Genital Herpes Symptoms for Men and Women Fact Sheet
Genital Herpes is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) caused by two viruses: the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) and also the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2).
Most Genital Herpes is caused by an HSV-2 infection which is spread through vaginal intercourse or anal penetration.
Oral Herpes is usually caused by HSV-1 and, if it shows symptoms, they usually appear as fever blisters or cold sores in and around the mouth. Oral Herpes can be spread to the genitals through oral sex.
You can also contract Oral Herpes from the saliva of an infected person.
Herpes II (Genital Herpes) Symptoms?
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Herpes in Women?
What Are the Symptoms of Genital Herpes in Men?
What are Herpes Symptoms in Both Woman and Men?
Can You Get Herpes from Oral Sex?
Absolutely. You can get Oral Herpes (Herpes I) through oral sex. It shows up as cold sores or fever blisters in or around the mouth, which can be contagious.
You can get Genital Herpes (Herpes II) by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who is infected, even if they’re showing no symptoms.
Dangers of Herpes?
While painful and a major nuisance, Genital Herpes, itself, is not life-threatening. However, it cannot be cured. It can be managed somewhat with medication. One major danger is that having herpes makes it easier to become infected with HIV which is far more serious.
How Soon Can You Test for Herpes after Being Infected?
With a standard test, you can test positive for the HSV-2 virus as soon as 2 weeks after exposure. However, it can take up to 16 weeks (4 months) to get a positive result. (Rapid-detection tests may be able to detect it within 4 days.) So, on a standard Herpes II blood test, if you test negative on a test conducted during the first 16 weeks of incubation after exposure, you will need to be tested again to make sure.
Where to Get Tested (secretly) for Herpes
(and Other STDs)?
Of course, your primary care doctor (if you have one) can examine you and order testing for STDs. However, many people prefer confidential testing. Also, going to your doctor may be less convenient (waiting for an appointment) and more expensive (since you will have to pay for the doctor’s visit in addition to any additional lab results.
Fortunately, you don’t need to go through the inconvenience and expense of seeing your doctor to be tested.
Many local medical laboratories offer no-appointment “walk in” testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea and other common STDs. (Check to find certified STD-testing labs in your Zip Code HERE.)
If you are in a rural area and there is not a convenient lab nearby, you can order an At-Home STD Test Kit. Follow the simple directions for taking samples and then mail it in. In just a few days, you can find out your results (by phone or on the Internet.)
NOTE: If you test positive it means you have an STD. Negative results are usually good news and probably mean you are “clean” for the STD(s) you tested for.
However, keep in mind that after being infected, if you test too soon and the chlamydia has not gone through its incubation stage, it may not show up on your test results. So be sure to get tested — but not too soon.
Can Genital Herpes Be Treated and Cured?
Herpes is a virus and doesn’t respond to antibiotics. You can sometimes manage the symptoms with anti-Herpes medicines but the virus can stay in your body for years and cause outbreaks of sores and blisters. On their own, the recurring outbreaks will probably decrease in intensity and may disappear completely.
Watch this mini-video to see how private testing works at a lab near you.
Need more information on Genital and Oral Herpes?
Please Note: The information on this site is not meant to be used as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment nor to substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional.
The purpose of this site is to help you protect your health and your personal privacy by putting you in touch with a national network of medical laboratories who can offer you a variety of confidential medical tests. Depending on the results of your test(s) you may then want to schedule an appointment with your own qualified health professional or visit a medical clinic for consultation and treatment.
GET TESTED SECRETLY? This site is to help you get tested “secretly” — without your family or friends or colleagues or even your doctor knowing. However, if your results come back “positive” for certain STDs (such as HIV) then the laws and regulations determining whom your lab must report that information to varies by state and location.
So be sure to ask the laboratory what happens if your tests come back “positive” — ask what information will be shared and with whom.
To learn more about the complexities of “confidential” and “anonymous” testing and various reporting regulations… Click Here.
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Thanks for getting tested, protecting your health, and for making the world safer by reducing the number of people infected by partners who didn’t know they were spreading a disease.
“Get Tested. Get Treated. Get on with Your Life!”