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What Are The First Signs Of Genital Herpes?

About Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that is caused by the herpes simplex virus.(1) Unprotected sex and intercourse with multiple partners is the primary cause of the spread of the herpes simplex virus. After the initial outbreak of the infection, the virus stays dormant within the body and gets triggered off multiple times resulting in recurrence of the disease symptoms. Genital Herpes is a painful condition, which also causes severe itching around the genitals of the individual. Genital Herpes is an extremely contagious and spreads from individual to individual through direct contact.

An individual may be contagious with genital herpes even if there are no observable symptoms of this condition. However, there are medications, which can decrease the contagiousness and relieve the symptoms of Genital Herpes. It should be noted here that Genital Herpes does not have a permanent cure and flares with regular symptoms are common in affected individuals.

However, spread of genital herpes infection can be controlled to a significant degree with use of condoms and others methods of protected sex. It has been seen that females are at a greater risk for contracting genital herpes than males. However, the virus causing genital herpes tends to spread faster from females to males; than from males to females.

If an individual has risk factors for genital herpes then he/she should also have knowledge of what are the first signs of Genital Herpes. This article gives an overview of the first warning signs of genital herpes.

What Are The First Signs Of Genital Herpes?

What are the First Signs of Genital Herpes?

Sometimes, NO SIGN is the First Sign of Genital Herpes

During the initial stages, genital herpes is completely asymptomatic to such an extent that the affected individual does not even know that he or she has it.(2,3) At most, the symptoms of genital herpes are extremely mild and people do not tend to pay much attention to it.(2) The first sign of genital herpes infection can be observed after about 10 days of the infiltration of the virus into the body.(3)

Pain & Itching in the Genital Region as the First Sign of Genital Herpes(4)

The initial presenting features of genital herpes include: Severe pain in the genital area along with a sensation of itching. The area will also be extremely tender to palpation and pain can be triggered by just touching the area. This is followed by formation of erythematous bumps in the genital area. This is usually seen after a couple of weeks of the genital herpes infection. These bumps tend to grow and form blisters, which ultimately rupture and ooze. These blisters make it difficult for the patient to void as they are quite painful.

Healing & Scabbing with Flu-Like Symptoms Follow(4)

Once the blisters have ruptured they tend to heal and scabs are formed over the area. Initially, the patient tends to experience flu like symptoms with low grade fever, pain in the muscles, frequent bouts of headaches, and lymph node swelling. The symptoms of an individual with genital herpes are quite variable in location.

Location of Blisters in Genital Herpes

The primary symptom of genital herpes can be seen where the virus entered the body. The genital herpes infection can then be spread to other areas by a blister and scratching some other area of the body with that same hand. The blisters seen with genital herpes can develop in the thighs, buttocks, mouth or the anus.

Females with genital herpes can also develop blisters around the vagina or the cervix. For males, blisters from genital herpes are common in and around the penis and scrotum. The first symptoms of genital herpes tend to wax and wane. The virus causing genital herpes infection stays dormant for some time before getting activated again.

The Initial Signs of Genital Herpes Can Differ

The initial genital herpes symptoms are variable and differ from individual to individual. Having frequent episodes every year is quite common, although in some cases an individual may not have any outbreak of genital herpes for several years before having one.

However, it is important to understand the first signs of genital herpes in what an individual may feel just before an outbreak of genital herpes. These generally include burning pain and severe itching around the genital areas. This usually starts after having unprotected sex. Pain in the back from genital herpes is also something that is seen usually in people with genital herpes just before an outbreak or a recurrence. The pain due to genital herpes radiates down the legs in some cases as well.

Recurrences of Genital Herpes are Less Painful Than the Initial Outbreak

The one important factor in recurrences of genital herpes is that recurrences tend to be significantly less painful than the initial outbreak of genital herpes and tend to wane away faster.

So, to summarize……

Genital Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by indulging in unprotected sex or having sex with more than one partner. Genital herpes is an extremely contagious infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. An individual can catch genital herpes just by coming in direct contact with an infected patient. Females are at increased risk for developing genital herpes than males; however, the transmission of this infection is quicker through males than females.(5, 6, 7, 8)

The first warning sign of genital herpes can be seen within about 10 days after the exposure to the virus causing the condition. This includes pain and severe itching around the genital areas. This is followed by red colored bumps, which go on to become ulcers that erupt and ooze out fluid and then heal.

Genital herpes does not have a cure and the symptoms wax and wane.(8) There may be many episodes of disease flare up in certain individuals; while on the other side, an individual may not have any symptoms for several years before a recurrence.

Thus, it is important to play safe when it comes to sexual intercourse and if an individual is at risk, then to be wary of the warning signs and taking appropriate action as need.


Also Read:

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:May 9, 2022

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