Genital herpes is a highly contagious sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It is often transmitted through skin-to-skin contact in vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected individual.
The most common cause of genital herpes is the transmission of the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) through sexual contact. However Genital herpes can also be caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) if a cold sore touched the genitals.
The main symptom of genital herpes are tingling and painful small fluid-filled sores in the genital, thighs or anal areas.
Additional herpes symptoms may include:
- Pain when urinating
- Flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, and headache) during the initial outbreak
It is important to note that if you have an HSV infection, you can pass along the virus even when you have no visible symptoms.