Genital herpes: what it is and how to treat it

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Herpes genitalia

L'genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (MST). The infection is caused by herpes simplex which differs into type 1 and type 2, the latter being the one that affects the genital area. It manifests itself as small blisters that can open, leaving open wounds in the vaginal and anal area, but also in the thighs and buttocks. How is it transmitted and what is the cure?

In this article

  • Symptoms
  • Incubation
  • How to take it
  • How long does it last
  • Remedies
  • Fertility
  • Genital herpes in pregnancy


I symptoms of genital herpes they are quite accurate, but they are also common to other conditions. They can also be traced back to bacterial infections or vaginal mycosis. The only way to diagnostics of genital herpes is to perform a physical exam, swab, or blood test. The main symptoms of herpes are:

  • Chapped, rough, or red skin around the genitals with or without pain, itching, or tingling
  • Itching or tingling around the genitals or anal region
  • Small blisters that rupture and cause painful sores and scabs
  • Pain when urinating, especially in women
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue


Symptoms can at first not be noticed and generally these occur after five or six days or at the latest within two weeks of the infection. But it is also possible not to have an initial outbreak after the infection and to stay asymptomatic for months or even years.

After the diagnosis, the partner must also undergo a buffer.

How to take it

L'herpes genitalia it is very easy to pass on and it is very contagious. It can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with the infected area (including vaginal, anal, and oral sex). It can be prevented by using a condom during sexual intercourse, although it is also easy for the skin of the thighs to become infected and therefore this makes the protection of the condom completely ineffective.

How long does it last

Herpes can start with a first outbreak, which in many cases resolves spontaneously within a few days or may require an antiviral and pain treatment. But the virus remains latent in the body and can cause new manifestations of the infection later in life. Some people will never have symptoms again, while others may have several outbreaks throughout the year and this may require antiviral therapy for a longer time.

Read also: Herpes in children


There is no cure for herpes genital, which is still a chronic condition: the symptoms resolve on their own, but the blisters can recur later in life. Your doctor can prescribe a antiviral to avoid a resurgence of symptoms and one the perfect or a topical treatment to manage pain and itching. The most effective therapies, therefore, act above all on the regression of viral replication and on the symptoms, favoring the healing of wounds. We are therefore talking about antivirals, interferon, heparin in cream, immunostimulants and antihistamines. 

Relapses are generally milder than the first episode and do not always require drug treatment. However, it is essential to intervene on the immune system to support him in his normal functions, following a healthy and balanced diet, limiting both physical and mental stress, integrating nutrition with vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants.

It is also recommended increase the intake of lysine by reducing that of arginine: according to studies, arginine is the most present amino acid in the entire Herpes virus particle and seems to favor its replication

Natural remedies

Here are some precautions useful for treating blisters naturally at home and avoiding acute symptoms:

  • Keep the area clean to prevent the blisters from becoming infected;
  • apply an ice pack wrapped in flannel fabric for pain relief;
  • rinse with warm water and 3% salt or boric acid;
  • applying petroleum jelly or a pain reliever cream to reduce pain when urinating;
  • use a topical gel based on zinc sulfate and / or iodine;
  • pee in the bidet while keeping the water jet open, this should reduce the burning;
  • do not wear tight clothing that could irritate blisters or sores;
  • do not put ice directly on the skin do not touch the blisters or sores unless you are applying the cream;
  • avoid sexual intercourse until the sores have disappeared.

Integration with propoli, echinacea and other natural stimulants of the immune system.


Genital herpes, like other sexually transmitted diseases, can affect fertility because, if caught during pregnancy, it can be responsible for early miscarriage and preterm birth. Also, as we have seen, it can be passed on to the baby and neonatal herpes is a very serious condition.

Genital herpes in pregnancy

Women who have had hherpes before pregnancy they can expect to have no particular complications and that the vaginal delivery goes well and that there is no risk to the baby. This is because the antibodies already present should also protect the baby.

If, on the other hand, thegenital herpes first occurs during pregnancy there is a risk that the baby will develop a serious illness called herpes neonatale which requires immediate antiviral treatment.

In any case, the woman undergoes antiviral therapy starting from 36th week of gestation, therefore in the vicinity of birth, which can be vaginal (although in particular circumstances a caesarean section may be recommended).


  • Veronesi Foundation
  • Natural Remedies for Herpes simplex
  • NHS
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