eg. What are symptoms of chlamydia?

Herpes Type 1 and Type 2 Symptoms

Herpes is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Herpes simplex type 1 refers to oral herpes (though it can be transmitted to the genitals through oral contact). Herpes simplex type 2 refers to genital herpes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes. Unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sexual contact can all transmit herpes. Like other STDs, herpes often presents no symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, it is usually within two to twelve days.

Common Symptoms of Genital Herpes

While herpes often does not present symptoms, the most common symptoms include:

  • Sores that turn into blisters around the anus or genitals
  • Itching or discomfort around the genitals
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Flu­like symptoms, including fever
  • Body aches
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Vaginal discharge (in women)

Rare Symptoms of Genital Herpes

Less common symptoms include:

  • Sores or blisters around the butt, thighs, or fingers
  • Difficulty urinating

Oral Herpes Symptoms

Like genital herpes, oral herpes rarely produces symptoms. If it does, symptoms include:

  • Sores or blisters around the mouth
  • Flu­like symptoms, such as fever
  • Swollen lymph glands

Symptoms occur during outbreaks and usually heal in a few weeks. While outbreaks are most frequent during the first year of infection, they generally diminish in frequency over time.

Health Complications

Neither type of herpes is curable, though herpes is manageable and antiviral medications are available. If you experience open sores or blisters, do not touch them as you can spread symptoms to other parts of your body, including your eyes. If left untreated, herpes can weaken the immune system, potentially making people more susceptible to encephalitis.

Pregnant mothers can also experience complications if they have genital herpes. According to the CDC, genital herpes sometimes causes miscarriages or early deliveries. Mothers can also pass genital herpes onto their newborns. Herpes can be very serious in newborns (neonatal herpes). It is important to talk to your doctor about your condition throughout your pregnancy. Many women with genital herpes select to have a cesarean section to reduce the risk of transmission.

Back to STD Symptoms

Last updated on August 2nd, 2016

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