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Genital herpes in women: symptoms and treatment of herpes on the labia

Many are familiar with herpes on the lips. Someone had it, and someone just saw or imagines what he looks like. Few know that genital herpes exists.

This is a disease that is unpleasant to talk about even with a doctor, but it is even more difficult to endure the painful symptoms (see photo). Consider what the problem is and how to treat it.


Genital herpes - what is it?

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that causes the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Although official statistics cannot provide objective data, since patients often confuse their illness and seek medical attention in extreme situations, but according to some estimates this is one of the most common diseases.

Genital herpes

common feature photo

In this regard, popular methods of treating the disease, which are full of many headlines of Internet resources, promise to get rid of herpes on the labia in a few days.

Such advice can lead to the development of complications and cause another exacerbation of a viral infection, so you need to treat them critically.

Genital herpes occurs with periods of exacerbation and remission - once infected with the herpes virus, a person may encounter it throughout life. Completely get rid of him will not work, because he "settled" in the nerve cells forever. Adequate treatment aims to minimize the risk of exacerbations or prevent them altogether.

About the causes and features

There are several types of herpes simplex virus. It was previously believed that herpes on the lips causes type 1 HSV, and genital herpes virus (type 2 HSV) on the genitals. Subsequently, it became clear that both types of herpes can cause illness on the genitals and on the lips. The only difference is that in most cases (about 80%) the disease on the genitals causes HSV-2, and to a lesser extent (20%) HSV-1 occurs.

Important! This means that a woman can become infected through oral contact with the patient, because the infection easily passes from the lips of one spouse to the genitals of the other and, accordingly, vice versa.

Sexually transmitted herpes is transmitted. In the external environment, the virus is unstable and quickly dies after a few minutes under the influence of heat, cold or other factors.

Domestic transmission of the virus is possible, for example, when using common hygiene items, but is very rare. To avoid domestic infection, it is enough to follow the usual rules of hygiene.

Symptoms and signs of genital herpes in women

genital herpes in women photo

genital herpes in women photo rash

Symptoms of herpes on the genitals of women can manifest themselves in different ways. Clinically there are several options for the course of the infection process:

Заражение женщины, прежде не болевшей герпесом. 1. Infection of a woman who has not previously had herpes. The disease manifests itself:

  • Rash on the genitals (vestibule of the vagina, labia and perineum area). Occurs about a week after sexual contact with a sick partner;
  • Formation of purulent vesicles and ulcers by the second week of the disease;
  • The formation of crusts on the site of ulcers and their healing after a few weeks;
  • Discharge of pus from the genitals;
  • Severe groin itching;
  • Urination problems;
  • Increased temperature and increased regional lymph nodes.

This is the first encounter with the virus in women. In the future, it will permanently settle in the body and can recur and again remind of itself with various symptoms.

Genital herpes in women

Вторичное заражение. 2. Secondary infection. The virus re-enters the body or is activated due to reduced immunity in women.

Symptoms differ a considerable variety: the lymph nodes may not increase, and the temperature stays at the level of subfebrile, bubbles quickly appear, which are replaced by ulcers and erosions.

Бессимптомное течение. 3. Asymptomatic course. If a woman has a strong immunity, then HSV, entering the body, does not manifest itself. The woman continues to infect her partners, unaware that she is a carrier of the herpes virus.

Атипичный вариант. 4. Atypical option. With the development of inflammatory processes in the pelvic organs only on the basis of PCR, it is possible to establish their connection with the herpes virus, since the woman is not worried about itching, rash, or other symptoms.

Pregnancy with genital herpes

In a small percentage of cases, this infection in a woman can cause a non-developing pregnancy or lead to a miscarriage. The disease can be one of the factors of infertility if it causes the development of inflammatory and adhesive processes in the pelvic organs.

Herpes is transmitted from mother to child during childbirth. The situation is aggravated if the mother has fresh rashes on the genitals. Such herpes can cause severe organ damage in the newborn and can be fatal.

Therefore, it is advisable to think about the presence of the herpes virus in the body and preventing relapse at the planning stage of pregnancy.


If there is no typical clinical picture, then detection of antibodies to HSV-1 and 2 (ELISA) or detection of virus DNA will help ( by PCR ).

Important! Only the detection of antibodies is not enough to diagnose a virus, as it may take several weeks from the moment of infection to their appearance.

For the diagnosis using several methods, especially in difficult diagnostic cases and in women during pregnancy.

Treatment of herpes on the genital lips

Treatment of herpes on the genital lips

How to treat genital herpes in women to relieve the painful symptoms of the disease. To do this, use a set of tools:

  1. Immunomodulators (Cycloferon, etc.);
  2. Antiviral drugs (acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir, etc.).
  3. Physiotherapy.
  4. Ointments for genital herpes can be prescribed with antipruritic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects. Using only ointments in the treatment is ineffective.

The main treatment is antiviral drugs, their use in the early stages of genital herpes can completely eliminate the appearance of unpleasant symptoms. The remaining methods of therapy are prescribed in more advanced and difficult cases.

If a rash on the genitals has already occurred, the use of Acyclovir (or other antiviral drugs) will accelerate the healing of wounds, especially in combination with appropriate ointments (4th item).

It is worth remembering that this disease cannot be cured completely, all medical measures are aimed at suppressing and “putting to sleep" the virus - to drive it into an inactive state. But with the failure of immunity, stress, etc. he can remind himself again - just like ordinary herpes.

Separately, we note - a vaccine against herpes does not yet exist.

About complications

The most unpleasant complications of this infection may be the development of chronic inflammatory processes of the reproductive organs and, as a consequence, secondary infertility.

In pregnant women, acute herpes can cause various abnormalities in the development of the fetus and lead to death of the baby.

Preventive measures are reduced to the use of barrier methods of contraception for casual sexual intercourse. In addition, it is necessary to monitor the state of your immune system and strengthen it.

Questions to the doctor

herpes on the genital lips

Передается ли половой герпес при пользовании общим сиденьем для унитаза? Question: Is genital herpes transmitted when using a common toilet seat?

Теоретически такая вероятность существует, но процент бытового заражения половым герпесом очень низкий. Answer: Theoretically, this probability exists, but the percentage of household infection with genital herpes is very low. If your family member has HSV, then you should follow the usual rules of hygiene and use antiseptics with antiviral effect.

У мужа при появлении высыпаний на мошонке обнаружили ВПГ-2, а у меня никаких проявлений болезни нет. Question: My husband found HSV-2 when the rash appeared on the scrotum, but I have no manifestations of the disease. Why?

Чаще всего эта инфекция не сопровождается симптомами, поэтому даже если муж заразил вас ВПГ-2, у вас признаков болезни может не быть. Answer: Most often this infection is not accompanied by symptoms, so even if your husband has infected you with HSV-2, you may not have signs of the disease. The level of the immune system plays an important role in the manifestation of the symptoms, and if it copes well with the virus, then the signs of a herpes infection may never disturb you.

Genital herpes is not a sentence, but a reason to pay attention to their female health. If a woman does not have it, then you need to monitor sexual relations, and if he has appeared - to keep the immune system at the proper level and strengthen it in various ways.


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