Image of male genital herpes – Find out how this common sexually transmitted infection affects men, its symptoms and treatment options.

Male genital herpes picture - Discover how men affect this common sexually transmitted infection, their symptoms and treatment options.

Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Although commonly known to cause cold sores on the mouth or lips, HSV can also infect the genital area, leading to genital herpes. Although both men and women can contract this infection, we will focus on male genital herpes and how to recognize its symptoms.

1. Understand the symptoms:

  • Initial outbreak: The first outbreak of male genital herpes is usually the most serious. It usually occurs between 2 and 14 days after exposure and involves the appearance of small, painful blisters or sores in and around the genital area.
  • Pain and itching: It is common for men with genital herpes to experience itching, tingling, or a burning sensation before the blisters appear. These symptoms may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms, such as fever and swollen lymph nodes in the groin.
  • Ulcers and scabs: As the blisters break, shallow ulcers or open sores may form. These painful ulcers can take several days to heal and may be accompanied by a scab or scab as they begin to dry.
  • Recurrences: After the initial outbreak, the virus remains latent in the body and can reactivate periodically. Recurrent episodes of male genital herpes tend to be less severe and shorter in duration than the initial outbreak.

Note: It is important to note that some people infected with HSV may not experience any noticeable symptoms or have very mild symptoms, making it more difficult to recognize the infection. Therefore, it is crucial to practice safe sex and undergo regular check-ups to prevent the transmission of genital herpes.

2. Understand the risks:

Male genital herpes is primarily transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. However, it is worth mentioning that the virus can also spread through oral-genital contact, resulting in genital infection of someone with oral herpes (HSV-1). It is essential to know the following risk factors associated with contracting genital herpes:

  1. Unprotected sexual activity: Having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex increases the risk of contracting genital herpes.
  2. Multiple sexual partners: Having multiple sexual partners or engaging in sexual activities with someone who has had multiple partners increases the chances of exposure to the virus.
  3. Pregnancy: Pregnant women with genital herpes can transmit the infection to their newborns during childbirth, which can lead to serious complications for the baby.
  4. Immunocompromised people: People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, are at increased risk of developing serious and recurrent genital herpes infections.

Male Genital Herpes: Symptoms, Risks, and Treatment


  • Blister-like sores or ulcers in the genital area, including the penis, scrotum, or anus.
  • Burning or itchy sensation in the affected area
  • Pain or discomfort when urinating
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and muscle aches.


  1. Unprotected sexual relations are the main route of transmission of genital herpes. Having sex without a condom considerably increases the risk of contracting the infection.
  2. Having multiple sexual partners or having sex with an infected partner increases the chance of contracting genital herpes.
  3. Weakening of the immune system due to diseases such as HIV/AIDS or immunosuppressive therapy may increase susceptibility to genital herpes infections.


Genital herpes cannot be cured, but antiviral medications can help control symptoms and reduce the frequency and duration of outbreaks.

Healthcare professionals may prescribe antiviral medications, such as acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir, to relieve symptoms during outbreaks and suppress the virus. It is crucial to take prescribed medications as directed for optimal results and to minimize the risk of transmission to sexual partners.

Advantages of antiviral medications Disadvantages of antiviral medications
  • Reduce the severity and duration of outbreaks
  • They help relieve pain, itching and discomfort
  • Reduces the risk of transmitting the infection to other people
  • They may cause side effects such as nausea, headache, or dizziness.
  • Long-term use of antiviral medications may be necessary for some people.
  • It is not a cure for genital herpes

Understanding Male Genital Herpes: What You Need to Know

Symptoms: Male genital herpes usually manifest itself in the form of small and painful blisters, sores or ulcers in the penis, scrotum or anus. These lesions can be accompanied by itching, burning or sensation of tingling. It is important to note that some men may experience mild or even remain asymptomatic symptoms, so it is crucial to submit to periodic tests if they are sexually active.

