Herpes Symptoms in Women

Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Unfortunately, however, it is also one of the few that does not currently have a cure. That means that, if you contract herpes, you will always have the virus, and you may suffer from regular outbreaks. As such, you’ll want to do everything within your power, including and especially practicing safe sex each and every time you engage in sexual activity, to avoid infection. If you do happen to contract herpes, however, know that you are not alone and that, while there may not be a cure for herpes, there are things you can do to manage your symptoms and to reduce the risk of spreading the disease to others.

Herpes Symptoms in Women

Women and men who have been infected with genital herpes typically suffer from the same general symptoms, if they have symptoms at all. There are many people who never experience genital herpes symptoms or who experience only very mild symptoms. These people are often the most dangerous because they are not aware that they have the disease, making them more likely to spread it to others through unsafe sexual contact. With that said, however, it is still wise to be aware of the common herpes symptoms in women and men, which can include:

  • Cracking or irritation of the genital area
  • A “raw” feeling in the genital area
  • Feeling weak or like one has the flue
  • Running an unexplained fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • General tiredness
  • Itching of the genitals
  • A tingling or burning sensation of the genitals
  • The appearance of blisters that break open and turn into sores on the genitals
  • Painful urination
  • Backaches
  • Headaches

Obviously, these symptoms are not a clear indicator, in and of themselves, of whether or not a person has genital herpes. The only way to know for sure is to receive an official diagnosis from a healthcare professional.

Genital Herpes and Pregnancy

Fortunately, genital herpes, unlike some other sexually transmitted diseases, has not been shown to have a negative impact on a woman’s fertility. However, there are some risks and concerns if a woman who has been infected with genital herpes becomes pregnant or if a woman gets infected with the virus while pregnant.

Genital herpes can be passed on to the unborn child through delivery and via the placenta though the risk of transmission is relatively low. The biggest concern is if a woman has active sores during delivery. When this is the case, the risk of transmission is higher and a caesarean section may be recommended. The risk is also higher for those women who contract the virus while pregnant.

While anyone who has been diagnosed with or potentially exposed to genital herpes would do well to visit with a health care professional, doing so is particularly important for women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. All women deserve to have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby, but unsafe sex and the risks that go along with it, such as genital herpes, can make achieving those goals more difficult. Remember, it is never too late to start practicing safe sex!