Understanding and Managing Genital Herpes in Men

Rahul Gupta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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genital herpes in men

Genital Herpes is a common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), also known as Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).

While not life-threatening,  this infection can cause physical distress. 

Genital Herpes typically transmits through vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse, as well as via skin-to-skin contact.

As per the National Library of Medicine, men exhibited a lower prevalence of 178.0 million, in contrast to women, with 313.5 million cases. 

To know more such facts and management techniques read this article on Genital Herpes in men. 

Symptoms of Genital Herpes

Genital herpes can manifest in various symptoms, which may include:

  • Certain individuals might feel a tingling or burning sensation in the genital area before the lesions become visible
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, or pain in the joints, may occur during the first outbreak
  • Tiny bumps or blisters may emerge around the genitals, anus, or mouth, leading to painful ulcers when the blisters break, ooze, or bleed
  • If there are sores on the genitals, experiencing a stinging or burning sensation during urination is common
  • A smelly genital discharge may be present during an outbreak
  • Enlarged lymph nodes, particularly in the groin region, may indicate the presence of Genital Herpes
  • Some people may experience muscle aches during an outbreak
Untreated Genital Herpes can cause painful sores, especially in those with weakened immune systems. Avoid touching sores or fluids to prevent spreading Herpes to other body parts, including the eyes.

Transmission in men 

couple hugging on bedSource: Getty_images
Sexual Contact

Transmission of Genital Herpes in men can occur through the following methods:

Sexual contact

Genital Herpes transmission commonly occurs through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected partner.

The risk is present even when there are no visible sores, emphasizing the importance of protection and awareness.

Skin-to-skin contact

The virus can spread through direct skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity.

It means that the virus can be transmitted even if there are no apparent signs of infection, underscoring the need for preventive measures.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 491.5  million people aged 15-49 are affected by HSV-2 in 2016, causing Genital Herpes.

Genital secretions

Exposure to genital fluids from an infected person carries the risk of transmission.

Practicing safe sex and being mindful of one’s partner’s health status are key preventive measures.

Sharing items

Sharing sex toys or other items used during sexual activity can contribute to the transmission of the virus.

Maintaining personal hygiene and avoiding shared use of intimate items are important precautions to reduce the risk of infection.

Factors affecting Genital Herpes in men

Factors affecting Genital Herpes in males include:

  • Engaging in sexual activity with an individual carrying the virus raises the risk of transmission
  • Failure to use condoms or dental dams during sexual activity can heighten the risk of contracting Genital Herpes
  • Hormonal fluctuations, like those occurring in the menstrual cycle, can impact the occurrence of Genital Herpes outbreaks
  • Injuries to the body, such as undergoing surgery or having a compromised immune system, can trigger the manifestation of Herpes symptoms
Recommended Article
To know effective ways of treating Genital Herpes, read this informative article on Genital Herpes Medication: Types, Benefits & Considerations

Managing and preventing Genital Herpes 

Communication skills between coupleSource: Syda_productions
Communication skills between couple
  • Antiviral drugs like Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, and Famciclovir play a crucial role in controlling symptoms
  • Daily oral medication may be prescribed for those with frequent outbreaks to reduce their frequency and severity
  • Non-prescription pain relievers like Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or Aspirin can help ease pain and discomfort during outbreaks
  • Apart from medication, maintaining hygiene, bathing regularly, and applying cool compresses to sores are essential for relief
  • Avoiding sexual activity during outbreaks reduces the risk of transmission
  • Preventive measures include maintaining a strong immune system through a healthy lifestyle, managing stress effectively, and using condoms during sexual encounters
  • Regular communication with sexual partners about the infection and its risks is crucial, emphasizing responsible behavior to protect both oneself and others


In summary, Genital Herpes in men, caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), is a prevalent but manageable Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). 

While not life-threatening, it can cause physical discomfort. 

Transmission risks exist through various routes, emphasizing the need for protective measures and awareness.

Understanding symptoms, such as tingling sensations, flu-like symptoms, and genital lesions, is crucial for timely intervention.

Factors influencing Genital Herpes include sexual behaviors, lack of protection, and immune system status.

Management involves antiviral drugs, self-care practices, and preventive measures. 

By fostering awareness and adopting a comprehensive approach, individuals can effectively navigate and mitigate the impact of Genital Herpes on their well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is genital Herpes painful for men?

Yes, Genital Herpes presents similar signs in both men and women. Blisters, often painful, appear in the genital area. The initial outbreak included fever, headache, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Subsequent outbreaks tend to be less severe.

Is Genital Herpes curable?

No, Genital Herpes has no cure. Prescription antiviral pills, like Acyclovir, Famciclovir, or Valacyclovir, aid in healing sores during the initial outbreak. Additionally, they work to lower the frequency of recurrent outbreaks over time.

How to treat Genital Herpes in men? 

Potent antiviral medications like Acyclovir, Famciclovir, and Valacyclovir effectively manage outbreaks. While Acyclovir at 400 mg three times a day is effective, it’s less favored due to more frequent dosing. These drugs alleviate and handle symptoms.

What is the duration of male Herpes? 

The initial Genital Herpes outbreak typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Stinging during urination is common with sores on the genitals. These sores break open, releasing fluid, and gradually crust over. Fortunately, the healing process occurs without scarring, providing relief throughout this period.

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