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- What is genital herpes?
- How common is genital herpes?
- What are the signs and symptoms of genital herpes?
- What causes genital herpes, and how is it spread?
- How do you get genital herpes (transmission)?
- What kind of doctors treats genital herpes?
- How is genital herpes diagnosed?
- Is there a cure for genital herpes?
- Are home remedies or natural treatments effective for genital herpes?
- What medications treat and manage genital herpes?
- How is genital herpes managed during pregnancy?
- What is the prognosis for a person with genital herpes?
- Is there a link between genital herpes and HIV?
- Can genital herpes be prevented?
Quick GuideSexually Transmitted Diseases: HPV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Herpes, HIV
What are the signs and symptoms of genital herpes?
Many people infected with genital herpes have mild symptoms or symptoms that are mistaken for another condition. It is also possible to be infected and have no symptoms, so not everyone who is infected may be aware of the infection.
When signs and symptoms are present, they consist of:
- Typically painful blisters (that may appear like "pimples") around the genital area
- Blisters around the anal area
- Ulcer formation after the blisters break open
- Blisters take 2 to 4 weeks to heal.
With the first outbreak of genital herpes, a person may also experience flu-like symptoms including:
Immediately prior to an outbreak, there may be an itching, burning, or tingling sensation of the skin.
In women, genital herpes usually causes blistering lesions on the vulva and around the vaginal opening that progress to ulcer formation. The infection spreads to involve the cervix in most cases, leading to cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix). In some women, cervicitis may be the only sign of genital herpes infection. Infection and inflammation of the urethra accompanies the infection in some women, leading to pain on urination.
After the initial infection, a person may or may not have outbreaks later in life.