While both men and women can get the herpes infection, when the infection causes sores or blemishes around the male genital organs it is referred to as male herpes.
Herpes, more accurately known as the herpes simplex virus, is most commonly experienced around the lips or mouth, and is often referred to as a cold sore.
When the symptoms appear below the waist on men, we say it is a case of male herpes.
The Herpes Virus – The herpes simplex virus is one of a family of herpes viruses, which includes among others, the chickenpox virus, and the virus which causes mononucleosis.
There are actually two types of herpes simplex virus, herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1, which predominately causes problems around the mouth, and HSV-2 which is the primary cause of genital male herpes.
Two rather chilling notes regarding male herpes are, it is incurable, and it is very likely that many more men have it than is generally realized.
The good news is, most who have it don’t experience severe outbreaks, or when the outbreaks do occur they’re often confused with being a symptom of something else and usually ignored.
Once one has the virus however, they will have it for life, and can pass it on to others. Male herpes is transmitted primarily by skin contact, and consequently is often transmitted though sexual intercourse, as some women also have HSV-1 and HSV-2 types of the virus.
First Outbreak Usually The Worst – Male herpes symptoms are in many ways similar to the symptoms of chickenpox, or shingles, as while they may be extremely irritating, and even painful, they eventually go away.
The symptoms can and sometime so return later, but the initial episode is generally the worst, with redness, swelling and blisters appearing on the buttocks, about the anus, or on the penis.
Once the blisters burst, healing is underway. The infection usually sets in from 3 to 7 days after contracting the virus, so unless one is sexually hyperactive with many different partners, the guilty party will usually be known.
The guilty party, in this case usually a woman, may be totally unaware that she is carrying the virus, but the same can be said for most male carriers as well.
Not The End Of The World – There are creams and lotions which can be applied to treat the symptoms, and once an initial infection has subsided there are a number of things that can be done to aid in the prevention of future flare ups.
Men are often more apt to suffer psychological or emotional problems from an outbreak of the virus than from suffering physically. Some will regard an outbreak as “the end of life as I have known it”, but this is seldom the case, and the ability to have sex has not suddenly gone out the window.
It just needs to remembered that a chronic or incurable infection is often treatable and manageable, which is the case with male herpes.
It’s also helpful to recognize that any subsequent outbreaks are almost always much milder than the initial infection, and “life as I have known it”, can for the most part continue on.
In fact, there are many couples, in which one is known to have the virus and the other is known not to have it, who live together and, despite having to take certain precautions, have for the most part a very normal and active sex life.
At times, especially during an outbreak, the virus is extremely contagious, but at other times, or when proper precautions, such as condoms, are used, the chances of the virus being passed on to the other purpose are between slim and none.