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How Long Can You Have Genital Herpes Before First Outbreak?

About Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes occurs when an individual has unprotected sex with multiple partners.(1) Genital Herpes belongs to the medical conditions listed under sexually transmitted diseases and is caused by the herpes simplex virus.(2) Genital Herpes does not have a cure and keeps waxing and waning with regard to the symptoms seen with genital herpes.(3) Genital Herpes is an extremely contagious disease and spreads with direct contact with an infected person.(4)

The initial outbreak of Genital herpes includes severe itching sensation around the genital area and is also associated with intense pain. The infected individual will also observe red colored blisters or bumps surrounding the genitals, which will be tender to touch. Females are at most risk of getting Genital Herpes than males; however, males spread it faster than females.(5)

There is no cure for Genital Herpes and treatment is aimed at calming down its symptoms and reducing the contagiousness of this disease.(3) This article is aimed at informing how long does it take for the first outbreak to occur after exposure to the virus that causes genital herpes.

How Long Can You Have Genital Herpes Before First Outbreak?

How Long Can You Have Genital Herpes Before First Outbreak?

On an average, it takes about couple of days to 10 days for the first symptoms of genital herpes to appear after exposure to its virus, although in some cases it may take more than that.(6) The infected person feels severe itching sensation and pain, which is then followed by development of ulcers.(6) This takes place after about 10 days after the exposure to the Genital Herpes virus.

These ulcers caused by Genital Herpes ultimately ooze out pus and start to heal, but this takes place after three to four weeks of the initial outbreak of infection. This is exactly what an individual experiences during the initial outbreak of genital herpes. The genital herpes infection may spread to other parts of the body especially the eyes if the individual touches the eye after scratching the infected region.

The initial outbreak of the symptoms of genital herpes is by far the most severe.(6) The subsequent episodes of genital herpes are less severe, both in frequency and intensity.(6) The time taken between the formation of ulcers and their healing is the most, with lesions caused by subsequent episodes healing much quickly however. It should also be mentioned here that genital herpes is most likely to spread to other individuals during the initial outbreak than through a recurrent episodes.

Other associated symptoms that can be seen during the initial outbreak of genital herpes include muscle pain, body aches, low grade fever, and bouts of headaches.(6) Recurrence of symptoms of genital herpes is extremely common.

In fact, an individual with a thorough knowledge of Genital Herpes can detect an impending recurrence by certain symptoms with precede the episode. These include pain around the genital areas, pain that radiates down the legs, pain in the hip and buttocks. These normally occurs a couple of days before the actual onset of blisters as that seen with genital herpes.

To Summarize……

In summary, genital herpes is a viral infection that an individual can get by having unprotected sex with multiple partners. Females are more vulnerable to contract genital herpes than males although males tend to spread it faster than females. There is no cure for genital herpes and treatment just helps in preventing the spread of the infection and reducing the severity of it.(3)

It normally takes about four days for the first symptom outbreak after exposure to the genital herpes virus, although in some people it may take more than a week. The first outbreak of genital herpes is always the most severe, which tends to decrease with subsequent recurrences. It normally takes about three to four weeks for the symptoms of genital herpes to completely go away.

In some cases, a recurrence of genital herpes can be detected by certain preceding symptoms like pain in the genitals or radiating pain from the hip down to the lower extremities. An individual with a history of genital herpes who has knowledge of an impending recurrence of symptoms can prevent spread of the infection. This can be done by using protection during sexual intercourse or completely abstaining from any intimate contact with anyone till the symptoms subside.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 11, 2019

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