The signs and symptoms of genital herpes, also commonly referred to as HSV-2 (Herpes Simplex Virus – Type 2) may differ from one person to another. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), most people (men and women) do not even know that they have the disease, hence the high number of infections.

The signs and symptoms may take several months, or even years to appear. There are men who experience the symptoms 40 years after the initial infection occurred. According to most physicians, the signs and symptoms are quite severe during the initial outbreak. But the recurrence is quite mild.

Lips affected by herpes virus. Herpes labialis or orolabial herpes. Infection of the lip by herpes simplex virus.Signs and Symptoms Commonly Associated with the First Outbreak

Listed below, are some of the signs and symptoms that are commonly associated with the first outbreak of genital herpes. Some of these symptoms are common in both men and women:

– Sharp pain while passing urine.

– Painful inflamed blisters which break and leaves open sores round the genital area. The sores and blisters can also appear on the thigh region and buttocks.

– Blisters, which are accompanied by ulcers in the cervical area. This symptom is commonly associated with women.

– Vaginal discharge. This symptom is also commonly linked with women.

– High fever. Persons suffering from the disease may experience temperatures of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition to the above, persons suffering from herpes simplex virus may feel a sense of being sick. During the period the virus is active, one may experience aches as well as pains.

The symptoms listed above may take up to 20 days to clear. Then again, it is important to point out that the sores normally heal without leaving a scar.

Signs and Symptoms Commonly Associated with Recurrent Infections

Even though the signs and symptoms commonly linked with the initial outbreak usually clear, it is important to state that the virus stays in a dormant state for years in the closest nerve. The virus is usually reactivated by a number of factors such as medications and ailments.

Whereas recurrent is normally mild compared to the initial outbreak, there are signs and symptoms that are enough to indicate to someone that they are experiencing an outbreak. Listed below are some of the common and symptoms that are commonly associated with the recurrent herpes simplex virus:

– Tingling feelings, burning sensations or itching feelings round the genital areas. At times, one may experience sores and blisters in the legs.

– Painful inflamed blisters which tend to burst after a couple of days. The sores and blisters are usually common around the genital area. Other areas where the sores and blisters may appear other than the genital area include the buttocks plus thighs.

– Blisters as well as ulcers in the cervical region. This symptom is only common in women.

As pointed out earlier, the signs and symptoms in recurrent herpes simplex virus are not only mild, but shorter. The key reason for this is because the body has already generated sufficient protective antibodies (i.e. proteins tasked with combating infections) as a result of the earlier infection. The body can now identify the virus, and as such can react well to a relapse. This in turn ensures that the disease does not stay active for a long time.

As the years go by, recurrent herpes simplex virus becomes less common in addition to becoming less severe.

Herpes Virus Illustration

Other Symptoms

There are other herpes symptoms other than the ones mentioned above that are normally displayed by persons suffering from herpes simplex virus. These include swollen lymph nodes, lower back pains, headaches, high fevers, painful swollen blisters which tend to develop around the affected area, discharge from the penis and vagina, aching of the muscles as well as burning sensations in the genital area.

According to the CDC, it is believed that up to 60% of people who suffer from genital herpes do not display signs and symptoms. This in turn increases the infection rate.


  1. tete strom

    My son came down with herpes simplex 1-(mild to light blistering around the lip area, inside lip) I took him in and they gave him Aclovair in pill form, they went away for about 8 months, he says there back. He is 17 very vain about his appearance, works at safeway with the public, is there anything over the counter he could get for this that wll help? high recommendations please?

    Thank you,

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