Important information:

  • Male genital herpes can be transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sex.
  • The use of condoms and dental protectors can reduce, although not eliminating, the risk of transmission.
  • The virus may be infected even if there are no symptoms.
  • Finding medical help in time can relieve symptoms and control the disease effectively.

Transmission: The Simple Herpes virus can be transmitted through ski n-t o-skin contact during sexual activity. The virus enters the body through small tears in the skin or mucous membranes. It is important to keep in mind that although there are no visible sores or symptoms, the transmission can occur. This is known as asymptomatic dissemination and is one of the reasons why genital herpes has a high prevalence.

Treatment: Although genital herpes has no cure, there are treatment options to control symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of shoots. Antiviral medications such as acyclovir, valacyclovir and family to suppress the virus, relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of transmission can be prescribed. It is important to consult a healthcare professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.

Tips for controlling male genital herpes
Advice Description
1. Practice sexual sex using condoms and latex barriers.
2. Avoid sexual intercourse during outbreaks to reduce the risk of transmission.
3. Take the antiviral medications prescribed by a healthcare professional regularly.
4. Keep good personal hygiene to keep the affected area clean and dry.
5. Seek emotional support and advice to manage the psychological impact of the disease.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Male Genital Herpes

1. Initial signs and symptoms:

  1. Small red protuberances or tiny blisters in the penis, the scrotum or the surrounding areas.
  2. Itching, tingling or burning sensation before the appearance of blisters.
  3. Pain or discomfort when urinating or during sexual intercourse.
  4. Inflammation of the lymph nodes of the inguinal zone.

2. Progression of symptoms:

The initial symptoms of male genital herpes can be mild and easily confused with other conditions. However, as the infection progresses, the following symptoms may appear:

  • Clusters of small, painful fluid-filled blisters.
  • Ulcers or sores that may open and form scabs.
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and body aches.

3. Recurrent outbreaks:

Genital herpes is a chronic disease, and once a person becomes infected, the virus remains in their body for life. After the initial outbreak, the virus may remain dormant for some time before reappearing. The frequency and severity of recurrent outbreaks vary from person to person. The most common signs of recurrent outbreaks are:

  1. Tingling, itching, or burning at the site of the previous infection.
  2. Development of new blisters or ulcers.
  3. Pain or discomfort in the genital area.

Remember that early recognition of male genital herpes symptoms is crucial for timely diagnosis and proper treatment. If you suspect you may have genital herpes, it is recommended to see a healthcare professional for further evaluation and testing.

How Male Genital Herpes is Transmitted

1. Sexual contact: The main route of transmission of male genital herpes is sexual contact with an infected person. This includes vaginal, anal or oral sex. It is important to note that the virus can be transmitted even if there are no visible symptoms or outbreaks.

It is estimated that more than 75% of people infected with herpes are unaware of their infection, as they may not experience any noticeable symptoms or confuse it with other conditions.[1]

  • Genital herpes can be transmitted through sexual activities with or without penetration.
  • The virus can be present in genital secretions, such as vaginal fluids or semen, as well as saliva, making it highly transmissible during oral sex and deep kissing.

2. Skin-to-skin contact: Male genital herpes can also be transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. This can occur during close physical contact, such as touching or rubbing the infected area. The virus enters the body through cracks in the skin, mucous membranes or microscopic abrasions.

  1. Intimate skin-to-skin contact, especially with the infected genital or anal area, poses a greater risk of transmission.
  2. The virus can also be spread by sharing sex toys that come into contact with infected areas without proper cleaning or using a condom.

Prevention is key to reducing the transmission of male genital herpes. Practicing safe sex through the systematic use of latex and dental barriers during all sexual activities can greatly reduce the transmission risk. It is also important to hold open and sincere conversations with sexual couples about their sexual health and the potential risk of transmission of herpes.

Prevention strategies:
1. Constant barrier methods, such as condoms and dental barriers, during sexual activities.[2].
2. Periodic tests of sexually transmitted infections to identify and treat time infections.
3. Avoid sexual activities during active outbreaks and use antiviral medications prescribed by a healthcare professional to reduce the frequency and severity of shoots.[3].

