Herpes is one the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. The herpes simplex virus is categorized into two types, which are herpes type 1 (HSV-1, or oral herpes) and herpes type 2 (HSV-2, or genital herpes). While there are specific symptoms associated with each, there are also many people who experience no symptoms. As a result, many people do not know that they even have the virus to begin with.
However, it is still important to know the types of symptoms that can arise from herpes, as there are very distinctive symptoms that one can experience. And if you are unsure, then it is always in your best interest to get tested.
What Happens in a Herpes Infection?
Herpes is a virus that is passed on from one person to another through sexual contact. The virus can still be passed on even if the infected person does not have any symptoms or signs of infection.
Once the virus is passed on, it enters the skin, which then travels through nerve paths. When this happens, the virus may become dormant (inactive) and remain there indefinitely. However, every so often, the virus may become active, which can result in an outbreak of symptoms or it can also just remain inactive (undetected).
Whether the virus is detected or not, it can still be passed on through sexual contact very easily. It is important to know that the virus can be easily passed on even when the infected person is wearing a condom, as the virus can still exist on skin that remains uncovered.
In terms of how often one can experience herpes outbreaks, the amount can vary.
Once infected, individuals may not experience any symptoms at all or sometimes symptoms can be extremely mild, which can then go unnoticed. While on the other hand, people may notice herpes symptoms within a few days to a couple of weeks upon initial contact. There are also individuals who may not even experience symptoms for months or years after becoming infected.
For men and women, the most common symptom of genital herpes is usually a cluster of blistery sores, which may arise on the genitals (penis or vagina) or on the buttocks, thighs, or rectal area. Symptoms can last up to a few weeks and then go away; however, they may return in weeks, months, or even years.
The first time that genital herpes symptoms appear, it is typically referred to as the “first episode” or “initial herpes,” and it is important to note that the initial herpes symptoms are typically more noticeable than the later outbreaks.
Some of the most common genital herpes symptoms in men and women include:
- Blistery sores
- Burning when you pee if you have sores
- Difficulty peeing if you have sores covering the urethra
- Itching or pain around the genitals
- Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue
Usually, initial symptoms can show up 2 to 20 days after infection, but it can also take up to years for symptoms to show (if they do).
While herpes sores usually only last up to a few weeks, the virus still remains in the body and can flare up and cause sores again unexpectedly.
The only way to find out for certain if you have been infected is to get checked out by a doctor or nurse. At STD Free Los Angeles, our team is dedicated to helping our patients improve and maintain their health and we do so by offering free herpes testing Los Angeles.
Common Oral Herpes Symptoms in Men and Women
Oral herpes can be passed on by engaging in intimate or personal contact, including sharing drinks, kissing, and oral sex with someone who is infected.
Oral herpes is usually much less painful than genital herpes and doesn’t make you feel as sick. However, oral herpes does result in sores on your lips or around your mouth, which are also called cold sores or fever blisters. Some people can even experience sores inside their mouth; however, that usually only happens the first few times you experience symptoms.
Cold sores can last up to a few weeks and go away on their own, but they can pop up again unexpectedly in weeks, months, or even years. While cold sores can be a real nuisance, they are typically harmless in children and adults. However, they can be very dangerous to newborn babies.
Contact Us for Free Herpes Testing Los Angeles
If you suspect that you may have contracted oral or genital herpes, it is important to seek help from our team at STD Free Los Angeles. Our team is dedicated to helping our patients improve and maintain their health and will provide the guidance you need to ensure your existing condition does not worsen.
If you’re searching for free herpes testing Los Angeles, don’t hesitate to contact us today!