What Does Herpes Feel Like

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During an outbreak some people have mild symptoms and may not even realize they are having an outbreak of genital herpes.  We call these periods viral shedding.  This means that even though you do not see any sores, your skin and genital areas are secreting the virus.

When you are not having symptoms, the herpes virus sits quietly in the nerves of your spine and stays inactive. When the herpes virus becomes active, it travels down to the skin and you have an outbreak. At this point you may experience burning, itching, and pain around the genital area, mouth, anus, or skin.  This is where suppressive therapy comes in.

Suppressive therapy has been shown to decrease the amount and the length of time that the virus sheds from your genitals.  Suppressive therapy is a continuous, daily therapy that may help prevent your genital herpes outbreaks. Below are listed some reasons that you and your doctor might decide that suppressive therapy is for you.


Remember, the sores that herpes causes will go away, but the virus will still be in your body.

You should not have sex when you have sores present or when you feel like sores are about to come back.  I must remind you again, that even when the sores are gone, you can still give herpes to anyone that you come into sexual contact with and someone else can give it to you even if they do not have any sores.

Please be advised that most people will not tell you if they have herpes, so you should take precautions with everyone.    When latex condoms are used consistently and correctly, you can reduce the risk for genital herpes, but this is only true when the infected areas are covered by the condom.