Herpes Symptoms In Women
About 1 in every 4 women in the US has genital herpes making herpes one of the most common STDs that affect women around the world. The numbers might represent a small percentage since over 90% of women living with herpes are not aware they are infected. The main reason behind this is the fact that they do not have any herpes symptoms. To be on the safe side, you might want to understand herpes symptoms in women and what to look out for.
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
- Blisters and sores around the cervix or the vulva and around the vagina
- Body aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Painful urination
- Vaginal itch
- Vaginal discharge
- Ulcers, blisters, and sores around or inside the anus, and around the thighs and buttocks
- Eye infection
- Eczema herpetiform
- 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.
Getting tested for herpes is the best way to find out if you have herpes. You cannot simply rely on symptoms especially because a large number of the infected people do not show any sign. After diagnosis, you can use the available treatments to deal with the uncomfortable symptoms.
Herpes Symptoms In Women Images (Pictures)
More About Genital Herpes HSV2 in Women
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. Meet Positives, an online dating site, has proper information on genital herpes in women and provides a chance for the infected to date again.