Herpes is very common. According to ashasexualhealth.org, about 1 in 8 people aged 14-49 in the U.S. has genital herpes. About 1 in 2 people ages 14-49 in the U.S. are infected with HSV-1, which is the typical cause of oral herpes.
We gathered most common herpes questions and found the answers from the reliable sites. Let’s begin the first one.
Herpes Symptoms & Signs
Herpes virus (HSV-1/HSV-2) can be latent in the body for years. People may not know that they have herpes since no or very mild herpes symptoms. What’s more, herpes symptoms are very similar to other things.
Oral herpes symptoms
Oral herpes can cause sores around your lips or mouth area. People always call them cold sores or fever blisters. People can also get sores in the mouth, but this usually happens only at the first few times of the symptoms.
Cold sores can last for weeks and then go away on their own. They can re-appear in weeks, months or years. Cold sores are annoying but usually harmless to children and adults – but dangerous to newborn babies.
Genital herpes symptoms
The most common symptoms of genital herpes are itchy or painful blisters in the vagina, vulva, cervix, penis, buttocks, anus, or the inside of the thigh. The blisters break and become sores. People might have other symptoms like the following:
- burning when you pee if your urine touches the herpes sores
- having trouble peeing because the sores and swelling are blocking your urethra
- pain around your genitals
If your genital herpes is caused by HSV-2, you might also have flu-like symptoms, such as:
- swollen glands in your pelvic area, throat, and under your arms
- feeling achy and tired
It’s called an outbreak when blisters and other genital herpes symptoms appear The first outbreak (also known as the “first episode” or “initial herpes”) usually starts 2 to 20 days after you have been infected with herpes. But sometimes the first outbreak can take years.
The first outbreak lasts about 2 to 4 weeks. Even if the blisters disappear, the virus remains in your body and may cause pain again. Recurring outbreaks are common, especially in the first year of herpes. Hours or days before an outbreak, people may notice warning signs such as itching, burning, or genital tingling.
The first herpes outbreak is the worst. Repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less painful. As time goes on, most people with herpes get fewer outbreaks, and some stop having them altogether.
Herpes symptoms may be more painful for people with the weak immune system or other illness.