Your Chicago OBGYN discusses what you need to know about genital herpes
Some of the most common questions that gynecologists are asked relate to genital herpes. In general, there is an unnecessary stigma associated with this condition. A sexually transmitted disease, genital herpes affects people of all ages, including those who have only had one sexual partner. Just one instance of contact is all that it takes to contract this condition. While it’s necessary to know your risks, you should also know that there are ways to manage genital herpes so your life is not significantly altered. Your gynecologist at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, in Chicago can help.
Important points about genital herpes
- Genital herpes affects approximately one in six people. Only about 10 percent of cases have been diagnosed.
- This chronic condition can only be contracted through sexual contact. You will not get genital herpes by sharing a razor or towel or by sleeping on the same sheets as an affected individual. The condition can be contracted through intercourse, as well as oral sex, kissing, and direct genital contact.
- It is possible to contract genital herpes in the absence of visible sores or symptoms. This is why it is important to wear a condom.
- Internal organs are not damaged by genital herpes.
- The condition can be managed with treatment from your physician.
- Women with this STD can become pregnant, deliver a child, and breastfeed, albeit with precautions.
It is understandable to feel overwhelmed by a diagnosis such as genital herpes. However, many men and women with this condition continue to live normal, healthy lives, even romantically and sexually. With prescription medication, taken daily, it is possible to reduce the risk of transmission by up to 50 percent.
Do you need treatment?
If you have experienced small blisters or areas of inflammation in the genital area, a physical examination should be performed. Typically, this is the extent of necessary diagnostics. When genital herpes is confirmed, the proper treatment to resolve the existing flare-up can be administered.
Consulting with your gynecologist in Chicago, you can find ways to manage genital herpes. Schedule your visit with Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, at 312-440-9400.