Genital herpes is not a very easy disease to diagnose. Sometimes it gives like very painful micturition and sores to completely asymptomatic. The most common symptom is the appearance of blisters that break and give a very uncomfortable state of pain and discomfort and secondly itchy sores. Such sores may arise when seen in these areas:
- External areas of the female genitals
- Penis and scrotum
Sores may also develop in female’s cervix and vagina or in the rectum of both sexes.
Stages of herpes sores:
- Small red bumps and tiny red blisters may pop up first within a few days to weeks of infection
- Rupturing, oozing or bleeding of blisters may lead to ulcers
- Scabs form when ulcers crust over and go through the stage of healing.
Symptoms of genital herpes may include:
- Burning in micturition if in contact with sores
- Pain in urethra because of blockage of the urethra by sores and swelling
- Pain, itching or tenderness in the genitals
Genital herpes will be caused by either Herpes Simplex kind one (HSV-1) or Herpes simplex kind a pair of ( HSV-2). If it is because of Herpes simplex type two symptoms could be flu-like, including fever and chills. Along with that patient may present with swollen.
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What are genital herpes outbreaks like?
Primary herpes outbreak:
If symptoms develop it is most likely to start 2 to 20 days after you get infected. In some patients, the first outbreak develops years after the first infection. Its symptoms may include:
- Achy muscles
- Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
- Malaise, a general feeling of discomfort
The repeated outbreak may come with a period of prodrome which is initial low-level warning symptoms. The patient may complain about itchiness, tingly or burning sensations in the genitals, legs, buttocks and lower back may hurt as well.
Most people with a prodrome have recurrent burning and tingling sensation in the skin leading to sores when they actually become symptomatic.
In most cases, an initial outbreak has severe symptoms as compared to recurrences. Recurrences can be frequent or may not occur at all depending on the person.
The non-sexual spread of herpes:
Herpes sores can arise within the spot wherever the infection entered your body. You can give yourself herpes by touching the cold sores and touching other areas of the body like genitals or anus or even eyes. The infection can easily spread through this way, says Bill. Good personal hygiene may be an aid in this situation and prevent further accidental viral transfer. It is prescribed to wash the hand before and after leaving the washroom, this way it is less likely to infect their genitals or anus.
When to seek help from herpes symptoms?
Anti-viral medications can help make genital herpes sores go away faster, reduce the number of outbreaks and minimize the risk of transmission.
The use of condoms and dental dams during sex also lowers the chances for herpes but not a complete method for its eradication.
If a primary care doctor or gynecologist is not available, advice from the Planned Parenthood clinic or community health center may be taken.
Mostly observed cases of genital herpes are caused by Herpes Simplex type 2 virus (HSV-2) as compared to Herpes Simplex type 1 ( HSV-1). Also, patients with herpes are prescribed to get tested for HIV infection. A patient with herpes is most likely to develop an HIV infection because herpes sores give HIV an open path to enter their body.
When is genital herpes most contagious?
During active outbreaks, viral load is heavier so can affect the sexual partner as well. Dr. Baill says “without an outbreak, the viral load is usually insufficient to infect a normal, healthy partner.”
The value of a diagnosis?
It’s important to be aware of the symptoms and treatment and prevention from herpes, not just for your own wellbeing but for the sake of your sexual partner or partners.