Genital Herpes Signs: What To Look Out For

You probably have noticed something strange like genital herpes signs down there. Or you might have seen them in your partner. 

Genital herpes is said to be one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the world today. For most people, contracting the disease may be welcomed with a bit of trepidation, nervousness, and even fear. After all, genital herpes, be it mild or severe can cause you to alter not only your lifestyle, but also your daily routines.

Although having genital herpes, any kind of herpes for that matter, may indeed cause you to be in a state of panic or anxiety, there is no need for you to be afraid that it will cause you to stop living your life and enjoying it.

One of the foremost things that you have to know is how to tell if the infection you have is truly genital herpes. Some people are asymptomatic, which means that although they have the infection, they do not show any present symptoms of having the infection. Other people on the other hand do show very obvious genital herpes signs.

The following are a few things to note to know if you have genital herpes:

Generalized Genital Herpes Signs

  1. Decreased Appetite. Decreased appetite is one of the acute phase responses to infection, and because genital herpes is in essential, an infection, a decrease in appetite is expected.
  2. Fever. Fever has long since been indicated as one of the most common signs of an imminent disease. The normal body temperature range is about 36.5 to 37.5 °C. So a temperature beyond that is a cause to worry.
  3. Malaise. A general feeling of uneasiness, or a general feeling of being out of sorts characterizes malaise; this is a generalized symptom of imminent infections.
  4. Myalgia. Myalgia, more commonly known as muscle pain is also a symptom of a variety of infections, disorders, and diseases. Although muscle pain is typically caused by trauma, viral infections like genital herpes may also cause it. Myalgia in genital herpes mostly occurs during the primary infection. This symptom may or may not occur in recurrent infections.
  5. Headache. Headache is defined as any form of pain felt in the head or neck area. Headache is also one symptom shared by many diseases. In genital herpes signs, headaches can range from mild to severe, which may sometimes even include migraines.
  6. Swollen Lymph Nodes. Swollen lymph nodes are a common occurrence in any infection. In genital herpes, the involved lymph nodes are those at the top of both legs, and located next to the genital area, which may swell and be tender. In the event that the infection dies out, the swelling will also go down.

Specific Genital Herpes Signs

Genital Herpes Signs

(Picture of blisters around the genital area, a specific sign of genital herpes)

"A discharge caused by herpes is yellowish in color, thicker in consistency, and may smell a bit foul due to the breakdown of viral particles trapped inside a herpes lesion."

  1. Genital Discharge. Genital discharge in genital herpes signs is more common in female patients than in male patients. Discharges can also occur in yeast infections, and to differentiate between discharge caused by yeast infection or herpes, discharges caused by yeast infection is usually odorless and the discharge is clear, watery, or white. On the other hand, a discharge caused by herpes is yellowish in color, thick in consistency, and may smell a bit foul due to the breakdown of bacteria trapped inside a herpes lesion.
  2. Dysuria. A case of genital herpes infection can sometimes also cause urethral infection. If this happens, dysuria occurs. This is characterized by a sensation of burning that occurs during urination, and can be extremely annoying.
  3. Blisters on Genitals. Blisters occurring in the genital area is probably one of the tell tale signs of an active herpes infection or outbreak. Herpes blisters generally turn into sores that will eventually dry out and scab. In order to differentiate genital herpes from yeast infection, note that there are no occurrences of blisters in yeast infections. Also, the blisters in genital herpes are usually small and occur in groups. They may not be painful, but most of the time is tender. The blisters usually heal by itself in 7-14 days. Blisters are not confined in the genitals but also occur in the tongue, skin, lips, eyes, and other parts of the body.
  4. Itching or Tingling in the Genital or Anal Region. Itching and/or tingling in the genital or anal region are one of the telltale signs of an imminent herpes outbreak. The location in which the itching or tingling occurs is usually indicative of the location where the blisters will occur.
  5. Backaches. Backache is one of the uncommon signs of herpes and may not occur at all. This is because backaches are usually cause by muscle strain or trauma. Backaches that occur with genital herpes are because the virus remains dormant in the nerves located in the sacral (hip) region.

I Think I Might Have Genital Herpes

If you've read the information above and think you may have genital herpes:

  • Best to see your family doctor who can then give you a thorough examination and confirm your doubts. That way you will know for sure whether it is genital herpes or not.
  • Online: Visit STDcheck for testing locations for the herpes blood test. A blood test for herpes is the most trusted and accurate method of differentiating HSV 1 from HSV 2.
  • There are also some helpful tips and information on other online labs listed on the blood test for herpes page.

It is always best to act on your suspicions at once to put your worries to rest. Do not delay. Winning half the battle is knowing what you are up against.

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