What are early symptoms of genital herpes?
The first symptom of genital herpes that you are likely to notice is the inflammation of your skin in the genital area, which may burn or itch. This symptom often occurs within 1-2 weeks of infection, during which time the virus multiplies in your cells and causes an outbreak. As the herpes episode progresses, blisters and ulcers develop. When the symptoms begin to subside, the ulcers form scabs, then they gradually disappear.
Typical Symptoms during the early stages include:
- Fever and flu-like symptoms
- Burning or itching sensation in the genital area
- Pain during urination
- Feeling sick/nauseous
- Muscle aches and pains
However, the incubation period of genital herpes varies and some people do not experience the first herpes outbreak until months or even years after infection. When it occurs, the first outbreak may last for several weeks. Once the genital herpes symptoms have subsided, the virus becomes dormant again until something triggers a new outbreak. Recurrent outbreaks tend to be less severe and pass quicker. Usually, patients learn to recognise the early signs of a herpes episode, which allows them to begin antiviral treatment promptly.