Female Symptoms Herpes: What Are Genital Herpes Symptoms in Women

If you are having female symptoms herpes, there are several important things that you need to know. The herpes simplex virus (HSV) comes commonly in two types. HSV type 1 (HSV1) lives in the nerve ending in and around the face and commonly affects the nose and mouth area. HSV type 2 (HSV2) lives in the nerve endings in the groin area. The viruses have nearly identical DNA with the primary differences being the area of the body that the virus prefers to live. Let’s take a closer look at what’s causing those irritating female genital herpes signs and symptoms.

How is Genital Herpes in Women Transmitted?

HSV2 is transmitted through saliva, semen, cervical fluid, or blister fluid from active open sores. Genital herpes causes painful outbreaks of blisters in the genital area and stays in the body for life. HSV2 can infect men and women equally but the pattern of infection is different.

Female Symptoms Herpes:
Why Women are at Greater Risk with Genital Herpes?

Women are nearly four times more prone to acquire the HVS2 virus than men. Women who are susceptible to female symptoms herpes have a higher chance of acquiring genital herpes from an infected man than a man becoming infected by a woman. In other words, if a non-infected man and woman each have sex with an infected partner, the woman is more prone than the man to contract HSV2.

Women may be more susceptible to genital herpes infections because their genital area has a more areas of cells that are moist with body fluids than men. Another factor could be due to a woman’s hormone changes during menstrual cycles. They may affect their immune system, making it easier for the virus to cause an infection

Stages of Herpes
Women Genital Herpes Outbreaks

After contracting HSV2, most women will show genital herpes symptoms of an initial outbreak in the next 2 to 10 days. The initial genital herpes outbreak is more painful and lasts longer than recurring outbreaks in both men and women. However, women tend to have more severe female symptoms herpes reactions and higher complication rates during the first outbreak.

In women, herpes sores can occur anywhere in the genital area including the vulva, inside the vagina, on the cervix, and urethra. This happens because some women have blisters on their labia that burst and leak down to the anal area causing herpes to spread throughout the genital area.

Herpes sores can also occur in areas other than the genital area such as the buttocks and thighs. These first herpes blisters are infectious for approximately three weeks. This is considerably longer than in men because the blisters contain other infectious viral substances.

Herpes Symptoms in Women
Warning Signs Before An Outbreak

A common genital herpes outbreak begins BEFORE blisters, sores and other common symptoms occur (Prodromal Symptoms). This is very important because many genital herpes treatments are much more effective and have better results if taken before blisters and sores appear.

Early female symptoms herpes or Prodromal symptoms usually begin between 1 to 3 days before blisters, rashes or sores begin and you may experience any or all of the following:

  • Itching in the groin area
  • Tingle feeling or burning in the vagina, labia and surrounding areas, including the anus, upper legs and buttocks
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Feelings of pressure or bloating in the abdominal area
  • Flu like symptoms including headache, nausea, fever, sore limbs, muscle and joint pain
  • Urinary pain or burning, or a difficulty urinating

Female Symptoms Herpes
The Outbreak

After experiencing prodromal symptoms for 1 to 3 days the outbreak will begin to appears and you may experience the following:

  • Sores or blisters that can range in size from tiny dots (sometimes herpes looks like a pimple) to larger sores. These sores will burst and scab over as the outbreak continues. They can appear by its self or in clusters. They appear on the genitals, anus, buttocks and thighs.
  • A red, itching or burning rash.
  • Pain when urinating occurs in approximately 10-15% of women.
  • Vaginal discharge.

Herpes Symptoms in Women are Often Misdiagnosed

Although women may have more severe outbreaks than men, they may have symptoms that are not attributed to herpes. A woman who has herpes blisters inside the vagina or on the cervix may be misdiagnosed as a yeast infection, or an inflammation of the cervix condition called cervicitis. Genital herpes women are also misdiagnosed as having pelvic inflammatory disease.

Herpes open sores that are found in the urethra may be misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection or a bladder dysfunction. With recurrent outbreaks, women may experience only irritation in the genital area with no rash present. It is very important that women with vaginal discharge or recurrent female symptoms herpes be tested.

Female Symptoms Herpes

Women can have genital herpes signs and symptoms on the cervix but never show any signs on the outer vaginal area. This is very important because knowing exactly when you are in the active stage of a herpes outbreak is not always as easy as with your initial outbreak.

Genital Herpes In Women and Pregnancy

Congenital herpes can be very devastating and possibly fatal in a newborn baby but it is preventable. A pregnant woman who has been previously diagnosed with HSV2 will be checked on a regular basis throughout the pregnancy and before the birth of her baby. If the herpes virus is not active at the time that labor begins, a normal vaginal delivery is possible. However, if she is having an active outbreak, the baby must be delivered by a caesarean section. This procedure will prevent the infant from contracting the herpes virus.

It’s by no means a good idea to take for granted that you are not having an outbreak. The difficulty that many women do not realize is that you may have an outbreak in your cervix or other areas of the genitals that you cannot see and can affect your newborn. Always tell your doctor and get monitored during the pregnancy.

The Psychological Impacts

Genital herpes in women has a greater psychological impact than physical. It can make women feel alone, ashamed and depressed. If you think you are suffering from genital herpes symptoms women, you should seek treatment, as reducing and controlling outbreaks can go a long way towards restoring your self-esteem and confidence.

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