Resulting from a variant of the virus that causes cold sores on the face and mouth, genital herpes can be a very painful condition that reoccurs throughout a patient’s lifetime. The virus is transmitted through unprotected sexual activity, from sexual intercourse itself to oral and anal sex. If you are concerned about the signs of genital herpes, the information below can help to identify herpes symptoms in women and men alike.
Several Distinct Outbreaks
Once you have contracted the virus that causes genital herpes, it may lay dormant for a long period of time before any herpes symptoms present themselves. For months – even years – the virus can be present within the human body without causing any adverse effects.
When symptoms do appear, this is termed as an outbreak. Outbreaks can occur seemingly at random, although some common triggers include fatigue, strong weather conditions, stress and menstruation in women. When an outbreak of genital herpes occurs, the herpes symptoms in men and women occur in a very predictable pattern.
Initially, the signs of genital herpes include a range of flu-like symptoms. This may include fever, tiredness and headaches in the first instance, soon followed by swollen glands and aches and pains around the body. Specifically, aching limbs are a common symptom of flu as well as being a regularly experienced herpes symptom.
Of course, it would be easy to assume that flu-like symptoms mean you have flu! It is only as you become more aware of your ongoing genital herpes that you may become more able to predict an outbreak based on these early signs.
The virus that causes genital herpes is called the Type 2 Herpes Simplex virus, which is another strain of the virus that causes cold sores (Type 1 Herpes Simplex). If you have ever had a cold sore, you will know the tingling sensation under the surface of the skin that means a sore is on its way – this same sensation in the genital or anal area can indicate a potential genital herpes outbreak.
When the virus decides to activate itself, it begins to move from the root of the nerves towards the skin surface. This creates an itchy, tingling feeling on the surface of the skin and is one of the earliest unique herpes symptoms in women and men who carry to virus.
When a genital herpes outbreak fully occurs, few people are in any doubt as to the severity of the condition. Blisters filled with fluid form on and around the genitals and subsequently burst, leaving red sores that are remarkably painful.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the virus that causes genital herpes. If you have the virus, outbreaks can continue to occur regularly in your life. Some people may have one outbreak of herpes symptoms in their lifetime, whilst others may suffer from genital herpes symptoms several times every year.
In the absence of a cure, you should seek a treatment that can help with the painful symptoms, such as a soothing topical cream like Zovirax or Famvir. These creams can help to make outbreaks more bearable when they do occur.
If you are suffering from what appears to be genital herpes, be prepared for your next outbreak by stocking up on the medicine you need. Whilst you must live with the virus in your system, the herpes symptoms in women and men can be effectively treated with ease.