What are the signs of herpes?

Herpes symptoms are very mild so you may not know you have them, or may mistake the symptoms for an ingrown hair or pimple.

Sores often appear as blisters on the mouth, genitals or rectum. They break, cause pain and take weeks to heal. During the first outbreak, many experience flu-like symptoms such as body aches, fever and swollen glands.

During the first year of infection, repeat outbreaks are common. After time, outbreaks are typically shorter and less intense, and although the infection stays in your body forever, outbreaks tend to decrease over time.

The symptoms of herpes and other STDs include smelly discharge, unusual sores, burning during urination, or for women, bleeding between periods. See a doctor if you or your partner experience any of these symptoms.

Is there a herpes cure?

Although there isn’t a cure for herpes, there are medicines that can be taken daily to prevent and shorten outbreaks.

Daily use of the antiviral medication can reduce the chances of passing herpes to your partner.

What if I don’t take my herpes medication?

If untreated, herpes sores can become extremely painful and if you touch the sores and/or their fluid you can spread the virus to other parts of your body, such as your eyes. Be sure to wash your hands immediately if they come in contact with sores to prevent spreading the infection.

Although herpes cannot be cured, it can be managed. If you’re concerned about how herpes might affect your health and relationships, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider.

If you have herpes and are pregnant, there can be issues for you and your unborn child. Go here for more information.

Be sure to tell your partner so they can be tested and receive treatment.