Herpes is a super-common infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Statistics show that about 1 out of 6 people in the United States has herpes. And looking at the data, the total number reaches at 50 million people. Among these affected, women make up 25% and men make up 20%. Due to many different reasons, herpes is more common in women than that in men. However, about 60% of infected women don’t know they catch the disease. Here, the doctors give some common symptoms of herpes and how to deal with them.
Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus, called HSV for short. Once you get the virus, you will have it for life.
According to the doctors, there are 2 types of HSV, including HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is known as oral herpes which commonly develops around the mouth. HSV-2 is quite different and it mainly occurs on the genital and anal area. Usually, people call HSV-1 “cold sores”, and describe herpes as genital herpes. In this article, therefore, we consider the term “herpes” as “genital herpes”.
Herpes affects each woman differently. Normally, the first outbreak of herpes is the worst. Over time, the severity of the outbreaks will be lessened. Although it all depends on your body, you may have chance of future outbreaks. That is because the virus never leaves your body once you have contracted it. A study showed that women with herpes often develop 4 or 5 outbreaks a year. In whereas, some women only get 1 or 2 outbreaks, and never have one again.
Herpes is highly contagious and considered the sexually transmitted disease. If you develop outbreaks and have sex, your partner can be at risk of herpes. Doctors said that even when you don’t have symptoms, you can still spread the disease. However, the chances of that happening are quite low-about 4 to 10 percent.
6 Herpes Symptoms That Every Woman Should Know
It’s very hard to diagnose herpes during the early stages. But, there are some signs you need to notice before seeing a doctor. Below, the doctors suggest some of the most common symptoms of herpes in women.
People with herpes may not always develop symptoms immediately. While some may have no signs for months, others develop symptoms 4 days after being infected. So, these pimples or tiny blisters do not always show up immediately. But when they do, that could be a warning sign of herpes. Unlike cold sores, pimples caused by herpes may occur on some locations below:
- The rectal region
- The genital area
These pimples may burst open, then heal and form scabs.
During the first herpes outbreak, 70% of women are estimated to have flu-like symptoms. For example, a fever, headache, muscle aches and swollen glands. If you have herpes, you may also experience pain in your legs and groin region.
A tingling sensation
A tingling sensation is one of the first symptoms of herpes in women. If you’re experiencing tingling, speak to your doctor immediately. This symptom may happen in the affected areas, such as thighs, butt, vagina and genitals.
Itching and irritation
These sensations are important symptoms of herpes in women. But sometimes, women ignore them and blame them on wearing tight clothing. If you experience itching and irritation in your lady parts, see a doctor to test for herpes.
Related: 7 Common Reasons for Vaginal Itching
Pain while urinating
Pain and swelling in the genital area are important symptoms you shouldn’t ignore. Doctors said that pain or a burning sensation during urination could indicate herpes. In fact, these symptoms may happen because the urine flows over the herpes blisters.
Pain in your pelvis
According to doctors, herpes in women can also affect the cervix, causing cervicitis. This may lead to some noticeable symptoms, including:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Pain during sex
Also, herpes can spread to the reproductive system, causing pelvic inflammatory disease. Pain in the pelvis could indicate that your cervix is inflamed. Aside from herpes, some other STDs such as HPV can also cause this symptom. If you’re experiencing pain in your pelvis, get it checked by a doctor immediately.
Related: 8 Reasons It Hurts When You Have Sex
After recognizing herpes symptoms, you can ask a doctor for medications. Herpes is not dangerous, but it can be highly contagious. To relieve symptoms and prevent future outbreaks, doctors suggest some tips below:
- Apply Prosurx cream 2-3 times a day.
- Avoid having sexual intercourse during a herpes outbreak.
- Always use condoms during sex.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and clothes.
- Keep the area dry, fresh and clean.