The signs of genital herpes and how to get diagnosed/treated at Broadgate GPs walk in STD clinic London
Before we go in to the details of the signs of genital herpes, and how you can get a diagnosis and treatment here at Broadgate GPs walk in STD clinic London, let’s first take a quick look at a few facts about a genital herpes infection.
1 in 5 people with a herpes infection present absolutely no symptoms
3 in 5 people display only mild symptoms which means they are never properly diagnosed
1 in 5 people display outwardly obvious symptoms that lead to a correct diagnosis
The virus (Herpes Simplex) is relatively unimportant and does not permanently injure health or fertility
Once infected you will likely be subject to further outbreaks from time to time
Herpes is spread through direct skin to skin contact.
Spreading an infection through oral sex
The short summary shown above is intended to dispel any stigma that might be associated with a herpes infection. For example, hundreds of thousands of people are infected with the herpes simplex virus and present with cold sores around the mouth.
Whilst this is unsightly, it only causes minor discomfort. But it can however infect the genital areas of other people if you perform oral sex on them when the sores are present. For more information about genital herpes in men, you can make use of the sexual health advice that we here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall offer at our walk in STD clinic London.
The symptoms of genital herpes
The first time you are infected with genital herpes you will probably not present any symptoms. Once the herpes simplex virus gets into your body system, it often lies dormant for several months in a nerve or nerves. From time to time the virus becomes active and travels down the nerve it has lain dormant within, to the nearby skin where it presents with symptoms of small painful blisters around the genital area (if the initial infection was in the genitals), or by forming cold sores around the mouth.
Genital herpes blisters and ulcers
The blisters form in clusters during a period of about 1 to 2 weeks. They then burst and turn into small, shallow ulcers. After approximately 10 to 20 days, these ulcers disappear and do not leave any trace.
With some people, the glands in the groin area (at the top of the thighs) swell, feeling as though you have lumps under your skin.
Discomfort when urinating
Some people (mostly women, but it can affect man too) experience discomfort when passing urine.
Genital herpes symptoms specific to women
With women, symptoms of genital herpes can include:
- A vaginal discharge
- Blisters/ulcers forming at the neck of the womb (the cervix)
- Blisters/ulcers forming inside the anal passage
A disconcerting fact
As mentioned previously, an initial outbreak of symptoms can take place weeks, months, and in some instances, even years after the initial infection. It can sometimes place victims in an unfortunate situation, if in the intervening period, they have changed sexual partners. It can make things somewhat difficult to explain. This is an example of when the GP consultations that you can have here at ourwalk in STD clinic London can really come in helpful. Good professional advice cannot be ignored.
Another disconcerting fact
After the first episode of a genital herpes infection, subsequent episodes are referred to as recurrences. Another disconcerting fact is that some people develop symptoms and some people don’t. The reason is not known.
The facts about recurrences
But whereas the initial episode can last anywhere from 10 to 20 days, recurrences only usually last somewhere between 7 to 10 days. Also, whereas the initial episode is often accompanied by a fever, recurrences are not. A tingling sensation is often the warning that a recurrence is about to take place.
The average amount of recurrences per annum, per person, is 4 to 5. However the figure does vary from person to person. It must also be borne in mind that some people never experience any recurrences. In most instances recurrences tend to become less frequent with the passage of time.
Refrain from sex while symptoms are presenting
When symptoms present, there is a high risk of passing the infection on to your sexual partner. Once symptoms have disappeared (often only temporarily) it is fairly safe to have sex; but bear in mind there is no absolute guarantee that this is so. The use of condoms may offer some protection, but again, there is no guarantee.
One you have a genital herpes infection, it is with you for life, dormant or not. It is advisable to be properly diagnosed by someone like Broadgate Clinic London Wall, so that you can refrain from participating in sexual activities while symptoms present. This will prevent passing the infection on.
Anti-viral medication available at Broadgate GP’s walk in STD clinic London Wall
If you live and/or work in London and you do decide to take advantage of the sexual health screening services we offer here in our walk in STD clinic London, you will also have over the counter access via our in-house pharmacy to certain anti-viral medications that can help to ease the symptoms.