The majority of people who are infected with HSV never know they have the virus because they have no signs or symptoms or the symptoms are so mild they don’t recognize them. In most textbook cases, the first outbreak is generally the worst, and some people never experience a second outbreak. On the other hand some people experience occasional outbreaks as long as 40 years after the initial outbreak.
When active, genital herpes symptoms may include:
- Small red bumps, blisters (vesicles) or open sores (ulcers) in the genital, anal or nearby areas
- Pain or itching around your genital area, buttocks or inner thighs
The initial symptoms of genital herpes usually include pain or itching, beginning within seven days to a few weeks after exposure to the virus. After several days, small red bumps may appear. They then rupture, becoming ulcers that ooze or bleed. Eventually, scabs form and the ulcers heal.
In women, sores can erupt in the vaginal area, external genitals, buttocks, anus or cervix. In men, sores can appear on the penis, scrotum, buttocks, anus or thighs or inside the urethra, the channel inside the penis leading to the bladder.
While you have ulcers, it may be painful to urinate. You may also experience pain and tenderness in your genital area until the infection clears. During an initial outbreak, you may have flu-like signs and symptoms, such as headache, muscle aches and fever, as well as swollen lymph nodes in your groin.
There are treatments you can use that help minimize the length of the outbreak and the pain associated with it. If you have insurance – Valtrex is the way to go – if you don’t have insurance, I recommend H-ColdSores or Dynamiclear. They are the best topical treatments, bar-none.