Symptoms of HSV-2

Posted by in Herpes Facts, Herpes Symptoms

Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2

Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2

Genital Herpes is an STI caused by the HSV herpes simplex virus. There are two types of HSV, namely, HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 causes cold sores and blisters in the mouth and around the lips. This can also spread to the genital area. HSV-2 usually causes genital herpes and spreads through fluids from the genitals or the mouth. People get infected with Genital Herpes when they come into physical contact with someone having herpes. The virus can also spread when there is no visible sore or any other symptoms present and you might not even know that you are infected. Genital Herpes from HSV-2 is more common among women than among men.


Those infected with genital herpes generally don’t have sores. The symptoms are also very mild and tend to go unnoticed. Sometimes, the symptoms also get mistaken for insect bites or for some other kind of skin problem.

Primary Infection

However, the primary infection or the first outbreak of genital herpes from HSV-2 can be quite severe. The first outbreak of the infection usually takes place around two days to two weeks after the person is infected. The general symptoms during the primary infection phase can include fever and a decreased appetite. The person has a general feeling of sickness and aches in the muscles. These muscle aches are usually in the areas of the knees and thighs as well as the buttocks and the lower back. The lymph nodes located in the groin also become swollen and tender during the primary infection of genital herpes. There are also some specific to the genital areas. The person might experience small but painful blisters that contain a straw colored liquid or fluid.

Blisters and Sores

Typical Blisters of HSV-2

Typical Blisters of HSV-2

In case of women, these blisters are seen in the labia or the vaginal lips. They may also be found in the cervix, the anal area, around the buttocks and the thighs or in the vagina. In case of men, the blisters are visible in the penis and the scrotum, as well as in the anus area and the buttocks or thighs. In both the cases, there might also be blisters in the mouth, the tongue and other parts of the face, such as the gums, the lips or even the fingers and the rest of the body. The person might also feel a burning or tingling feeling in the area where the blisters later appear. When they break, the blisters leave behind painful ulcers, which take about a week or two to crust and heal. Some other symptoms include pain experienced while urinating. There might also be some vaginal discharge among women or difficulty in urinating, leading to the need for a urinary catheter.

Recurrent Infection

After the first outbreak subsides, there will be other outbreaks known as recurrent infection. This can occur after a few weeks or even after a few months. The symptoms of the recurrent infection are a little less severe. The period is also smaller and the sores disappear much sooner than the primary infection. The number of outbreaks or the frequency might reduce after some time.