Genital Herpes Symptoms: What To Look Out For

These genital herpes symptoms start out with just an itch, and before you know it, blisters have formed in your genital area. At first you're not quite sure how you got them, let alone know what to do with them.

But before you dismiss them as some other kind of infection, you must know that most people who were diagnosed with genital herpes had no idea of how they even got the infection; you might even be one of them.

And let’s face it, getting a genital herpes infection isn't quite something one would look forward to having. Genital herpes symptoms are something that people rarely talk about, if they even try.

The following are the genital herpes symptoms that you need to look out for if you suspect that you (or your partner) may have the infection:

The Symptoms

genital herpes symptoms


Although the occurrence of backaches in genital herpes is a fairly uncommon symptom of the infection, it may still occur because of the location in which the virus remains dormant, which is in the nerves of the sacral / hip region.


Dysuria is a condition when one has difficulty urinating. Genital herpes symptoms in some cases may cause urethral infection because the location it infects is in close proximity to the urethra: the passageway in which urine exits the body. If this happens, dysuria or pain while urinating may occur. This manifests as a burning sensation during urination.


Pain associated with genital herpes symptoms is not one of impending doom, but it still is pain, and can sometimes prove to be uncomfortable, annoying, and inconvenient. The pain usually occurs on the location where the bump, lesion, or sore has appeared or erupted. The pain may persist even a few days after the sore has already healed.

Flu-like Symptoms

Flu-like symptoms that occur with a bout of genital herpes infection include: fever, a general feeling of being unwell (malaise), chills, being very easily tired, sore throat, and even cough. Sometimes, these symptoms are often taken for granted or simply put aside.

Some of these symptoms could even be found in a whole myriad of other infections. However, if you’d had unprotected sex and these symptoms occurred a few days later, then you should probably consider genital herpes as a possible diagnosis.

Blisters on Genitals

Genital Herpes Blisters

Included in the primary genital herpes symptoms is the appearance of blisters. Blisters due to genital herpes generally appear on the area where an itch is felt a few days prior to its appearance. These blisters will eventually turn into sores that will, after a few days, dry out and scab. For women, blisters may also occur in other genital infections. However, note that the blisters in genital herpes appear small and occur in groups.

They may also occur in other body parts aside from the genitals.

Itching or Tingling in the Genital or Anal Region

The itching or tingling of your genital or anal region is one of the primary signs of a forthcoming herpes outbreak. However, the itching or tingling of your genital or anal area is not an exclusive symptom of genital herpes, and may in fact occur in other infections like chlamydia. In the case of genital herpes, the location in which the itching or tingling was felt is usually the location where the blisters will appear.

Genital Discharge

  • Women: For most cases, vaginal discharge is acceptable for women, and is indeed deemed to be a normal occurrence. This is because the female vagina is equipped with the means to clean itself regularly and regulate its environment. The vaginal secretions it produces to make this possible are the normal vaginal discharges that you may see or feel. Normal vaginal discharges appear sticky, clear, and sometimes stain yellow on the garment. On the other hand, abnormal vaginal discharge due to genital herpes appears as a smelly, thick, and yellow.
  • Men: In contrast to females, a case of penile discharge is in no way normal for men. In fact, it is considered to be one of the telltale signs of an infection. Infection due to genital herpes symptoms may cause non-gonococcal or non-specific urethritis in men, which is the most common form of penile discharge. Of course, there are other causes of non-specific urethritis so it is best to consult with a health professional to rule everything out before you say you have genital herpes.

I Think I Might Have Genital Herpes Symptoms

If you have any of these genital herpes symptoms alone, don’t assume that what you have is genital herpes outright, because it is possible for you to have another infection that just happens to share the same symptoms that you have with genital herpes.

Here are some steps that you can do if you suspect you (or your partner) may have genital herpes:

  1. Get tested. This is the first thing that you should do. If you have doubts, getting tested for herpes is the only way you can be absolutely certain whether you have genital herpes or not.
  2. Visit an STD specialist for a proper diagnosis. Not all doctors are knowledgeable about STDs, thus visiting a sexual health expert will provide you with more assistance.
  3. Join a support group. If you feel like you can’t possibly open up to family or close friends about your condition, then consider joining a herpes support group. It will help a lot if you could talk about your condition with someone else.

In the meantime, increase your knowledge about herpes by doing some research. Reading a few pages of this website is a good place to start. That way, you can make informed decisions about your health and lifestyle moving forward.

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