By understanding how the male genital herpes is transmitted and the appropriate precautions, people can make informed decisions about their sexual health and reduce the spread of this common sexually transmitted infection.

Discharge of responsibility: The information offered here has only educational purposes and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional to obtain personalized guidance and treatment options.

  1. [1]Centers for disease control and prevention.(2021). Genital herpes – Informative sheet of CDC.
  2. [2]World Health Organization.(2016). Simple herpes virus.
  3. [3]American Sexual Health Association.(2021). Genital herpes.

Reducing the Risk of Male Genital Herpes Infection

1. Use of condoms: One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of male genital herpes infection is the systematic and correct use of condoms during sexual relations. Conservatives act as a physical barrier, preventing direct skin contact with skin and reducing the transmission of the virus. It is important to keep in mind that, although condoms do not provide 100%protection, they continue to offer a significant risk reduction.

2. Communication with the couple: open and honest communication with sexual partners is crucial to minimize the risk of male genital herpes infection. Before starting any sexual activity, people must talk about their sexual health history and also ask about their partner’s history. This includes asking about previous infections, including genital herpes, and sharing relevant information about the state of health itself.

“Open and honest communication with sexual partners is crucial to minimize the risk of male genital herpes”

  1. Periodic tests: Testing sexually transmitted infections regularly is an important step to reduce the risk of male genital herpes infection. The tests not only help identify any existing infection, but also allow people to take adequate precautions and seek timely medical advice. It is recommended to test at least once a year or more frequently if they have hig h-risk sexual behaviors.
  2. Avoid hig h-risk behaviors: participation in certain hig h-risk sexual behaviors can increase the chances of contracting male genital herpes. These behaviors include having multiple sexual partners, having unprotected sex and participating in sexual activities that involve direct contact with the infected area. Avoiding or minimizing these behaviors can greatly reduce the risk of infection.

In summary, reducing the risk of male genital herpes infection involves practicing safe sex, using condoms systematically, communicating openly with the couple, undergoing periodic tests and avoiding hig h-risk behaviors. Adopting these preventive measures not only helps protect people from contracting this sexually transmitted infection, but also promotes sexual health and general wel l-being.

Diagnosis and Testing for Male Genital Herpes

Clinical evaluation: When a patient has suggestive symptoms of genital herpes, the health professional usually begins with an exhaustive clinical evaluation. This implies examining the affected area to detect any sign of blisters, ulcers or other injuries. The healthcare professional can also ask about the person’s sexual background and any previous episode of genital herpes. Although clinical evaluation can provide valuable information, it is important to keep in mind that some cases of genital herpes may be atypical or not present any visible symptoms.

Note: Taking into account the possibility of asymptomatic infections and the various clinical presentations of the male genital herpes, it is crucial not to trust only in the visual inspection for the diagnosis.

  • Laboratory tests: To confirm a diagnosis or discard male genital herpes, it is often necessary to perform laboratory tests. The two most used tests are the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the viral culture. The PCR consists in detecting and amplifying the genetic material of the herpes virus, while the viral culture consists in trying to cultivate the virus in a laboratory environment.
  • PCR tests: The PCR test is very sensitive and can even detect low levels of viral DNA in a sample. It is especially useful during the first phases of the infection, when there may be no active injuries. The sample for the PCR test can be collected from the surface of a genital lesion or a smear of the genital area.
  • Viral culture: Viral culture consists in collecting a sample with a swab of an active genital lesion, which is then placed in a specialized laboratory medium to allow the growth of the virus. This method is used less than the PCR due to its lower sensitivity and that the results take longer to arrive.
  1. Antibodies tests: In some cases, antibody tests may be recommended to determine if a person has been exposed to VHS in the past. This type of test seeks the presence of specific antibodies of the herpes virus in the blood. It is important to keep in mind that antibody tests cannot distinguish between an active or past infection and may not be so useful in the diagnosis of male genital herpes.
Testing method Advantages Disadvantages
PCR Very sensitive, detects early infections More expensive
Viral culture Can isolate and identify live viruses Lower sensitivity, more response time
Antibody test Indicates a past exposure to the VHS You cannot determine active infection, it is not specific to the genital herpes

