Genital herpes symptoms can vary with each individual. The infection has been confused with serious and non-serious problems, such as irritation from shaving, insect bites, jock itch, hemorrhoids, and yeast infections. Genital herpes symptoms may be mild, and even may go unnoticed. It’s important to see a health care professional if you have symptoms like these, or think you may have contracted the virus.
Genital herpes symptoms can include the following:
- Lesions, sores, blisters (usually filled with fluid) Sometimes these can occur as a rash, or pimple-like bumps
In the initial genital herpes outbreak, the following symptoms may occur, but do not typically occur in later outbreaks.
- Muscle aches
- Painful, or burning urination
- Swollen inguinal lymph nodes (in the genital area)
- (It can make you feel like you have the flu)
The sores first appear as red pimple-like bumps that eventually develop into blisters. The blisters will break, and turn into open lesions. The lesions will eventually scar over and heal. Some people experience itching and/or burning before the lesions develop, and sometimes have pain in the legs or buttocks. Women and men alike sometimes have vaginal discharge. Some people have abdominal pressure. There can also be pain in the pelvis.
The sores will appear wherever the virus entered the body. They can appear on almost anywhere, including the vagina, vulva, penis, testicles, mouth, scrotum, urethra, and even the thighs and buttocks. Genital herpes symptoms usually develop within 2-20 days from the actual infection. Sometimes the initial outbreaks can occur later than 20 days. The initial outbreak can even occur years later. It varies between each infected person.
Some people never even have any symptoms, or the symptoms are mild, so they either don’t notice it, or don’t think that it has something to do with genital herpes. However, if you do get symptoms, they generally last several weeks, but it does vary. This happens because the virus reaches the skin cells, and when the lesions are healed, the virus returns to the nervous system.
A person diagnosed with genital herpes can have several subsequent outbreaks each year, but sometimes it’s just one, and can go up to one a month. It varies from person to person. The initial outbreak is typically the worst, and the following outbreaks are usually not as painful and heal faster.