Vaginal herpes, like all genital herpes, is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is usually caused by sexual activity with someone infected with the herpes virus (HSV). Around 45 million people in the United States have genital herpes. An estimated 1 in 6 people, globally, aged 14 to 49 (15.5% of the human population) live with the infection.
This type of virus is much more commonplace with women than in comparison to men. It is harder for the virus to spread woman to man than it is man to woman. Genital herpes often do not have symptoms or have mild symptoms that go unnoticed. Therefore being aware of your genital hygiene and HSV-2 is important to ensure it is treated properly. It is thought that only 10 to 20% of cases are reported due to the difficulty of knowing if you have HSV-2 or not.
There are two variants of herpes, type 1 and type 2. Herpes is connected normally to cold sores but through oral sex can be passed to the genitals. HSV-1, when genital herpes, is less severe and outbreaks are less common. The organization known as WHO have stated that about 67% of all people under 50 years old have HSV-1.
More often than not, people are unaware they have herpes. HSV-2 is the most common form of genital herpes. Both strains of genital herpes can be contracted through sexual interaction with anyone that is infected. Initial outbreak occurs after contracting genital herpes.
During this first outbreak, some people may experience body aches, a fever, or bloated lymph nodes. If signs of genital herpes arise, you will experience painful ulcers or blisters (open sores), itching, tingling, or burning in the genitals. Genital herpes outbreaks vary in a person’s lifetime and some people have more outbreaks and others have less.
The virus remains dormant until reactivated with hormones, illness, stress, etc. Some people may confuse genital warts and herpes. Warts are growths appearing on the skin because of an infection – usually HPV.
Symptoms of genital herpes include:
As vaginal herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), while sexually active, latex condoms can be used to lessen the chance of spreading the disease. However, this does not offer protection in areas unprotected from a condom including mouth-to-genital (oral) sex. People with weaker immune systems are at higher risk of infection and regular outbreaks. Vaginal herpes outbreaks have blistering lesions in the vaginal area which are exposed during sexual contact.
A doctor will diagnose genital herpes by identifying the changes of the skin around the genital area. There is unfortunately no permanent solution for herpes, however, medication and therapy is available.
Suppressive therapy and common antiviral medications can provide relief. Antiviral medications lessen the extremity and prevalence of your outbreaks. Genital herpes symptoms normally develop four days after sexual interaction with a person with the infection. There are natural or home solutions that can also soothe and relieve harsh symptoms.
To alleviate or subdue herpes with suppressive therapy or antiviral medication get advice from your doctor first for available options. Suppressive therapy lower the number of times you get herpes but it will never cure you of it like we mentioned before.
If you want to explore alternatives, THC can decrease the number of outbreaks from HSV that you have. However, because THC is a prohibited substance in most states in the US and other countries. People suffering from herpes claim that CBD is effective in treating the symptoms of herpes, but more study is needed.
Medical cannabis (MC) and CBD both have side effects which are minor and nothing to worry about i.e. tiredness or increased appetite etc. CBD is legal in more places than THC, so check your local laws. These treatments are able to reduce the frequency of your vaginal herpes and if you find the right mix of solutions, you just may join the part of the population who avoids outbreaks altogether.