Male Genital Herpes

Male genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease. Even if not serious health problems for most men, herpes is highly contagious and should always be taken seriously.

What Is Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD). It is caused by herpes simplex viruses, i.e. type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2).

How Do You Get Genital Herpes?

Sexually transmitted diseases, like herpes on penis, are passed through sexual contact with a person that is already infected. The HSV-2 virus is only contracted through sexual intercourse but the HSV-1 type can be contracted through oral sex as well.

HSV herpes virus
Courtesy of Nephron: Wikimedia commons

Transmission from an infected male to his female partner is more likely than from an infected female to her male partner. Meaning genital herpes is more common in women than in men.

Male genital herpes is still one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases among men. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that one in nine men between the ages of 14 – 49 is infected with genital herpes.

Male Genital Herpes Symptoms

Most people experience no or very mild genital herpes symptoms when first infected. This means most people with genital herpes do not know they have it for a long time as the signs of genital herpes can take months or even years to appear.

The most common primary (first time) genital herpes symptoms include painful red blisters that burst and leave painful open genital herpes sores. The genital herpes blisters tend to show up on the tip of the penis shaft and on the inner thighs and buttocks. It usually takes between 2-4 weeks for the genital herpes sores to heal.

Other sign of genital herpes in men include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, fatigue and difficulty urinating.

Genital herpes is a chronic condition, i.e. the virus remains in the body and can recur on regular basis. The average rate of recurrence is 4 - 5 times in the first two years after being infected and then less frequently (and less severe).

The most common recurrent signs of genital herpes include tingling, burning, or itching sensation in the genitals area as well as genital blisters and sores.

Male Genital Herpes Photos

The following images of genital herpes show the effect herpes can have on the penis, i.e. genital herpes blisters and genital herpes sores.

This section contains sexually explicit photos of men's penises. By clicking on the text below, you confirm that you are over 18 years old, and the genital herpes photos become visible.

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Genital herpes on penis
HSV-2 genital warts on penis

Courtesy of Grook Da Oger  via Wikimedia Commons

Genital Herpes Dangerous Disease?

Genital herpes is uncomfortable, unsightly and easily transmitted disease that can cause various psychological problems, e.g. anxiety, low self-esteem, etc. It is though not serious health problem for most people but it can have serious complications in some cases.

Pregnant women can pass the herpes on to their child, resulting in a potentially fatal infection. People with genital herpes are also of higher risk of HIV infection as the open genital herpes sores create openings for the HIV virus to enter the body.

This is why you should always seek medical advice if you have any reason to believe you have genital herpes.

How To Minimize The Risk Of Contracting Genital Herpes?

The best way to minimize the risk of contracting genital herpes is to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. The only sure way is to abstain from sex.

Using latex condoms during sexual intercourse will also reduce the risk but herpes outbreaks occur also in areas not protected by the condom. Furthermore, HSV-1 can be contracted through oral sex.

Genital herpes can be transmitted even if infected people have no genital herpes symptoms but open genital herpes sores increase the risk of infecting your partner. People with herpes should therefore abstain from sexual activity when sores and other signs of genital herpes are present.

The following will reduce the risk of you passing the HSV virus to your sexual partner (as well as to other parts of your body):

  • Don't have genital or anal contact when any genital herpes sores are present
  • Avoid oral sex if either you or your partner has oral or genital sores
  • Don't kiss if either of you has cold sore
  • Don't use salvia to lubricate genitals or sexual toys
  • Wash your hands after touching infected areas

Can Genital Herpes Be Cured?

Genital herpes is not curable but it is manageable condition. Antiviral genital herpes medication can prevent or shorten herpes outbreaks and reduce the likelihood of passing the disease to your sexual partner. There are also things you can do without a medication to relieve the herpes symptoms.