What is Genital Herpes?
“How to cure genital herpes” or “is there any way available for genital herpes cure”- these questions might be undoubtedly bothering you. But, before thinking about all these things, you should at first know about the disease and its causes. Genital herpes is a highly contagious and sexually transmitted disease caused by Herpes Simplex Virus. About 16% of the population in the United States is infected by either HSV-1 or HSV-2. Among the infected population around 80% have genital herpes. So ideally, every sixth person in America is infected by this virus and is not aware of the infection because the virus shows no symptoms after entering the body. It goes to “sleep” mode and then “activates” only after 6-10 days or 2 weeks or months or even years. The initial symptoms of herpes are usually mistaken for “joke itch” because it is mild with no significant outbreaks. It is advised to get diagnosed for HSV infections in the early stage itself. Being diagnosed with herpes for the first time, could be painful as well as agonizing for the patient, but it could be controlled over time with proper treatments and medications. the questions come in mind about the genital herpes cure, but before solving that let’s know about its causes for further protection.
Causes of Genital Herpes
The following are the various causes of genital herpes due to HSV-1 and HSV-2.
- Direct contact with the broken skin or mucous membrane
- Unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner
- Oral herpes infections spread to genital areas through oral sex
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Women are prone to genital herpes during pregnancy
Facts and Myths – Genital Herpes
Myth #1: It is shameful to have genital herpes
Fact: Herpes is very common and anyone may be infected by it. This myth needs to be busted and people should stop stigmatizing this common disease. Instead, we can altogether go for the cure for genital herpes.
Myth #2: A pregnant mother will spread the infection to the child during birth
Fact: It is completely false because there are many cases where mother having herpes have given birth to non-infected babies. Infections that occur in the first trimester and healing towards the last trimester has very less chances of transmission.
Myth #3: When you have herpes you know it.
Fact: Symptoms are not visible immediately after you are infected with HSV. It may take few days, weeks, months or even years for the first set of outbreaks to occur. The virus can be passed from an infected person to a normal person when there are no visible symptoms. Its better to search about genital herpes cure instead to looking for the symptoms to appear.
Myth #4: Herpes spreads from toilet seats
Fact: Herpes virus cannot survive in the environment. It is nearly impossible to catch herpes infections by using toilet seats shared by infected persons. However, this myth is purposely spread with the aim to promote sanitary hygiene and not false information about herpes transmission.
Myth #5: Once you have herpes, you’ll have itchy rashes forever
Fact: Herpes occurs in episodes which vary in time and frequency. On an average the herpes outbreaks last for 10-15 days and may occur 4-6 times in a year. With the help of therapies and medications, this number could be shortened.
Diagnosis for Herpes
The diagnosis of herpes is usually done through physical examination of the lesions or blisters. In case of no visible genital lesions, the doctors recommend the following tests.
1. Virologic Tests
Virological tests are done within 3 days of occurrence of first set of genital lesions, in the blister stage itself.
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test
- Tzanck Smear Test
2. Serologic Tests
Serological tests are accurate when after 12-16 weeks of exposure to HSV. IT is usually done in the case of recurrent episodes of genital outbreaks.
- Blood Test
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that genital herpes should be diagnosed by both virologic and serologic tests including tests for other sexually transmitted diseases. Almost 50% of the first genital herpes infections are caused due to HSV-1 but the recurrence of genital herpes and viral shredding without overt symptoms much lesser in HSV-1 infections than HSV-2 infections. It is important to find out the type of virus that led to the genital infections as this influences the prognosis and treatment. After knowing about the diagnosis part, we are here to inform you the natural genital herpes cure methods:
Treatment for Genital Herpes
1. Natural Remedies for Genital Herpes
There are many home remedies which are completely natural and safe, to cure the herpes outbreaks. It is the natural cure for genital herpes which is found highly effective to lessen the pain and inflammation of the sores and helps in healing at a faster rate. The following are the few natural ingredients used in the treatment of herpes.
- Manuka Honey
- Bee Propolis
- Aloe vera
- Black Tea
- Lemon balm
- Tea Tree Oil
- Epsom Salt
- Baking Powder
These natural ingredients are easily available in the market in the form of pills, creams, powders or tinctures and will be proved efficiently effective in genital herpes cure.
2. Nutritional Supplements for Genital Herpes Treatment
Intake of healthy and balanced diet is essential, but apart from that taking certain nutritional supplements as given below can lower the frequency and severity of the genital outbreaks.
- Vitamin B
- Olive leaf extract
These natural supplements will not only help in genital herpes cure, but will be helpful in further prevention also.
3. Antiviral Drugs for Genital Herpes
The most commonly prescribed drugs for herpes, approved by FDA are as follows,
- Acyclovir (Zovirax)
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
- Famiciclovir (Famvir)
These drugs are available in the form of oral medications or ointments for external use. However the medicines which are orally administered have greater impact in treating the infections rather than creams and ointments. In extreme cases of genital outbreaks, Intravenous (IV) Acyclovir is administeres into the patient through injections.
Duration of Treatment
- The treatment time varies depending on the episodes. The treatment for the first episode of genital outbreaks lasts for 7-10 days.
- The treatment for recurrent episodes lasts for 1-5 days and completely depends on the dosage and type of medications.
- Suppressive treatment is given to the patients to suppress the occurrence of recurrent episodes over the course of time. It is generally recommended for patients with 6 or more outbreaks per year.
- Studies have shown that the OTC drugs are safe for a period of 6 years with Acyclovir and up to 1 year with Valacyclovir and Famciclovir.