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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 may take up to three weeks to heal.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 14, 2013
    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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