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Genital Herpes Health Center

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Genital Herpes - Symptoms

Most people never have any symptoms or have ones that are so mild they don't recognize them. But some people have painful and bothersome symptoms.

Sometimes the symptoms are confused with other common problems, like yeast infections or vaginosis.

The first herpes outbreak tends to last the longest and be the most severe. Symptoms of the first outbreak may include:

  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and muscle aches. These symptoms usually get better within a week.
  • Tingling, burning, itching, and redness at the site where an outbreak is about to occur.
  • Painful, itchy blisters on the penis, on the vulva, or inside the vagina. Blisters may also appear on the anus, buttocks, thighs, or scrotum, either alone or in clusters. They may be barely noticeable or as large as a coin.
  • Painful, oozing sores caused by blisters that break open.
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodeslymph nodes camera.gif in the groin.
  • Painful urination.
  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis.

Symptoms of later outbreaks are usually limited to blisters, sores, and swollen lymph nodes. The blisters are most painful during the first 24 hours and heal after 6 to 12 days.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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