Guest author from our community: Katie S.

When first experiencing symptoms of an STD, not everybody knows that it’s actually an STD that’s occurring in their bodies. When my body first started displaying herpes symptoms, I 100% mistook it for a yeast infection or UTI. My brain couldn’t even fathom the thought that it would be an STD. I’d had yeast infections before, and I figured that this must just be the worst one I’ve ever gotten. When I went to the clinic, expecting to walk out with an antibiotic, I was shocked to be walking out with Acyclovir for genital herpes

After getting home and looking up herpes, I realized why I was so confused. Vaginal herpes symptoms are very similar to yeast infection symptoms. They both can cause vaginal discharge and odor, burning, itching, irritation, redness, bladder infection like symptoms, swelling and blisters. Unlike yeast infections where itching in usually generalized throughout the vagina, a herpes outbreak will usually be in one or two designated areas. A herpes outbreak also consists of blisters that turn into herpes sores, that then crust back into healthy skin. During a herpes infection, flu-like symptoms may appear 24-48 hours before any itchiness is perceived especially during the first episode. This doesn’t happen with vaginal yeast infections.

It’s been 10 months now, and I’ve gotten pretty used to my herpes outbreaks. I’m very happy to say that none of them have been as painful as my first herpes outbreak. I take herpes medication whenever I feel any sort of itching, burning, or discomfort beginning in my body (also known as herpes prodrome symptoms). This helps to stop the outbreak, and make it less painful. My body has gotten used to the virus, and my brain has gotten used to the fact that it literally is just a skin condition that happens to be in a very private area. There’s no need to make it more than it is!

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