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Genital Herpes Symptoms in Women: What You Need to Know

genital herpes symptoms in women

Defining Herpes

Whether it be genital or oral, herpes refers to another form of sexually transmitted infection. The said infection is acquired when one person has engaged in unprotected sex with an infected individual. It is also known to have two types, namely HSV-1 and HSV-2.

Regardless of gender, both men and women can experience the hostile effects of herpes. Without taking precautionary measures, infection involving herpes is very likely to happen. As mentioned, herpes has two different forms. Here, we will be focusing more on genital herpes. Read on to know more about this type, its symptoms, and how it can be better managed, especially in women.

Symptoms of Genital Herpes in Women

In terms of statistics, genital herpes is more common among females compared to males. In the year 2015-2016, there are more cases of herpes in women in comparison with those of men. What could be the possible reason?

Based on studies and research, the infection induced by genital transmission is easier from men to women. The rate of sexual transmission from women to men is low. That explains why there are a lot of females today have been diagnosed with herpes.

With regards to the symptoms, both males and females share some of the reactions. However, there are still differences, especially with the level and location of the effects. Consider the following:

There are two phases of symptoms in women. These phases are known as the latent phase and prodrome phase. For the first phase, the symptoms do not usually develop, although the infection has already become active within the body. Meanwhile, for the second phase, which is also known as the outbreak stage, mild to severe symptoms become apparent. It means that an individual starts to experience different symptoms.

Before knowing the symptoms of herpes in women, it is also necessary to know which parts of the body that the virus infects. Some of these bodily locations include the vagina (especially in its opening), anus, thighs (usually the upper part), cervix, vulva, and urethra.

The symptoms are as follows:

  • Mild to severe headaches
  • A general feeling of discomfort or exhaustion
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes

For this part, it is a must to understand that not all females experience the symptoms mentioned above. Even if the infection has already occurred, some females feel normal. That is why getting tested is necessary. It helps in knowing your status and to immediately obtain the needed medical care.


As already mentioned, transmission happens when a person engages himself in unprotected sex with an individual with an illness. Whatever the type of sexual contact that is, whether it be anal, oral, or vaginal sex, when there are no protective barriers used, herpes transmission is very likely to happen.

Note that even if someone only has oral herpes, it can still infect your genitals. How is that possible? When someone with an active sore in the mouth, caused by herpes, performs fellatio or blowjob, the virus can easily travel to the sexual organ, regardless of gender. When this occurs, the transmission rate is so high.


Aside from getting tested, there are other ways to diagnose someone with the infection. Some of these are as follows:

  • Medical examination – This examination involves checking you physically. The healthcare professional will need to check your whole body to see any other signs of the infection, such as the appearance of blisters or sores.
  • Testing your blood – One of the most common ways to test an infection is through a blood test. This is done by extracting a small amount of blood from your vein and have it checked for antibodies that your body produces when an infection happens.

Aside from these mentioned approaches in knowing someone’s status, there are other ways that the healthcare professional will need to do. Furthermore, you will likely be interviewed by the physician to know your medical history and also to learn how often you engage in unprotected sex.

Treatment and Prevention

If you have been proven to have already acquired the illness or infection, the healthcare professional will have you start your treatment process. The first thing that you must do is follow the prescription containing the best antiviral drug to consume on a daily basis. Some of the most recommended drugs are acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir.

Furthermore, to ensure that you can prevent spreading the infection to others, always use protective barriers during sex. There is a misconception circulating that you can never have sex again if you have herpes. Well, that is wrong. You can still enjoy the pleasure you can get from any form of sexual activity as long as you are using condoms to prevent the infection from spreading. And lastly, you should be more responsible enough to protect your sexual partner.

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