Herpes Symptoms HSV1 & HSV2 (Genital Herpes)
The Herpes Simplex Virus or Herpes is the name given to a group of viruses that cause blisters and sores around the mouth and genital area (genital herpes). The most common strain of the herpes virus is herpes zoster which causes shingles and chickenpox. Today we are going to talk about the Herpes simplex virus type 1 or HSV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 HSV-2 which can be found anywhere on your body, but mostly on your mouth and/or genitals.
Genital herpes is sexually transmitted and once the virus is in the body, it does not leave since there is still no known cure. However, there are treatments that are aimed at reducing the effect of the symptoms and the outbreaks caused by the virus.
Have you recently asked yourself, ‘how do I know if I have herpes?’ If this is you, below are the most common symptoms associated with genital herpes and oral herpes.
How Do I Know I Have Herpes?
Genital herpes is the kind of infection that will not show symptoms in everyone. This means that you might be infected, and still not have any symptoms that can tell that you are infected. The only sure way to know if you are infected is being tested. Test for both herpes simplex virus type one HSV-1 and herpes simplex virus simplex type 2 HSV-2. Some symptoms to pay attention to include painful urination, tiredness, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, body aches, fever and sores or blisters in the areas around your genitals.
The differences between HSV1 and HSV2
If you have herpes, you might have oral herpes caused by HSV-1 or genital herpes caused by HSV-2 or both. We will look at symptoms of both types of herpes viruses to give you ideas of what to look for if you have the question ‘do I have herpes ’
Oral Herpes Symptoms
HSV-1 incubation period or the amount of time between the point of contact with the herpes virus and the time the symptom appears is between 2 and 12 days. Most people experience the symptoms between 3 and 6 days after contact with the virus. The first signs and symptoms will last between 2 and 3 weeks. Most common signs and symptoms include:
- Muscle aches.
- Before sores appear, the infection site might experience a burning sensation, itching, pain or tingling.
- Oral sores occur with most of them making drinking or eating a difficult affair.
The sores may appear on the gum, throat, lips, under or on the front of the tongue, roof of the mouth, and the cheeks. Some people have reported sores on the chin and neck. Neck lymph nodes can be red, swollen and can bleed sometimes. People in their 20s or teenage can have shallow ulcers in their throats. This will be accompanied by grayish coats on the tonsils
Genital Herpes Symptoms (First Outbreak)
During the first attack, the genital herpes symptoms include the following:
- Nausea or a sickly feeling
- Painful urination
- Fever and flu-like symptoms
- Muscle aches
- Itching, tingling or burning sensation in areas where blisters will later appear.
After the initial symptoms such as the tingling and the itching, there will be one or many clusters of tiny blisters appearing in different areas around your genitals. The blisters will have a cloudy liquid and can be painful in some cases.
- In women, the blisters may appear inside the vagina, on the labia, thighs, groin, around the anus, and on the buttocks.
- In men, the sores will appear on the penis, inside the penis, on the groin, thighs, on the scrotum, around the anus, and on the buttocks.
It is possible to get genital herpes in the mouth through oral sex. This is especially the case when the virus is extremely active. This kind of transmission is rare but still possible.
Genital Herpes Symptoms in Men and Women
Genital herpes HSV-2 is a commonly misunderstood sexually transmitted disease with stigma surrounding it unlike the oral herpes caused by the herpes virus type 1 otherwise known as HSV-1. The genital herpes is contagious and can be transmitted during sexual contact with an infected individual. Symptoms of Genital Herpes in Men and Women after contraction are very mild that they might go unnoticed and some people might never really show the symptoms. Its mild nature is disadvantageous as one might easily transmit the infection to their partner without knowing.
The symptoms appear periodically in episodes or outbreaks. The pattern of outbreaks differs from individual to individual. It might take an individual months before the virus symptoms begin to show while others may begin to show symptoms days after the infection. When it first strikes, the infected will experience typical flu like symptoms such as fevers, headaches and back pains. The symptoms are however only present during the first outbreak. On peak intensity, the genital herpes HSV-2 episodes tend to produce small blisters which can break to form painful shallow sores
that scab over and heal after a week or two. The first outbreak is more often than not intense than the follow up outbreaks.
Later outbreaks are triggered by sex, menstruation, fatigue, general illness or stress although the outbreaks might appear with no trigger at all. It is important to note that the subsequent outbreaks are caused by the dormant virus in the system and not reinfection. The disease has no cure but the symptoms can be treated and controlled with the virus remaining dormant in the body of the infected. Infection is very much possible to one’s partner as the virus is dormant and it can easily be transferred during sexual intercourse to the other partner. It is advised to practice safe sex with precautions during outbreaks as the open sores can cause infection.
A couple with a partner infected with herpes HSV-2 should practice safe sex and suppressant medication is advised to ensure the uninfected does not contract the infection and they remain safe. Use of condoms will ensure the infected genital area does not come in contact with the other person’s genital parts but this might be risky during an outbreak as the blisters might form all around the genital area of the infected. Meet Positives, an online dating website for people with herpes HSV-2 infections this will be easier as re infection is almost impossible, once possible partners begin dating it is important for them to get checked for them to understand what strand of the virus they are infected with.
Doctors test for the herpes HSV-2 virus by taking a sample of the fluid from the blisters and testing for possible infection. Pregnant women with genital herpes can pass the virus to their unborn baby during delivery causing serious illness. This is not common and doctors should be told about presence of the virus by the pregnant mothers. Herpes has no cure but a proper healthy lifestyle with supplement of medication or herbal products can treat the symptoms. Members of Meet Positives organize forums where infected people can meet and talk of the medication they used to treat their herpes HSV-2 symptoms.
