Genital herpes risk factors and complications

Genital herpes risk factors and complications

High risk factors include:

  • Females (women): Genital herpes is more commonly noted in women than it is men. The virus is sexually transmitted more easily from men to women than it is the other way around. (4)
  • Multiple sex partners: More than one sex partner increases your risk of exposure to the virus that causes genital herpes.

Common complications associated with HSV-2 are:

  • Other sexually transmitted infections: Genital sores increases a person’s risk of contracting or transmitting other sexually transmitted infections such as AIDS.
  • Newborn infections: When a baby passes through the birth canal during delivery, an infant can be exposed to the virus from an infected mother. Complications that can affect the baby include brain damage, blindness or even death.
  • Bladder problems: Sores can cause inflammation around the urethra (the tube that delivers urine from the bladder and out of the body). Swelling can in turn cause blockage (closing or narrowing of the urethra) for several days. If this happens a person’s natural ability to urinate is compromised and may need the insertion of a catheter to assist with draining the bladder.
  • Meningitis: It is rare, but inflammation of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord can occur, causing meningitis.
  • Proctitis (rectal inflammation): The lining of the rectum can become inflamed.


4. Indiana State Department of Health. Some Facts about Genital Herpes: [Accessed 29.08.2018]

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