The following symptoms can also accompany an outbreak of genital herpes, particularly the first time:
- Body aches
- Swollen glands
If you’re infected with the virus that causes genital herpes, it stays in your body. This means that after the first outbreak of blisters clears up, you will still be infected as the virus able to become active again and cause another outbreak of blisters. On average, outbreaks happen again four to five times in the first two years of infection, but over time they tend to become less frequent and less severe.
Medications like valaciclovir (also sold under the brand name Valtrex) can help to manage future outbreaks by limiting their severity, and by helping your body clear them up faster. Herpes infections are passed between people most often by skin-to-skin contact, and because genital herpes can be transmitted by sex it’s classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It’s one of the most common STIs, with an estimated 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 worldwide thought to be infected by the two herpes viruses that cause genital herpes.