Genital herpes in men is important to know!

Briefly about the disease

According to WHO estimates, almost 75% of the world’s population under the age of 50 are carriers of the herpes simplex virus and more than half a billion people have suffered a genital infection caused by this pathogen. Genital herpes in men has a pronounced gender feature, because its consequences for the male body are more critical than for the female. Inguinal herpes is a venereal disease and causes physical and mental suffering for a man.  

Herpes (from the Greek “creeping”) is a viral disease with a specific scattering of vesicles on the inflamed skin and mucous membrane. It is characterized by a recurrent course and an indefinite carrier of viruses . 

The occurrence of herpes infection is caused by the introduction of the herpes simplex virus. Penetrating through the sclera and mucous membranes, it rushes into the bloodstream and lymphatic ducts and with their current reaches all internal organs. Once in the nerve endings and integrated into the genetic structure of nerve cells, it remains with a person for life.

Ways of transmission

A distinctive feature of a damaging agent is its ability to easily penetrate into the human body through intact mucous membranes and skin with impaired integrity. It does not make much difference where it gets to the genitals: from the genitals, lips or other parts of the body of the virus carrier – direct contact is necessary . 

Ways of transmission of the genital virus : 

  • sexual – infection occurs in one hundred percent of cases with genital, oral or anal unprotected sex, 
  • household – infection is possible through close contact and through personal hygiene items. 

There is a possibility of intrauterine infection, transmission of the virus during childbirth from mother to baby or through contact with contaminated blood, but such cases are extremely rare.

There is another type of herpes that affects the strong half of humanity – this is the so-called “wrestling herpes”. Infection occurs when practicing contact sports: Thai boxing, wrestling, judo. It is characterized by multiple papular rashes on the neck and head, sore throat and fever.

Symptoms of primary genital herpes in men

The time elapsed from the moment of infection to the appearance of the first signs is different for everyone and ranges from one day to three to four weeks.

At first, the patient is worried about soreness and itching at the site of penetration of the virus, subsequently, bubbles appear filled with transparent contents. They are located on a tense, hyperemic surface and can merge with each other. Then the liquid inside the vesicles becomes cloudy, after another two or three days the vesicles burst and weeping painful erosions with a yellowish bloom form in their place.

The general condition of the patient suffers: low-grade fever up to 38 ° C, chills, weakness, headaches, body aches. Regional inguinal lymph nodes react to local processes: they are enlarged and painful.

Healing of erosions is long-term: within one and a half to two weeks. The surface of the ulcers dries up and becomes covered with a crust, swelling and redness go away, the pain subsides. Subsequently, the crusts fall off without leaving a trace. The general condition is normalized, but local itching persists.

Primary manifestations of genital herpes are more severe than recurrent manifestations.

In 20% of cases, a subclinical form occurs with minimal or no manifestations. The patient does not pay attention to mild symptoms and does not suspect that he is a virus carrier and infectious.

Complications of genital herpes in men

The target organs for the virus are the urethra, prostate, anus, rectum, seminal vesicles:

  • Herpetic urethritis is manifested by burning, heat along the urethra, pain at the onset of the act of urination . The mucous membrane is edematous, from the external opening of the urethra, scanty mucous discharge. 
  • Herpes of the bladder is characterized by pain at the end of the act of urination , blood in the urine, the patient urinates frequently, in small portions. It develops as a complication of herpetic lesions of the urethra and prostate. 
  • Herpetic proctitis is manifested by burning, itching and pain, cracks in the rectum and bleeding during the act of defecation appear. Symptoms of irritation of the pelvic nerve plexus join: bursting pains, increased gas production and tenesmus (false urge to defecate). 
  • Herpes of the prostate gland is accompanied by pain syndrome and clinical signs of inflammation against the background of a relapse of the disease. According to statistics, in 30% of cases, the culprit of the disease is a simple herpes virus. 


This disease is treated by a urologist. He collects an anamnesis: whether there were such manifestations before, whether there was unprotected sex, etc. Examination of the external genital organs allows you to determine the presence of clinical manifestations of herpes and establish the stage of development of the disease.

Additional research : KLA, OAM, blood for biochemistry, scrapings from the urethral mucosa and biological fluids for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (antibody detection) and PCR ( supersensitive virus detection method).

According to the indications, a consultation with a dermatologist, proctologist and venereologist is prescribed for differential diagnosis, because before the appearance of rashes, the symptoms are similar to the manifestations of other diseases.


Despite the fact that it is impossible to completely cure the disease, therapeutic measures facilitate the course of the disease and avoid complications.

There are no special drugs specifically for the treatment of men, the antiviral drugs used are universal. Therapy for genital herpes is complex, the doctor prescribes the dose and treatment regimen individually, taking into account the characteristics of the patient and the course of the disease. For treatment can be used:

  • Antiviral pills : Acyclovir, Famciclovir (if the virus is insensitive to Acyclovir), Zovirax , Kagocel . 
  • Means that promote the production of interferon in the body : Arbidol, Flokazid . 
  • Antiviral ointments: Panivir , Zovirax , Acyclovir, Triapten are applied to the affected areas several times a day, the duration of the course is 7-10 days. 
  • Rectal suppositories: Viferon, Panavir , Genferon . 
  • Antihistamine agent : ointments to relieve itching Fenistil, Soventol . 
  • Immunomodulators: injections of immunoglobulin subcutaneously according to the scheme, Panavir , Taktivin , Ridostin , Cycloferon, Viferon, Echinacea, ginseng. 
  • Symptomatic therapy: pain relievers (Baralgin, Pentalgin), anti-inflammatory ( Nurofen , Ketoprofen). 

It is also important to adjust your diet. A dairy-vegetable diet is recommended, you need to exclude smoked meats, fatty, fried, spicy, drink more liquid. Important Abstinence from sexual intercourse: injections, ointments and pills do not delay the transmission of the virus to the partner, therefore, the possibility of infection is great. Preventive therapy implies the appointment of continuous long-term course of treatment to exclude relapse or reduce the frequency of its occurrence.  


To avoid infection, you need to streamline your sex life. The condom does not provide one hundred percent protection: the virus easily penetrates through the areas of the skin not covered by the condom, especially if there are microdamages on it. The use of antiseptics ( Miramistin , Chlorhexidine) is recommended for treating intimate places after coitus.

The combined use of a condom and an antiseptic reduces the risk of infection with the herpes virus by 85 – 90%.

If the body has already been infected, it is necessary to maintain immunity, balance the diet, introduce feasible physical activity, quit smoking and drinking alcohol.

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