What Is Herpes?
Herpes is a viral sexually transmitted infection that takes two forms; these are Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV1) and Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV2). Most herpes viruses are common causes by HSV2 but some are caused by HSV1; which is typically the cause of oral herpes. One of the most common forms is genital herpes, once you’ve contracted the herpes virus, it stays with you for life.
Herpes Testing London
Here at Broadgate GP, we offer discrete and confidential testing for Herpes. We can help you identify the signs and symptoms of herpes to ensure you’re treated in the most effective manner. All of the genital herpes testing we carry out is completed discrete and you don’t need to use your real name.
Appointments can be arranged by getting in touch with us or alternatively why not take advantage of our walk-in service and get tested at a time that suits you. As one of the leading sexual health clinics in London, we pride ourselves on offering some of the most private testing for herpes in London.
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Sign & Symptoms of Genital Herpes
There are many signs and symptoms of genital herpes, all of which display themselves at different times. Herpes symptoms are commonly split into both primary symptoms and recurring symptoms. Ensuring you receive an accurate diagnosis for genital herpes can help to alleviate the symptoms you might be suffering from. Genital herpes is much more common than people, research has shown that:
• 1 in 5 people show no signs or symptoms of the herpes virus
• 3 in 5 people display only mild symptoms which means the infection is never diagnosed
• 1 in 5 people display outwardly obvious symptoms that will lead to a correct diagnosis
The herpes simplex virus us relatively unimportant and doesn’t cause any permanent damage to health or fertility; although it is advised to get diagnosed and treated to help prevent the virus from spreading. Once infected with genital herpes it’s likely that you will be subject to further outbreaks throughout your life, as there is no permanent cure for HSV1 or HSV2. Herpes spreads so easily as it is passed through skin to skin contact.
Primary Genital Herpes Symptoms
When first infected with the herpes virus you may experience some of the early symptoms which usually include the following:
• Cold & Flu Like Symptoms
• Muscle Aches
• Painful Urination
• Burning Or Itching Skin Sensations
After the initial burning or itching sensations on the skin, one or more clusters of smaller blisters will start to appear on the skin and primarily around the genital areas. The most common places to find blisters includes:
• On Men – The genital herpes sores are likely to appear inside or on the penis, scrotum, groin, thigh, buttocks or around the anus.
• On Women – Women will usually experience the genital herpes sores on the labia, inside the vagina, groin, thighs, on the buttocks or around the anus.
Although genital herpes is most commonly passed on through sexual activity, it is possible to contract herpes in the mouth, tongue, lips or on other parts of the body. When women experience the symptoms of herpes, they can suffer from painful urination and abnormal vaginal discharge.
Recurring Genital Herpes Symptoms
After the first outbreak of the genital herpes virus, the symptoms tend to become less severe and last for fewer days. When the virus resurfaces the symptoms typically last between 5 to 10 days, depending on when you started your treatment. When treating herpes early, symptoms can start to alleviate within 24 hours.
What If I Have Herpes?
Herpes is a complex virus and can easily spread around the body. Most people who contract genital herpes will see the infection spread to other parts of their body such as the lips, fingers and eyes. Once you’ve contracted it you can easily spread it to others, especially sexual partners.
It’s incredibly important to ensure that you seek a diagnosis from a medical professional, if you’re concerned that you might have contracted genital herpes. This helps you to stop the spread of the infection around your own body and to others.
Genital Herpes Treatment
When treating genital herpes there are three main medicines used these are acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir. These are typically taken in pill form or used as a cream that’s administered to the blisters. Once you’re infected with the virus you’ll receive three type of herpes treatment, these are:
• Initial Treatment – When you display the symptoms of herpes for the first time you’ll typically be given a brief course of antiviral medicine that will last around 7 to 10 days. This course of medication might be extended if it doesn’t clear up.
• Intermittent Treatment – Your doctor might prescribe antiviral medication for you to keep in and use when the infection flares up again.
• Suppressive Treatment – If the outbreaks begin to happen more often, you might want to consider taking antiviral medication on a day to day basis. Many people who take medication on a daily basis have no outbreaks.
How Often Can You Get Herpes Outbreaks?
The frequency of the outbreaks will depend on the strength of your own immune system. Whilst some people might have one outbreak a year, other can experience 6 or more outbreaks a year. The more healthy your own immune system is the less likely you’ll suffer from an outbreak.
How Can I Prevent Herpes?
It’s not advisable to participate in oral sex with someone who has any type of HSV, especially when they are showing symptoms as it can easily be passed from the mouth to the genitals. There are a few key steps you can take to prevent herpes which are:
- Condoms – A latex condom may protect you from the herpes virus if it covers the infected area
- Asking – Don’t be afraid to ask your sexual partner if they or have previously had an STD especially if you notice symptoms
- Cold Sores – If someone has a cold sore avoid coming into sexual contact with them, as they are likely to pass the herpes virus onto you
- Testing – If you notice any symptoms in yourself or a partner, then be sure to get tested for herpes to ensure you have haven’t contacted the virus or any other STD
- Be Careful – If your intoxicated, your judgement might be impaired and you’re less likely to use the right protection which could lead to you contacting genital herpes
Get Diagnosed For Herpes At Broadgate GP London Wall
Herpes is general only tested for and diagnosed when someone starts to display symptoms relating to the virus. People who have itchy skin, feverish symptoms or sores, should visit Broadgate GP to get tested. One of our team will take a swab from the infected area, to then test for the disease. In the long term, nothing can be done to cure herpes.
However, we can provide advice and treatments to help prevent symptoms from reoccurring or manage them when they do show up. By avoiding contact with any sores, you will help to prevent the virus from spreading around yourself or to others. Should you be displaying any symptoms of genital herpes or if you think you might have contracted it form an infected person then book an appointment at Broadgate GP. We offer discrete and confidential appointments.