Unlike what everyone thinks, not all herpes infections are associated with symptoms. A significant number of individuals have no symptoms at all and never even know they have a herpetic infection. Despite the fact these individuals have no signs or symptoms of an infection; they all have the capability of transmitting the infection to their partners. Most people who acquire genital herpes get it from a partner who has no symptoms. It is doubtful if anyone sane would have any type of a sexual activity with a partner in the presence of full blown herpes infection. In fact, in the presence of an active infection, the carrier himself would not have the desire to have sex with anyone.
In men, the herpetic lesions are most common near the tip of the penis. A few individual do develop the blisters on the shaft of the penis. In those who engage in anal intercourse, the blisters can occur around the entire anus. Lesions around the buttocks are also common.
In women, the lesions are most common on the inside of the labia and cervix. However, the lesions may occur anywhere on the inside or outside of the vagina.
Herpes simplex has a fairly standard presentation. Those who become symptomatic from the infection never forget the episode and dread the beast. The symptoms usually arise 2-3 days after acquiring the infection. Most individuals will have an odd feeling, burning, tingling, pain or an odd ache in the genital area. A few days later, painful blisters will become prominent around the penis or vagina. The number of blisters is variable but most have at least a couple. The pain is sharp and burning in nature.
Many an individual has required admission for pain control from a herpetic genital infection. The sores are tender to touch and even urination is painful. In those who are liberal in their sex life and acquire an anal infection, the feeling is like a hot burning dildo placed in the arse- infact quite painful and pooping is almost impossible. Any thoughts of eroticism and sexual intercourse are always absent because of the pain. For the men, the blisters occur at the tip of the penis and cause difficulty with urination and even tight undergarments can be very uncomfortable.
Almost all genital blisters turn into open ulcers after few days. The soreness does diminish a little but the general ill health does continue. After about 7-10 days, the ulcers dry up and become crusted and fall off. The entire episode can last 7-12 days. After the initial infection, the virus disappears and goes into a latent stage and may never again cause an infection.