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Causes of Genital Herpes

Explore the six main causes of genital herpes, including transmission through sexual contact, asymptomatic shedding, and lack of protection, to understand how to prevent its spread effectively.

  • 20 Feb 2024
  • 2 min read

Netizens are curious about several diseases, one among which is Genital Herpes. “What is Genital Herpes”, “Herpes is caused by what”, “Is Genital Herpes a big deal?” – these are the kind of questions rising, and here, we address these FAQs for you. Genital herpes is a sexually communicable infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV: HSV 1, usually linked to oral herpes, and HSV 2, mainly responsible for genital herpes. This viral infection is characterised by open sores or blisters in the genital and anal regions. Let’s look at the main causes behind the spread of this disease.

What Are The Causes of Genital Herpes?

Understanding the causes of HSV is crucial for prevention and management.

  1. Transmission of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV):

Genital herpes primarily stems from the herpes simplex virus, which can be transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact, especially during sexual activities like vaginal, anal or oral sex.

  1. HSV-2 and Genital Herpes:

Although both HSV 1 and HSV 2 can cause genital herpes, it is commonly associated with HSV 2. HSV 2 is typically linked to genital herpes due to its high preference for the genital and anal areas leading to more frequent outbreaks in these regions.

  1. Asymptomatic Shedding;

The chance of transmitting the virus to partners increases when people unknowingly spread it through shedding. 

  1. Highly contagious nature;

Genital herpes is highly contagious during outbreaks when sores or blisters are present. The virus can be transmitted through non-sexual contact, such as close personal interactions or sharing personal items like towels or razors. 

  1. Multiple sex partners

Engaging in sexual activities with multiple partners raises the chances of exposure to HSV and contracting genital herpes. 

  1. Lack of protection

Not using condoms or any protection during sexual intercourse also increases the risk of transmission.



Now that you know what causes HSV, it’s important to practice safe sexual contact, consistently using barrier methods like condoms and being aware of the possibility of shedding. These are crucial steps in reducing the risk of contracting and spreading genital herpes. Also having health insurance policy in place covers the cost of medical treatments if such a condition occurs. 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your general physician or another certified medical professional for any questions regarding a medical condition. Relying on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk, and ICICI Lombard is not responsible for any effects or consequences resulting from the use of the information shared.

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