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Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can be treated but has no cure. Genital herpes is caused by one of two viruses: herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2.

Genital herpes: what you should know

  • You can get genital herpes from having sex (vaginal intercourse, anal sex or oral sex) with a person who has it. You can also spread herpes through close skin-to-skin contact.
  • Herpes symptoms include red, itchy bumps that blister and appear on or near your genitals, rectum, thigh, urethra and buttocks.
  • If you have genital herpes and are pregnant or have immune system problems, such as HIV, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, you may need additional specialists. They can help manage any complications related to genital herpes infection.

How can I get help for genital herpes?

If you are pregnant and think you have genital herpes, talk to your primary care doctor or OB-GYN right away. Also call your primary care doctor or OB-GYN if you have the following:

  • Herpes symptoms, including blistering bumps and flu-like symptoms
  • Sexual partner with genital herpes
  • Problems with your immune system

Care for genital herpes at Rush

If you are a healthy adult, your primary care doctor will recommend medicines to manage outbreaks and reduce your chances of spreading herpes. If you have any of the following health issues, specialists at Rush can help:

Why choose Rush for genital herpes care

  • Primary care doctors, including OB-GYNs, at Rush diagnose and treat genital herpes. These doctors are closely connected to specialists at Rush who can help address complex cases of genital herpes.
  • Conceiving a baby can be challenging when you or your partner have herpes. Fertility specialists at Rush can help men and women with treatments such as IVF.
  • Maternal-fetal medicine doctors at Rush specialize in caring for women facing high-risk pregnancies and deliveries, including women with genital herpes.
  • Staff at the new and spacious Rush Family Birth Center has expertise in caring for women and babies exposed to genital herpes.
  • Infectious disease specialists at Rush conduct research in finding better ways to prevent and treat genital herpes.
  • The Marital and Sex Therapy Program at Rush helps couples navigate relationship problems caused by a herpes diagnosis.

Departments and programs that treat this condition