Health & Wellness

Does Genital Herpes Cause Vaginal Discharge?

Many people have the question does genital herpes cause discharge? if this is your question, we will discuss it more elaborately in the next paragraph. Herpes simplex virus or HSV is a virus responsible for genital herpes, is STI or sexually transmitted infection, and can quickly spread from one person to another by oral s*x, vaginal s*x, or anal s*x. 

Men and women can both easily get infected by the virus. It causes unbearable pain around the genital area due to red or white blisters and itchiness. 

If you have ever had herpes, you are not alone, as several people are infected by HSV-2 and HSV-1 types of herpes every year. 

This article lists symptoms of genital herpes, risk factors, prevention and treatment, and many more about genital herpes, so stay with us to know more as people are mostly unaware of genital herpes.    

In This Article

  1. Does Genital Herpes Cause Discharge
  2. What are the Female Symptoms of Genital Herpes
  3. How Genital Herpes is Spread
  4. How do you Catch Genital Herpes
  5. Complications from Genital Herpes include
  6. How to Prevent Genital Herpes
  7. How is Genital Herpes Treated

Does Genital Herpes Cause Discharge

Does Genital Herpes Cause vaginal Discharge

Yes, Females suffering from genital herpes can cause vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge is fluid generated from the vagina or cervix that is clear, white, or off white (pale yellow). This fluid aids in the clearing of the vagina and frequently signals the presence of an infection within the vagina or cervix.

Vaginal discharge, on the other hand, is a sign of various illnesses such as bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, and trichomoniasis. Vaginal discharge is also a sign of other sexually transmitted infections (STDs), such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, which can be misdiagnosed as herpes and vice versa if comprehensive diagnostic procedures are not employed.

It is best to remain open-minded and consult your doctor if you are concerned about the discharge. Your doctor may be able to recommend different treatments or therapies if it is determined that the discharge is causing you distress or impacting your quality of life.

What are the Female Symptoms of Genital Herpes

Once you come in contact with the virus, it can stay a lifetime inside you without appearing any symptoms. 

1. Pain  

Herpes causes blisters around the genital area that causes unbearable pain and a tingling sensation. You may also feel pain in the lower back area, tight thighs, and pelvic area. 

Your doctor will recommend a pain killer to help you reduce the pain. 

2. Itchiness

Itchiness in the genital parts is common and caused due to various other reasons. If you feel excess itchiness and a burning sensation in the vagina, it can be an initial stage of herpes infection, and you mustn’t ignore it. 

Herpes sores aren’t a joke as they can affect you deep down.  

3. Difficulty while urinate 

If you have an outbreak of herpes infection, you feel difficulty while peeing because the urine touches the sores, which burn like hell.  

4. Fever 

Some people complained that they had a fever just before having an outbreak of herpes infection. The fever can stays for a few days, or you can also have flu-like signs.  

5. Chills 

Chills are also common, and they can trigger you during an HSV infection. You may feel cold with increased body temperature. 

6. Headache and Swelling

You never feel awesome when you have herpes, and headaches can irritate you more. 

You can also face swelling around the armpits, lymph glands, and neck area. 

7. Tiny blisters around the area

You may see those irritating red or white blisters around and inside the private parts. They can burst easily and causes ulcers, and generate an excess burning sensation as somebody places burning coal on your skin. 

8. Fatigue 

Herpes infection can make you feel tired and stressed. That’s why your doctor will recommend you take a rest as much as you can.  

9. Vaginal Discharge  

As women trigger this infection more than men. Women may also feel vaginal discharge during the outbreak of herpes or before the recurrent episode.  

How Genital Herpes is Spread

The herpes infection is contagious and infects another person. There are some points that you must notice that may infect you:-

  • Having sex without using any protection, including anal sex, vaginal, or oral sex.
  • Using sex toys that are contaminated or unhygienic and shared with others.
  • Make genital contact by touching an individual who has already had an infection without any pre-symptoms, as this virus can stay in the active state without bothering the person. 
  • Kissing or licking   

How do you Catch Genital Herpes

  • Frequently changing the sexual partners 
  • Having sex without a condom
  • Sex at the early age 
  • Stress and depression 
  • Weak immune system 
  • Already infected with STI 
  • Exposure of sunlight 
  • Women are more prone to genital herpes infection than men
  • Menstruation cycle 

Complications from Genital Herpes include

  • Increases the risk of other STD infections like Hiv.
  • If you are pregnant, herpes can easily infect the baby during the delivery, so some medicines have been prescribed to reduce the risk. 
  • Genital herpes can cause swelling and inflammation in the bladder and block the urethra for a few days, which causes bladder problems.  
  • In rare cases, the HSV infection can affect the spinal cord and brain’s neurotransmitters. 
  • Genital herpes can also produce swelling in the rectum’s lining, mainly when a man performs sex with a man.  

How to Prevent Genital Herpes

When the herpes sores start to appear on the skin, it’s called an outbreak session, and when the first outbreak gets started, it is known as the first episode that can stay for 2-4 weeks. 

The virus is never destroyed and lives inside the body, and symptoms and blisters can reappear, and this is called the ‘recurrent episode.’ You may feel pain, inflammation, and tingling sensation in the genital area with red ulcers. 

How to Avoid Herpes Infection and Recurrent Episodes

  • Always use protection and make your partner use a latex condom to prevent herpes infection and its outbreak. 
  • Test your genitals regularly as you can easily pass this infection to your partner. 
  • Reduce the number of partners to have intercourse.
  • Maintain proper hygiene and wear clean clothes. 
  • Don’t use sex toys or disinfect them before touching the private parts. 
  • Avoid oral sex, check your partner well, and ensure they have not had cold sores.
  • Avoid sex when you are infected or having an outbreak of herpes.  
  • If you are pregnant, consult with your doctor or midwife. 

How is Genital Herpes Treated

No 100% treatment is available for herpes infection as the signs and symptoms can be reduced or ease the pain and discomfort. 

  • Keep the private area clean and dry as moisture can enhance the trouble.
  • Use antiviral medication, make sure to take it as prescribed.
  • Avoid sexual contact if you’re experiencing a particularly active phase of the virus.
  • Reduce your stress levels – Stress can increase your vulnerability to infection.
  • Take a warm bath 
  • Wear soft and loose clothes 
  • Do ice compression to ease up the burning sensation 
  • Take pain killers advice from the doctor 
  • Take rest 

In Closing 

Genital herpes is considered one of the common types of STI, and the good news is that it is not in jeopardy of your life. 

Whenever you notice the symptoms of herpes, you must consult with your doctor. Some people believe in curing it while staying at home as they trust that there is no cure for herpes. 

Limiting the sexual partner and using protection while sex is only the way to prevent herpes. Try to stay calm and don’t take too much stress. 

We hope this information on does genital herpes cause discharge will be helpful for you. If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to ask and share your reviews. 

Be sure to read:


  1. Treatment and prevention of herpes labialis -NCBI
  2. Management and prevention of recurrent genital herpes infection
  3. Prevention of herpes simplex virus infections

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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