Exit website

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is a common infection caused by the cold sore virus. Symptoms of herpes may develop a few days to several weeks after catching the virus.


  • Flu like symptoms – fever, headache, aches, and pains
  • Stinging, tingling, or itching in the genital or anal area or on the buttocks
  • Small fluid-filled blisters which when burst leave small, red painful sores


  • Pain when peeing
  • Discharge from the vagina, penis, or anus

The first outbreak usually lasts about 2 weeks. The sores will eventually scab over and heal without scarring.

Unless you have symptoms there is no test for genital herpes.

After you’ve been infected, the virus remains dormant (inactive) most of the time. However, certain triggers can reactivate the virus, causing the blisters to develop again. When this happens, the blisters are usually smaller, less painful, and fewer than the first outbreak.

Download our patient leaflet for more information.