Genital Herpes Causes, Symptoms and Risks
- Herpes simplex virus Type II is the leading cause of genital herpes.
- Herpes simplex virus Type I, which often leads to cold sores on or around the mouth, can also cause genital herpes.
- Common triggers for flare-ups — once you have the disease — are sexual intercourse, exposure to ultraviolet light, fatigue, injury, extremes in temperature and stress.
- Menstrual periods may also trigger attacks in women.
- Individuals with compromised immune systems (like those with AIDS or some other debilitating disease) are more prone to severe flare-ups.
- Watery blisters on the genitals that burst and become painful open sores/ulcers. Ulcers scab and go away within a few weeks.
- Blisters around mouth can develop when blisters on genitals appear.
- Painful, itchy genital area; fever; fatigue; loss of appetite.
- Pain while urinating for women.
- Lymph nodes located in the groin often swell up usually during the first attack.
- Headache may occur if viral meningitis (infection of the membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord) develops. Meningitis is commonly associated with the herpes virus.
References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health
last update: December 2008