Symptoms of Genital Herpes
There does not seem to be such a thing as a typical genital herpes outbreak, it can vary from one outbreak to the next for most people.
This first episode of genital herpes can cause a severe illness lasting several weeks without treatment. However, the severity is extremely variable and some people have only very mild symptoms. Recurrent episodes usually tend to be less severe and of shorter duration.
Some people may get a variety of symptoms a few hours or days before a recurrence, including tingling, nerve pain, redness, and itching. This is called a prodrome.
This is then usually followed by one or more of the following; localized chafing, a distinct rash, small cracks in the skin, and tiny sores or blisters that burst and become painful.
The time from a prodrome to complete healing of the recurrence is approximately 6-7 days. The healing process is often associated with itching.
Genital herpes can be mistaken for other sexually transmitted infections or non-sexually transmitted conditions. It is therefore important to contact your doctor or a sexual health centre.
Consequences/complications of Genital Herpes
Genital Herpes does not affect the ability to have children. Recurrent episodes during a pregnancy very rarely affect the baby in the uterus, however a first episode late in the pregnancy could be serious and immediate medical attention is required.
Women should tell their obstetrician or midwife that they have had genital herpes to ensure proper steps are taken to help avoid transmission to the baby, just in case a recurrence is experienced during child birth.
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