In females, lesions appear on or near the pubis, clitoris or other parts of the vulva, buttocks or anus.
Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex (HSV).
There are two different types of herpes virus that cause genital herpes — HSV-1 and HSV-2. But a person with HSV-1 (the type of virus that causes cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth) can transmit the virus through oral sex to another person's genitals.
Sara* is a 20 year old student studying social work, who is carrying the herpes virus. She had been with her boyfriend for six months – the only boy she had ever had sex with – and then one night when they tried to be intimate, Sara was surprised because it really hurt, and it had never hurt her before.
Over the next few days, Sara says she “noticed some bumps down there”.
Less frequent, yet still common, symptoms include discharge from the penis or vagina, fever, headache, muscle pain (myalgia), swollen and enlarged lymph nodes and malaise.