Author: Jeff Paterson
Whether you are currently experiencing some sort of outbreak of sores or lesions on your genitals or genital area? Symptoms of this description can be a wide range of different conditions, but they are also the classic symptoms of genital herpes.
Or perhaps you've discovered a previous partner is infected with genital herpes. If you've had sexual contact with someone who has herpes, it doesn't necessarily mean you've contracted the disease, although you are definitely at risk. Both men and women are are highly likely to contract herpes after sexual contact with a carrier of the virus, but women are around two times as likely as men to be infected with herpes after sexual contact with an infected partner.
If you just suspect for any other reason you may have contracted the disease, the following is a brief guide on how to identify the symptoms of genital herpes. Remember however, that most of the herpes myths are untrue, and you can only really catch herpes after sexual contact (this can be oral, anal or vaginal sex), and you can't catch herpes from a toilet seat, bathtub or most other ways people will tell you it can be caught.
I'll start by first making it clear that most people (well over half of people who have genital herpes) experience no symptoms at all. Many of the sufferers who have contracted the virus may not show symptoms for months or even years after infection. So if you have reason to suspect you may have been infected, it is very important to get to your doctor as soon as possible and be diagnosed, regardless if you are showing signs of the disease or not.
The biggest indicator that you have genital herpes is the classic symptoms of tingling, itchy or burning blisters that appear on the penis or scrotum, on the vulva or inside the vagina, and occasionally on the inner or upper thighs, the buttocks and around the anus. These blisters range in size from tiny, barely noticeable dots resembling small pimples, to large coin-sized ulcers. These sores can appear either alone or in groups or lesions.
You may also experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, tiredness or headaches, and swollen or tender lymph nodes in the groin. Other things to look out for include painful or burning urination, and any sort of abnormal discharge coming from the penis or vagina.
These symptoms can last anywhere from five to six days, all the way up to two weeks. If you are experiencing these symptoms, and especially if you are experiencing them repeatedly, it would be wise to see you doctor and organize treatment to reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks.
Despite what you may have heard, herpes is not a life sentence and can be easily controlled with the right treatment, diet and lifestyle changes. Once herpes is under control, you can know when you are at risk of outbreak, and when your risk of transmitting the virus is high, so you can enjoy normal life again, and even a normal sex life.
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