contacted you wear with you for the rest of your life . The condition causes painful eczemas and a blistering rash in the genital area. The herpes simplex virus infection can occur both in women and men equally, but infection means can differ.

Transmission Of Genital Herpes

Genital herpes virus is transmitted through sexual contact, namely through exchange of saliva, semen, cervical or vesicular fluid that enter the body through open wounds. Generally the virus does not infect dead epidermis keratinized cells. For the virus to act and to multiply, it must come into contact with mucosal cells or living tissues.

Female Genital Herpes

Women have a four times greater risk of becoming infected with genital herpes than men. If a uninfected man and a healthy woman have  unprotected sex with an infected partner, the woman is more likely to contract dangerous herpes simplex type 2.

Why does this happen?

The genital area of female body has a greater surface of mucoid secreting cells. Menstrual cycle hormonal fluctuations affect the immune system that becomes unable to fight with full force against herpes simplex infection. In woman genital herpes can be accompanied by swelling of the labia major. Genital herpes located on the urethra will cause urination important dysuria, sometimes urine retention. Genital herpes may also be manifested as an urethritis with mucous discharge. Often is accompanied by chills, fever, fatigue, headaches and generalized adenopathy (enlargement of lymph nodes) or locoregional adenopathy. Extra-genital herpes lesions may appear especially on the thighs, buttocks and groin.

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Factors that can reactivate infection include local trauma (especially sexual intercourse), other infectious diseases, fever, menstruation, emotional stress, etc.. Generally (except immunocompromised patients), due to the host prompt immune response the viral replication si slow, evolution is less severe and shorter than in the case of primary infection (many cases are asymptomatic recurrences).

Genital Herpes Symptoms

The first outbreak of genital herpes in women is more painful and lasts longer than recurrent herpes. Women develop a more severe disease and  present more complications during the first manifestation of the disease. Lesions may occur anywhere on the genital area, including the vulva, vagina, cervix and urethra. In addition, herpes can spread to other anatomical parts, such as the buttocks and thighs. These early eruptions are infectious for about three weeks, due to the blisters that contain large numbers of infectious viral particles.

Besides the eruptions described above, the woman’s womb lymph nodes may swell and become painful during urination. Meningitis is a serious complication that can occur in 10-15% of cases.

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Misleading Symptoms

There are cases in which the symptoms that the patient presents can be misleading and are not actually signs of infection with genital herpes.

A woman who presents to the doctor with rash or blisters in the vagina or on the cervix may actually be the symptoms of other disorders like  candidiasis, cervicitis or pelvic inflammatory disease. Also, if injuries of the urethra occur, they could designate a urinary tract infection or a bladder dysfunction.

For a correct diagnosis is necessary to carry out medical tests immediately after the lesions appear and start the required treatment. Local antiseptic is sufficient for drying and minimal prevent suprainfectin, but to prevent recurrences (especially genital and anorectal) an antiviral treatment will be prescribed with acyclovir, a drug highly active against herpes simplex virus type I,  varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex type II.

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Sources

1. http://getridofherpes.net

2. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Genital-herpes/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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3. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/herpes-simplex-virus