In summary, the precise diagnosis of male genital herpes requires a careful combination of clinical evaluation and laboratory tests. Although the clinical evaluation provides important initial information, laboratory tests such as PCR and viral cultivation are essential to confirm the diagnosis. Antibody tests can be useful for determining the exposure passed to the VHS, but cannot distinguish between active or past infections. Health professionals must take into account these diagnostic options to offer adequate treatment and orientation to people suspected of male genital herpes.

Treatment Options for Male Genital Herpes

Antiviral medications: One of the main treatment options for male genital herpes is the use of antiviral medications. These medications can help reduce the severity and duration of shoots, as well as reduce the risk of transmission to sexual partners. Some of the most prescribed antiviral medications are acyclovir, valacycle and family. These medications act inhibiting the replication of the herpes virus, suppressing their activity and reducing the frequency of the outbreaks.

  • Antiviral medications help control the symptoms of male genital herpes and reduce the risk of transmission to sexual partners.
  • Among the antiviral medications that are usually prescribed for genital herpes are acyclovir, valacycle and family.
  • Antivirals inhibit the replication of the herpes virus, suppressing their activity in the body.

Topical creams and ointments: in addition to antiviral medications, creams and topical ointments can be recommended to relieve and promote the healing of male genital herpe sores. These creams usually contain ingredients such as lidocaine or benzocaine, which help numb the affected area and reduce pain. In addition, some creams may contain antiviral agents that can help inhibit herpes virus growth and facilitate faster healing.

  1. Topical creams and ointments can provide relief and favor the healing of male genital herpes sores.
  2. These creams often contain anesthetic agents such as lidocaine or benzocaine to reduce pain.
  3. Some topical creams may also contain antiviral agents to inhibit herpes virus growth.

Living with Male Genital Herpes: Coping and Prevention Strategies

How to face male genital herpes

“Living with male genital herpes can be a challenge, but with appropriate coping strategies, people can maintain a full life and minimize the impact of shoots.”

1. Education and support: Understanding the nature of male genital herpes is essential to face the disease effectively. Finding precise information from credible sources, such as health professionals or trusted websites, can help deny erroneous ideas and provide a realistic perspective of the disease. Uniting on support groups or participating in advice sessions can also offer emotional support, allowing people to share their experiences and learn from others that face similar challenges.

  • Education on the transmission and prevention of genital herpes helps reduce anxiety and erroneous ideas.
  • Support groups and advice sessions provide emotional support and a platform for sharing experiences.
  1. Sexual relations and communication: Maintaining open and honest communication with sexual couples is crucial to prevent the transmission of genital herpes. It is recommended to talk about the disease before starting any sexual activity. Safe sexual practices, such as the use of condoms or dental barriers, can reduce the risk of transmission. Being aware of the possible triggers of the outbreaks, such as stress or certain foods, can also help people maintain sex more confidence.
  2. “Open communication and the practice of safe sex are key to preventing the transmission of genital herpes to sexual partners.”

How to prevent male genital herpes outbreaks

1. Medication: Antiviral medications prescribed by health professionals can help reduce the frequency and severity of shoots. Taking the medication according to the indications, especially during periods of a lot of stress or when triggers are identified, it can significantly reduce the probability of experiencing an outbreak of genital herpes.

  1. Stress reduction: It is known that stress triggers genital herpes outbreaks. The application of stress control techniques, such as the practice of relaxation exercises, regular physical activity and the search for emotional support, can help people minimize stress levels and prevent outbreaks.
Prevention strategies Key points
Education on transmission and prevention Reduces anxiety and erroneous ideas
Open communication and safe sexual practices Fundamental to prevent transmission
Medication Reduces the frequency and severity of shoots
Stress reduction Helps minimize outbreaks triggered by stress

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

Cannabis and Hemp Testing Laboratory
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