Herpes Type 2 or HSV-2 is an infection most often found in women. Signs, symptoms and severity of outbreaks differ from person to person, but we will give you some basic information regarding HSV-2 and its causes.
In HSV-2, the infected person may have sores around the genitals or rectum. Although HSV-2 sores may occur in other locations, these sores usually are found below the waist.
At the first sign of herpes shedding, care should be taken to avoid transmission between partners. When the virus becomes active, warning symptoms (called prodromes) include:
- Genital Itching
- Flu-Like Feelings of Fever
- Swelling of the Lymph Nodes
Typically, the incubation period for herpes type 2 is approximately three weeks, but this varies between individuals. The initial warning sign that female herpes type two may be present is the development of blisters and pimple or wart like boils. These blisters are most commonly found around the vaginal area but can also infect the buttocks, thighs, and uterus.
Breakouts can be brought on by any number of reasons and we have listed a few below:
- General Illness (from mild illnesses to serious conditions)
- Physical or Emotional Stress
- Immunosuppression Due to AIDS or Such Medications as Chemotherapy or Steroids
- Trauma to the affected area, including sexual activity
First off, a non-specific herpes blood test can give the patient an answer about infection of either type, but unfortunately, they do not differentiate between the two. Therefore, this type of herpes blood test is only really helpful for people with no history of any cold sores on the mouth or around the nose who wish to simply determine if they have at least one strand of the disease.
Other more helpful forms of the herpes blood test are the type-specific blood tests, which can determine which strand of herpes the patient is infected with, as well as the location of the infection.
Examples of these are Western Blot and Focus Technologies’ Herpeselect. Due to the limited number of labs, these tests may take up to a week to get results. Also, they are not completely accurate either, but at least they can give you a better idea of what you may be up against.
The use of condoms during sexual intercourse can offer a modest amount of protection against the transmission of herpes simplex virus type two for both males and females. Studies show that those who use condoms consistently have a 30% lower risk of contracting the herpes simplex type two virus than those who never use condoms during intercourse.
The herpes virus is not capable of passing through the latex material that condoms are made of. However, condoms cannot be 100% effective because they do not prevent contact between all areas of an infected individual’s skin and a non-infected individual. The skin around the infected individual’s scrotum, anus, buttocks or upper thighs can also transmit the disease.
Many over the counter, prescription and home remedies are available to both lessen occurrence of breakouts and severity when a breakout happens. Consult your doctor before embarking upon any herpes treatment.