Genital herpes is a small but untreated disease that can have great consequences. Gynecology Specialist Op. Dr. Nuri Ceydeli, answered questions about genital herpes.
- What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes; herpes simplex type 1 and type 2 is a viral infection in the genital area caused by herpes virus. Genital herpes, which is usually associated with type 2 herpes virus, has become increasingly active in type 1 in recent years. Genital herpes; It is the most common sexually transmitted disease among women due to chronic infection. In type 2 infected patients, the average number of recurrences is 4 times in the first year of infection, but this number is one when type 1 is the causative agent. Repetition rate after the first year; type 2 decreases slowly, whereas type 1 is rare. In the first infections, the picture is more serious. 75% of primary infections cannot be understood by the patient. Sometimes it is diagnosed incidentally during the treatment of fungal infection, urinary tract infection, and allergic lesions in the genital area.
- What are the symptoms?
The most classic symptom; painful blisters and ulcers in the genital area. These blisters are itchy, tiny painful lesions that give the impression of collecting water. Some women may only have superficial wounds, cracks and itching.
- Genital herpes causes complaints in women?
May cause severe burns while having sexual intercourse or urination.
- How is it diagnosed?
Viral culture during the disease is specific and is performed in many centers. Sometimes it can be difficult to isolate the virus. In cases such as meningitis due to herpes and inflammation of the membranes, viral culture can be performed from the samples by PCR. In addition, antibodies to herpes types in the blood can be examined. The incubation period is as short as 4 days. Antibodies are detected 2-12 weeks after infection and remain in the blood. There is not enough medical information about the necessity to treat women who have a partner with type 2 infection but do not have a disease.
- How is genital herpes treated?
Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, famciclovir, valaciclovir are used safely in the treatment of normal infection. Even if the genital herpes is mild, it is necessary to suggest treatment during the first period. Thus, lesions, viral spread, symptoms are reduced, but in the long term the natural process of the disease does not change. Usually oral drugs are sufficient, sometimes hospitalization and intravenous treatment may be necessary. Superficial drugs are of no use. Painkillers may be recommended if necessary. In the first days of the disease, warm water baths may work. Superficial painkillers may be useful.
- Is it possible to repeat after recovery?
The possibility of recurrence of genital herpes can be prevented by daily suppressive drugs or antiviral drugs that are used at regular intervals when the disease is felt to start.
- If left untreated, can it lead to serious illness?
Some patients may develop very serious infections, such as very common infections, pneumonia, hepatitis, meningitis or encephalitis, in which case hospitalization and intravenous treatment is necessary. Genital herpes observed during pregnancy does not cause serious problems in the first half of pregnancy. Because there is little chance of transition to the baby during this period. If sexual intercourse with the person with genital herpes is to be established, condoms should be used, although there is no definite measure.