Herpes Symptoms In Men
Genital herpes may or may not have symptoms in men. Approximately two-thirds of people living with herpes do not have symptoms, with some experiencing mild symptoms. Some of these mild symptoms are confused with other skin conditions. Though the symptoms are not present, it is still possible for an infected person to transmit the virus to an uninfected individual. For this reason, in addition to understanding the herpes symptoms in men, it is important to get tested for both herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2.
Symptoms of Herpes in Males
Most of the people do not experience any symptoms or have silent symptoms which are mild symptoms that are easily confused with other medical conditions.
Common Herpes Symptoms In Men
- Body aches
- Swollen lymph node
- Blisters or sores on the penis
Rare Herpes Symptoms in Males
- Eczema herpeticum
- Eye infection
- Ulcers, blisters and sore around or inside the anus, around the thighs and buttocks.
Genital Herpes Outbreaks in Men
Men with genital herpes have reported having fewer outbreaks as years go by. Early warning signals that are followed by outbreaks include shooting pain in the legs, buttocks, and hips, and mild tingling. These symptoms may last between 2 hours and two days. After the warning signals, also known as prodromal symptoms, blisters turn into red spots that are painful. These red spots then turn into yellowish blisters full of clear fluids. The blisters then burst and leave ulcers that heal in a period of about ten days.
It is a good idea to understand the symptoms of herpes in men to be in a better position to identify if you have herpes. The good news is that there are medications that can treat these symptoms to make your life better and comfortable.
Herpes Symptoms & Signs in Women
Symptoms of herpes in females go unnoticed at a staggering rate. About 1 in 4 women in the US has genital herpes making herpes one of the most common STDs affecting women worldwide. Shockingly, over 90% of women living with herpes are not aware they’re carrying the herpes simplex virus. The main reason, women don’t know what herpes symptoms are or what to look for. Below we are going to describe to you herpes symptoms in women and offer images of herpes symptoms in women.
The Most Common Herpes Symptoms in Women
Herpes is not life-threatening but can have annoying and uncomfortable symptoms. Though symptoms can tell you that you might have herpes, it is possible to have herpes and not experience any symptom. This does not mean that you cannot spread the virus to other people. For this reason, herpes has spread widely. The fact that most women with herpes do not have herpes makes testing for HSV-1 and HSV-2 very important.
Most women have silent symptoms or do not show any symptoms at all. This means they can easily live without knowing they are infected and thus easily spread the virus.
Less Common Symptoms in women
- Blisters and sores around the cervix or the vulva and around the vagina
- Body aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Painful urination
- Vaginal itch
- Vaginal discharge
Rare Symptoms in women
- Ulcers, blisters, and sores around or inside the anus, and around the thighs and buttocks
- Eye infection
- Eczema herpeticum
- Trouble urinating
How Will I Know I Have Herpes?
Since most people will not have herpes symptoms, the only way for women to know if they have herpes is testing. Test for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. Some of the symptoms you might want to pay attention to include pain while urinating, tiredness, body aches, headaches blisters, and sores around the genital region.
In women, genital herpes will cause blistering lesions on the vulva and also around the opening of the vagina. The blistering lesions then develop to ulcers. The infection can spread and involve the cervix in most cases leading to an inflamed cervix. After the initial infection, a woman may or may not have outbreaks thereafter.
Herpes Symptoms In Women Images (Pictures)
More About Genital Herpes HSV2 in Females
During a recurrent phase, the virus travels to the skin and this is what leads to the symptoms. It is a common sexually transmitted disease and it affects women more than men. During the second phase, known as the outbreak stage, painful sores will form on or around the vagina with very uncomfortable itches. The main cause of the infection in women is the two forms of the herpes virus; the HSV-1 and HSV-2. The HSV-1 virus type causes sores and blisters in the mouth area which can be transmitted to the genital area during oral sex. The HSV-2 type of the virus causes infectious and spreads through sexual contact or skin to skin contact with an infected partner – this is the most common type and it is highly contagious.
After infection, signs might not show as the virus is in a dormant state in the individual’s system. The symptoms might also be mild and therefore very hard to notice. After some time, the virus will adapt in the host’s body getting familiar with the body conditions and the symptoms will start to show. The symptoms that show in women with herpes include an appearance of small blisters, vaginal discharge, bumps or on the genital area, an itching sensation or pain near the genital region. The itching sensation and pain are the first symptoms in genital herpes in women then the bumps may begin to form. When the blisters burst they become ulcers and may begin to bleed and on healing they form scabs.
Genital herpes in women causes the bumps to appear on the vaginal area, buttocks, cervix, external genitals or anus. These sores make it difficult to pass urine causing pain and sensitivity. During the outbreak, one might experience fever, muscle ache, and headache. For diagnosis, doctors might do tests like viral culture, PCR and blood tests to test for the infection. There is no cure for the infection but oral anti-viral medication might be prescribed to suppress the outbreaks and treat the symptoms. Doctors are also working on vaccines that will be taken to reduce any chances of transmitting the infection from one partner to another.
The three drugs available for treating genital herpes in women are Zovirax that treats initial and recurrent conditions, and Famvir and Valtrex that treat recurrent episodes. An infected woman can pass the disease to their child if they are pregnant and possibly get urinary infections. They can avoid all this by proper treatment of the symptoms. Spreading can be avoided by keeping the genital area clean and dry.
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Now you know the general symptoms of oral herpes and genital herpes, it is important to understand the details herpes symptoms in men and the herpes symptoms in women. This will give you a better idea of the symptoms to look out for according to your gender.
The most important thing is to know that there are different treatments that can deal with the symptoms to make your life better. There are suppressive therapies that can help eliminate the outbreaks and reduce the chances of spreading the herpes virus.