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Female genital herpes just like any other herpes is a lifelong disease that has as symptoms painful outbreaks of blisters in the genital area. The herpes simplex virus could affect men and women equally, but the pattern of infection is different.

Genital herpes transmission

Genital herpes in women is usually transmitted through close personal contact with the exchange of bodily fluids such as saliva, cervical fluid, semen or vesicle fluid. The herpes virus does not affect the dead and keratinized cells in the epidermis. In order to be able to replicate and to cause infection it must get in contact with mucosal cells or abraded cells.female genital herpes

Genital herpes transmission in women

The sad truth is that women are 4 times more likely to contact herpes simplex virus type 2 than men. Those women that are susceptible for the virus usually get it from a man that has been infected and they have higher chances to get infected than a man if he has contact with an infected woman. This means that in case of genital herpes in women the infection is not likely to be transmitted to a male sexual partner.

Why are women at a greater risk of having genital herpes?

There are some reasons for which female genital herpes is more common, and one of these reasons is that the surface area of cells moist with bodily fluids is greater than in case of men. Also it is a known fact that the hormonal changes happening during the menstrual cycle can affect the immune system and so it is easier for the virus to actually cause an infection.

First outbreak of genital herpes in women

The first outbreak is usually more painful and also lasts longer than the recurrent outbreaks in case of both genders. Still female genital herpes tends to be more severe and there are higher chances of complications. In this case the herpes lesions can appear almost anywhere in the genital area including the vulva, on the cervix, inside the vagina or the urethra.

Also these could occur in other regions as well besides the genital area, such as the buttocks and the thighs. The first outbreaks are infectious for about 3 weeks because the blisters come with a high number of infectious viral particles.

Other symptoms of genital herpes in women

Herpes is characterized by a rash in the genital area, but besides this the person in question could also have swollen lymph nodes in the groin and this might be accompanied by a burning sensation when urinating. The complications that could occur during the first outbreak include difficulty while urinating in case of 10-15% of women and also meningitis and inflammation of the fluid surrounding the brain.

Confusing symptoms of female genital herpes

Although some of the symptoms of genital herpes in women are very specific, there are also some that could be misleading, such as pelvic pain or vaginal discharge that can be misdiagnosed as yeast infection, pelvic inflammatory disease or cervicitis instead of female genital herpes.