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Genital Herpes Symptoms in Men

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What are the symptoms of genital herpes in men?

Symptoms of genital herpes include vesicles, sores, lesions, blisters, painful ulcers, itching and/or burning in the genital area, anus or upper thighs. Approximately two-thirds of people with genital herpes do not experience symptoms or have symptoms that are so mild they are confused with other skin conditions. In instances where symptoms are not present, genital herpes can still be transmitted. Our doctors recommend getting tested for both herpes type 1 and herpes type 2 to learn your status.

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Genital herpes symptoms in men

Most common symptoms

  • Silent or no symptoms (two-thirds of cases)

Less common symptoms

  • Sores or blisters on the penis
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Least common symptoms

  • Sores, blisters, or ulcers
    • Inside or around the anus
    • Around the buttocks and thighs
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Eye infection
  • Eczema herpetiform

How will I know if I have genital herpes?

Genital herpes is not usually accommodated by symptoms. Two-thirds of genital herpes cases are asymptomatic. Getting tested for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 is the only sure way to know if you have genital herpes. Blisters or sores in the genital area, fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, tiredness and painful urination call all be symptoms of genital herpes.

What do genital herpes outbreaks feel or look like?

Patients with genital herpes have reported that outbreaks or episodes typically diminish through the years. Early prodromal symptoms, or warning signals, that are followed by outbreaks. These prodromal symptoms often include mild tingling or shooting pains in the legs, hips and buttocks, and can last from 2 hours to 2 days. After the prodromal symptoms occur the blisters develop into painful red spots, which then evolve into yellowish, clear fluid-filled blisters after a day or two. These blisters burst or break and leave ulcers that usually heal in about 10 days. In women, blisters can develop inside the vagina and cause painful urination.

What causes or triggers genital herpes outbreaks?

Although the cause is unknown, outbreaks are often associated with periods of weakened immune systems, skin wounds, menstruation, fever, nerve damage, tissue damage from surgery, or exposure to extreme climate situations. A genital herpes outbreak or episode occurs when the HSV-1 or HSV-2 virus is reactivated from its dormant stage. Genital herpes is an incurable disease, and once you contract it, you may experience outbreaks throughout your lifetime. Those who are experiencing their first herpes episode of genital herpes can expect to have several (typically four or five) outbreaks within a year. Over time these recurrences usually decrease in frequency and severity. The first outbreak of herpes is often the longest outbreak experienced. After that, short and inconsistent episodes can be managed and treated with antiviral medication.