Symptoms of Genital Herpes

What are the symptoms of genital herpes (HSV-2)?

Many people infected with genital herpes have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, so not everyone who is infected may be aware of the infection. But typical symptoms for genital herpes are:

  • Tingling, itching, or burning: Before the blisters appear, you may feel that your skin tingle, specially around your ties. Your genital area also may itch or burn. This usually happens 1-2 days before the outbreak and is the first sign for a herpes outbreak. When ANY of these symptoms are present, it means the virus is active, and risk of transmission is high.
  • Sores: One or more painful, fluid-filled blisters may appear. Blisters break open and often ooze fluid and form a crust, before healing. Sores typically occur on the penis, vagina, buttocks, or anus. The sores can last from 5 to 10 days. They will dry into a yellowish crust and fall off.
  • Flu-like symptoms. Fever, muscle aches, or swollen lymph nodes are possible.
  • Problems urinating. People (most often women) with genital herpes may have trouble urinating or have a burning feeling while urinating.


The first breakout

The first breakout is the worst. First signs are usually itching, feer and aches. Within hours or days, the skin breaks out in clusters of small blisters filled with fluid. First time blisters can cause a horrible pain and they can be many in one or several spots.

The first breakout usually starts within 10-14 days of infection. Sometimes people do not notice blisters until years after they were infected. This is more uncommon though.