- Men's Health & Wellness
Herpes Symptoms in Men and How to Recognize Them
What Are Common Herpes Symptoms in Men?
Herpes symptoms in men vary greatly. Men infected with the HSV-2 virus that causes genital herpes, may experience symptoms that range from obvious signs of infection to mild symptoms could easily be overlooked. Data from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) showed that in 2010 four out of five American men infected with HSV-2 were unaware of their condition. The same report concluded that perhaps as many as 11% of sexually-active men carries the virus.
Most infected men discover that they carry the HSV-2 virus only after they've experienced an initial outbreak of painful sores and blisters on their genitals or groin. This "primary outbreak" typically takes place 2-20 days after first exposure through sexual intercourse.
However, research shows that less than 40% of recently-infected males will actually develop blisters during their initial outbreak. So it is critical to understand other common herpes symptoms:
- Irritation: itching, burning and tingling sensations on, or around, the genitals, thighs, buttocks, and groin.
- Sudden onset of flu-like symptoms: fever, fatigue, headaches, and chills.
- Itching or burning sensation inside the urethra while urinating.
- Swelling and soreness in the lymph nodes.
- Muscle aches: in groin and lower back
The appearance of these symptoms within several days of sexual intercourse (particularly with a new partner) may be an indication of the HSV-2 virus. For men who have previously experienced outbreaks of blisters and sores (i.e. those who are already infected), these symptoms become recognizable as warnings of a new outbreak. Among the large percentage of men who have never suffered an outbreak of blisters, however, these symptoms may be their only indication of infection.
Should you or someone you know experience any of the symptoms discussed in this article, it is imperative to consult physician as soon as possible. The virus that causes genital herpes in men is highly contagious and increases the body's susceptibility to other sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. While there is no cure for the HSV-2 virus, effective treatments are available that will greatly reduce both the severity and duration of subsequent outbreaks.
Genital herpes symptoms in men not only create physical discomfort but emotional issues as well. Early detection and treatment is vital to both those who carry the virus and their loved ones.