Duration of genital herpes


Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. The contagious disease is triggered by an infection with the herpes simplex virus type 2 or 1. Genital herpes affects the vagina, penis or rectum. After unspecific symptoms such as itching or burning, small blisters appear on the mucous membrane in the genital area, which are filled with fluid and can burst. Even after the disease has healed, relapses can occur again and again, as the viruses remain in the body for a lifetime and rest there until they are activated again.

How long does genital herpes last?

When infected for the first time, the incubation period is around two to twelve days. Then the first symptoms develop and sores appear at the entry point. However, the initial infection with genital herpes is often symptom-free and goes unnoticed by those affected.
The herpes viruses penetrate the body through small injuries to the mucous membrane and attack the sensory nerves, where they later implant themselves in nerve ganglia (nerve nodes). There they are not recognized by the immune system and remain dormant until the next outbreak.
Normally, the typical symptoms of genital herpes do not appear until the second infection. After a few hours to days, highly infectious vesicles form, the affected areas are reddened and itchy. The vesicles contain fluid that is highly contagious. Little by little, the blisters burst and crust.
Genital herpes usually last one to two weeks after the initial infection. The course and duration of the disease depend on many factors and it can take up to four weeks for the infection to heal.

Further information on this topic can be found at: Genital herpes

How long does genital herpes last with acyclovir?

Genital herpes is treated with acyclovir, which is applied as a cream to the affected areas and causes the infectious blisters to dry out. In severe cases, acyclovir can also be administered orally via tablets or intravenously via an infusion. Acyclovir inhibits the viral replication and thus leads to an alleviation of the symptoms and accelerated healing. Acyclovir must be used for five to ten days, depending on the dosage, and can thus speed up the healing process by about a week.

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How long does genital herpes last without treatment?

In healthy people, genital herpes usually heals spontaneously even without medical treatment. However, this process then takes time longer than without treatment and the Blisters take about two to three weeks to heal. However, it is recommended that you start antiviral treatment as early as possible to reduce the risk of infection and relieve pain.

Duration of genital herpes in men

In the case of acute genital herpes infection in men, after an incubation period of one week, infectious vesicles form on the limb and glans. The infection can spread throughout the genital area and also affect the anus and rectum. With early treatment with antiviral medication, the lesions can heal after 7-10 days.

Duration of genital herpes in women

The The incubation period of genital herpes in women is one week. Then the typical painful vesicles and swellings develop in the entire genital area, especially on the vagina, cervix and urethra. The therapy with antivirals (Drugs against viruses e.g. acyclovir) should be started at the first sign, because rapid treatment inhibits the replication of the viruses and thus the duration of the illness can be shortened to a week.

How long is genital herpes contagious?

Herpes simplex virus infection is fairly widespread in the population. 90% of adults in Germany are infected with herpes simplex type 1 and 20% carry the herpes simplex virus type 2, which leads to herpes genitalis.
In the case of an acute genital herpes infection, fluid-filled blisters and small ulcers form on the affected areas in the genital area. These lesions contain the highly infectious viruses and therefore represent a very high risk of infection. Genital herpes is transmitted via body fluids through a smear infection during sexual intercourse. The contagious vesicles can burst, penetrate through small injuries to the mucous membrane into the body of the sexual partner and infect them. The virus can also be transmitted by smear infection if the person affected has no symptoms and does not yet know about the disease. Therefore, there is a risk of infection for the affected partner even before the vesicles appear.
Basically, genital herpes is particularly contagious as long as there are blisters. After the blisters have become encrusted and heal, the disease will be over by the next episode and infection can usually no longer occur.

Do I have to treat genital herpes?

Genital herpes is not curableas the virus cannot be removed from the body, but nowadays the disease can be treated very well. It is best immediately at the first sign of infection antiviral drugs take, as this can have a positive influence on the course of the disease. The earlier genital herpes is treated, the more effectively the virus is prevented from multiplying and the faster the symptoms can be alleviated and the risk of infection reduced. Since genital herpes is most commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse, should abstaining from sex during an acute episode and informing the partner about the infection. In this case, condoms are not sufficient as protection.

Are there recurring genital herpes outbreaks?

The Herpes simplex viruses remain in the body for a lifetime even after the acute illness has healed, therefore genital herpes is not curable. The viruses rest in the body without symptoms and can reappear months or years after the initial infection reactivated causing the disease to break out again. Relapses are favored by a weakened immune system, Colds or stress, but are usually weaker than the initial infection.