Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that’s caused by both herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). The condition affects more than one out of every six Americans aged 14-49.
Despite being a common STD, it’s possible to have genital herpes and not realize it, especially if your symptoms are very mild. That’s why Dr. Essam Taymour and our team at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group created this guide to shed light on five common signs of genital herpes.
Genital herpes can spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and it can lay dormant. You can contract genital herpes even if your partner doesn’t have any sores. It’s also possible to contract genital herpes if you receive oral sex from someone with oral herpes.
During an outbreak, you may notice any of the following five signs of genital herpes:
You may experience pain, itching, tingling, and tenderness in the genital area during an active infection.
During your initial infection, you may notice flu-like symptoms, such as:
Many infections cause flu-like symptoms, so it’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis before embarking on any treatment plans.
Pain and tenderness may also be accompanied by tiny white blisters or small red bumps. These bumps can appear a few days or up to a few weeks after an infection. Many people mistake ingrown hairs for herpes blisters. If you’re unsure, an STD test can help determine the source of the bump or blister in question.
If the small white blisters start to rupture, you may notice bleeding or oozing. Depending on where the ulcers are, it can make urination painful. If ulcers are causing discomfort, wear loose-fitting underwear to avoid irritation. You can also soak in a warm tub for added comfort, but be sure to avoid any perfumed soap.
As your ulcers start to heal, they form scabs.
If you suspect you have herpes or have been exposed to herpes, follow these tips:
If you do have herpes, it’s important to know that it’s treatable, but it can’t be cured. Once you have herpes, you have it for the rest of your life.
Antiviral medications can help shorten your outbreak and prevent future outbreaks. Two examples of antivirals used to treat genital herpes are acyclovir (Zovirax) and valacyclovir (Valtrex).
We know the thought of having an STD can be overwhelming or even embarrassing, but with treatment, you can take back control and shorten your outbreaks. We’re experienced when it comes to STD testing, and our compassionate and nonjudgemental team offers treatments as well as guidance for improved safe sex.
To schedule an appointment at our office in our Long Beach, California, use our convenient online booking tool. You can also give us a call at 562-247-3038.