The question what are the symptoms of herpes in women can be answered in two ways because there are two principally recognised types of the Herpes Simplex Virus – HSV-1 refers to the infection above the waist and HSV-2 that refers to below the waist. However both types of the virus are known to cause genital herpes as well.
What are the symptoms of herpes?
The infection occurs through the mucus membranes present in the mouth or the vagina where the virus enters the system by way of invisible tears in the skin. Redness or blisters are the most common visible signs of herpes and the symptoms are most severe during the first or initial outbreak before the body has had time to develop antibodies to the virus. Outbreaks may be weeks, months or even years apart.
What are the symptoms of herpes HSV-1?
Simply put, HSV-1 virus produces blisters and sores of the mouth (what we call cold sores) and the lips. The blisters are watery and occur in the mucus membranes.
After a period the virus becomes latent or goes into recession and the symptoms may not be visible for a while. Sporadic episodes or outbreaks will continue to occur after the initial outbreak when the virus starts to replicate and shedding occurs, causing new sores to appear.
What are the symptoms of herpes HSV-2?
HSV 2 manifests most commonly as genital herpes though HSV1 can also cause genital symptoms. Genital herpes shows up in the form of inflamed papules and vesicles on the outer area of the genetalia in both men and women. Whereas in men it is the glans, the penis, inner thighs, buttocks, anus and so on, for women the lesions appear on or near the labia, the vulva, clitoris, anus, buttocks and pubis.
What are the symptoms of herpes other than genital lesions?
Though the lesions, blisters and papules are the most common signs of the viral infection, there are other symptoms as well. There could be itching, burning, and pain in the genital region as a result of the infection.
Among women there could also be some unusual vaginal discharge noted. Fever and a general feeling of being unwell may also occur. Headache, muscle pain, swollen or enlarged lymph nodes could also occur as a result of the infection.
The symptoms of herpes are typically cyclical so what are the symptoms of herpes after a while, are different from the symptoms at initial onset. After some weeks the lesions become ulcerated and then start to crust over before healing.