Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). There’s no cure for genital herpes, but medicines can help control the infection.
STDs (also called sexually transmitted infections or STIs) are infections that spread through sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) or close sexual contact.
Most people with genital herpes don’t have any symptoms. They may not even know they are infected.
Some people with genital herpes can have “outbreaks” of sores in the genital and anal area. (Genitals are the sexual or reproductive organs that are on the outside of the body.) The sores heal within a few weeks. Outbreaks can be brought on by stress, illness, being overly tired, or being in sunlight. Women can have outbreaks when they get their periods.
The first outbreak often is the most severe. Outbreaks usually become less severe over time.
cause genital herpes:
HSV-1 is the virus that causes cold sores around the mouth. It can cause genital herpes when it spreads through oral sex. But most of the time, genital herpes is caused by HSV-2.
People can get infected with genital herpes when:
Genital herpes can spread even if there are no sores because the virus is still in the body. The virus sometimes “sheds” in the skin near the genitals. When the virus is shedding, it can infect another person.
To find out if someone has genital herpes, health care providers do tests on:
People with genital herpes need to tell recent, current, and future sex partners about their infection. Because someone may never have symptoms or may not have symptoms for months to years after infection, a current partner may not be the source of the infection.
There is no cure for genital herpes. But health care providers can prescribe medicine to help:
The only way to prevent genital herpes and other STDs is to not have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal). If someone decides to have sex, using a latex condom every time can prevent most STDs.
But condoms can’t always prevent the spread of genital herpes. This is because the virus may be in the skin near the genitals (and not covered by a condom).
Genital herpes is a lifelong condition, but there are ways to manage it. If your teen has genital herpes, you can help him or her learn to live with the infection. Talk to your teen about:
Teens who continue to be sexually active should get tested for STDs every year or more often if recommended by their health care provider.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Some people – even those who are having sex – are embarrassed by the topic of condoms. Here are some tips for talking about condoms with your partner.
You know you should talk about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) before the action starts. But what if the thought of having “the talk” makes you nervous? These tips can help.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). There’s no cure for genital herpes, but medicines can help control it.
Talking to your kids about sex can be a challenge. But discussing issues like birth control can help lower teens’ risk of unintended pregnancy or getting an STD.
You’ve probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.
Parents should learn about the most common STDs, how they spread, and how they’re diagnosed and treated.
Answering kids’ questions about sex is a responsibility many parents dread. But by answering these questions honestly, parents can help foster healthy feelings about sex.
Genital warts are caused by certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is one of the most common STDs. A vaccine can prevent HPV infection, which causes most genital warts and cervical cancers.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.
You’ve probably heard lots about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. For information on how to protect yourself and how to treat genital warts, read this article.
People who have STDs might feel apprehensive about discussing their disease with a partner. Here are some tips on talking to a partner when you have an STD.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.