Female genital herpes can come in a variety of forms, and often symptoms can be mistaken for other conditions. It is important to have yourself checked by a physician if you experience any of the symptoms of herpes, or if you suspect you may have contracted the disease, even if you experience no symptoms at all. Around 50 percent of women will experience very little to no symptoms, but despite the lack of signs of the disease, it can still be transmitted to partners during intercourse.
Female genital herpes symptoms are most commonly a rash and the appearance of bumps, blisters or sores on and around the vagina, buttocks, upper thighs and anus. You may also experience vaginal discharge, flu like symptoms and swelling of the groin or genital region.
The rash is generally accompanied by a sensation of itching or tingling, and can range from being slightly uncomfortable to quite painful. This is usually the first sign of a herpes outbreak.
Female genital herpes sores generally first appear as small bumps and may be very small in size or quite large, coin sized lesions. These bumps will develop into sores, which will weep and scab over as the outbreak progresses. They will eventually scab over and heal without leaving a scar. This process can take anywhere from a week to several weeks. These sores are generally very uncomfortable, and can itch and be quite painful. You may also experience pain while urinating.
The flu-like symptoms include headache, fever and muscle or joint pain. Also commonly experienced is a general feeling of ‘down-ness’ or fatigue. In some cases outbreaks are also accompanied by nausea or hot flushes.
Female genital herpes may manifest as only one or two of the above symptoms, or all of them at once. Outbreaks can vary in severity, but generally get less severe as time goes on. Herpes outbreaks are generally triggered by a deficiency in the immune system, which is in turned triggered by a variety of factors including stress, lack of sleep, a period of poor health or sickness, sudden changes in temperature and environment, depression and poor diet.