Genital herpes is like a cold sore, but the sores and blisters are in, on or around the penis, vagina or anus.
What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is caused by a virus and starts with a blister. The blister dries to form a scab and disappears. Often the blister returns when your resistance is low. You can get herpes during sex, even if you are using condoms. Blisters may be just outside the condom edge and you can also transmit the virus with your hands. Or during oral sex. So, don’t have oral sex with someone if they have a cold sore. You can also become infected when there are no visible blisters.
Often you don’t even notice that you have genital herpes. The same goes for the person you have sex with.
Sometimes you may suffer from:
- Painful, reddish blisters filled with fluid.
- Watery discharge.
- Pain when you pee.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the groin.
After you get the virus in your body you can get symptoms like fever, a headache, and aching muscles. After the first time of getting symptoms, you can get flare ups. The symptoms are usually milder then. Some people only ever have symptoms of genital herpes once. Symptoms disappear on their own, but the virus stays on your body and may return when you’re tired and stressed and your resistance is low. Symptoms may also return when you’ve got the flu or your period.
Once you got the herpes virus it will stay in your body. There is no medication that can erase the virus from your body. But medication is available to ensure that flare ups are shorter and less painful. This medication only works if you take it within a few days when you get symptoms. You can get the medicines with a doctor’s prescription.