Complications associated with genital herpes may include:

  • Other sexually transmitted infections. Having genital sores increases your risk of transmitting or contracting other sexually transmitted infections, including AIDS.
  • Newborn infection. Babies born to infected mothers can be exposed to the virus during the birthing process. This may result in brain damage, blindness or death for the newborn.
  • Bladder problems. In some cases, the sores associated with genital herpes can cause inflammation around the tube that delivers urine from your bladder to the outside world (urethra). The swelling can close the urethra for several days, requiring the insertion of a catheter to drain your bladder.
  • Meningitis. In rare instances, HSV infection leads to inflammation of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord.
  • Rectal inflammation (proctitis). Genital herpes can lead to inflammation of the lining of the rectum, particularly in men who have sex with men.
May. 21, 2014

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.