If you have herpes, it is common to not notice any symptoms. If you do get symptoms, they will most likely show up between 2 to 21 days after sexual contact.
The first time you come in contact with the virus and get symptoms is called a primary outbreak. The first outbreak can last longer and be more severe than future outbreaks. Early symptoms include itching, burning, or tingling at the site where blisters or sores may appear, followed by painful red sores or tiny blisters and sometimes swollen glands, fever and body aches. You may have severe flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and muscle aches. Over time, outbreaks usually happen less often and the symptoms are milder.
Herpes outbreaks may be triggered by different things. These can include sun exposure, lack of sleep, alcohol use, skin irritation, and stressful events. Symptoms may be reduced by using sunscreen, getting enough sleep, drinking water, using lube, eating well and using coping strategies for stress.