According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), genital herpes is one of the most common STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) in the United States. It is estimated that there are roughly 50 million people, majorities of whom are female with genital herpes. Genital herpes is triggered by a virus commonly referred to as HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus). There are two forms of herpes simplex virus. These are:
· HSV-1 (Herpes Simplex Virus – Type 1).
· HSV-2 (Herpes Simplex Virus – Type 2).
Herpes simplex virus – type 1 is usually triggered by either fever blisters or cold sores. Then again, there are medical studies which indicate that HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, which is also commonly referred to as HSV-2. A majority of men suffering from genital herpes do not even know that they have the disease. The key reason for this is because the signs and symptoms displayed are quite mild.
What Occurs When One is infected with Herpes?
Herpes in men is commonly transmitted when they have sexual intercourse with an infected person. Transmission occurs even though the person may not notice the signs and symptoms. The instant the virus gets into the body it is transmitted to the nerves where it stays dormant for a couple of days before the initial lesions are noticed.
Signs and Symptoms
Whereas most people tend to experience mild symptoms, it is possible for one to know if they are suffering from herpes by noting the following:
#1: Itching Sensations
According to the CDC, one of the signs that a majority of men usually experience when it comes to genital herpes is itching, which is accompanied by pain. Itching and pain during urination can be experienced in less than 4 weeks of having sexual intercourse with an infected person.
A couple of days after experiencing itching accompanied with pain, one may notice red swellings or sores on the penis. The swellings can appear on both the shaft and head. Other areas where swellings can be noticed include thighs, scrotum and buttocks. As pointed out earlier, a majority of men who have contracted the disease do not know that they are suffering from the virus since there are no symptoms being displayed.
The CDC states that infection is quite simple once the signs and symptoms start showing. The initial outbreak tends to be more severe compared to recurrent outbreaks. Recurrence in men is quite rare unless the immune system has been compromised. Then again, there are men who experience outbreaks 40 years after acquiring the initial virus.
After a couple of days, the ulcers might rapture. When this happens, one may experience bleeding ulcers. The ulcers are usually accompanied by pain while urinating. One may also experience some tenderness in the penile and genital region. After a couple of days, scabs may start forming above the ulcers, thereby allowing them to heal. Outbreaks are usually attributed to emotional and physical stress, unprotected sex, medications as well as ailments like HIV/AIDS.
Given the risk factors, men are usually advised to safeguard themselves from acquiring the infection by:
· Abstaining from sex.
· Sticking to one sexual partner.
· Testing for herpes simplex virus before committing to a sexual partner.
#4: Flu-like Indicators
Besides the appearance of sores and blisters, one may also notice flu-like indicators which can occur around the genital area.
Other signs and symptoms that are also commonly associated with genital herpes in men include aching of the muscles, inflamed lymph nodes, acute fever, backaches and headaches.
As is the case with every other viral infection, there is no treatment for genital herpes. The medications that are used are simply designed to ease the signs and symptoms. However the virus stays dormant for as long as the victim is alive. Recurrence is quite rare in men. Nevertheless, there are men who experience recurrence 40 years after the initial outbreak.