Genital herpes is caused by a herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2. Most don't know they have it but a fifth will have symptoms strong enough to be diagnosed. The virus is relatively harmless and does not affect future health or fertility.
Symptoms include painful blisters on the genitals and the surrounding areas that burst to leave open sores, discharge in women, pain when passing urine, a high temperature and a general feeling of being unwell, with aches and pains.Genital Herpes is highly contagious and can be passed easily from one person to another by direct contact. Once contracted the virus remains in your body and can become active again. The average rate of a repeat occurrence is four to five times in the following 24 months after being infected. Over time, it should occur less frequently and be less severe.
It can take a long time, sometimes years for symptoms to develop after infection with herpes. This means if you're in a relationship and you get symptoms, it does not necessarily mean your partner has had intercourse with someone else.