Genital herpes is an infection caused by a virus called herpes simplex. The virus is passed during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Some people don’t know they have herpes because they have no symptoms. Symptoms, however, may include:
- Painful blisters in women on the vagina, butt, anus, or thighs
- Painful blisters in men on the penis, scrotum, anus, butt, or thighs
- Blisters on the mouth or lips
- Difficulty urinating
- Body aches/joint pains
- Tingling sensation
The first episode of symptoms is usually more severe and can last for a prolonged period of time, up to 3 weeks. After this, symptoms may come and go. For some patients, there may be triggers which may include:
- Menstrual periods
- Being ill with another infection
You will always have herpes once you are diagnosed. However, symptoms may be very rare. Diagnosis of herpes can be made just by examination but sometimes swab testing or a blood test may be performed.
Treatment for herpes involves an antiviral medication. However, treatment has to be given early on otherwise it may take a while for improvement to occur. You can spread the virus to your partner so especially if you have symptoms, wear a condom, or avoid sex until symptoms resolve. Some may spread the infection even when there are no symptoms so it is important to tell your partner of your diagnosis and to always practice safe sex. Please consult a healthcare provider to help diagnose and treat you and your partner today.