Why Genital Herpes Comes Back
Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, it stays in your body.
It will not spread in your body to cause blisters elsewhere. It stays in a nearby nerve and causes blisters in the same area.
If you can, avoid things that trigger your symptoms.
Triggers can include:
- surgery on your genital area
- a weakened immune system for example, from having chemotherapy for cancer
How Do Std Test Kits Work
Using an STD test kit is simple and usually requires no referrals or prescriptions from your doctor. The process may vary slightly from one company to the next, but one commonality is that they are delivered straight to your door and can be taken from the comfort of your home, eliminating the need to visit a doctor or clinic in person. Heres a general breakdown of what you can expect:
Receiving your kit:
After you order your kit, it will be shipped to you in a discreet package and will include all the instructions, forms, and return information youll need. Most kits will include a barcode that you enter into the site which logs you into your own portal. This is typically where youll receive your results and communicate with staff.
Collecting a sample:
Collecting your sample can be done in minutes, though the squeamish may want some company for assistance or support. The sample needed depends on the test, but the 3 most common sample types are urine, vaginal swab, and finger-prick. The kit will include complete instructions as well as all the materials necessary for collecting and shipping the sample.
Submitting for results:
After youve collected your sample, you need to send it to the lab to be tested. The time it takes to receive your results varies but generally spans 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the company.
Results are typically delivered via a private online portal.
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How Long Does It Take For A Pus
That can cause the pimple to become more red, inflamed, swollen and infected, and may even lead to permanent scarring. Its best to let a pimple run through its life span, Rice says. Left alone, a blemish will heal itself in 3 to 7 days. Popped improperly, it can linger for weeks or lead to scarring.
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Should I Get Routinely Tested For Herpes
The CDC doesnt recommend routine testing for herpes. Individuals who are diagnosed with genital herpes but who do not have symptoms typically dont change their sexual behavior. Therefore, routine testing has not been effective at preventing the spread of the virus. It is also possible to get a false positive result from a herpes test, which is another reason the CDC doesnt encourage routine use of the test.
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Best Affordable Herpes Test: Healthlabs
HealthLabs offers laboratory-based herpes tests. These may be the best option for people who do not have health insurance and those working with small budgets.
|does not require appointments and accepts walk-ins
|requires a visit to a laboratory for a healthcare professional to collect the sample
After placing an order, the person receives a laboratory requisition form, which they need to print out and present at a laboratory. The company claims it has 4,500 laboratory locations, and individuals should receive their test results within 23 business days.
HealthLabs has three herpes tests available for purchase:
- a test for HSV-1, which costs $45
- a test for HSV-2, which costs $45
- a test for HSV-1 and HSV-2, which costs $79
People may also order at-home tests for other STIs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV.
|offers tests for early detection of herpes
|requires a visit to a laboratory
To order either herpes test, a person must access the company website and enter their ZIP code to find their nearest testing center.
The company claims it has over 4,000 private test centers across the United States.
After ordering the herpes test, a person can walk into their local center to receive the testing. An appointment is not necessary.
The test procedure involves a simple blood test and urine sample, which typically takes a matter of minutes. A person can expect to receive their online test results within 13 days.
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Best For Difficult Sexual Relationships: Stdcheckcom
Why We Chose It: STDcheck.com is very easy to use and offers several options for at-home herpes testing. However, whats notable about the site is that it lets you send online anonymous text alerts to sexual partners who might need to be tested. Thats not as good as talking with them in person, but it can help with some awkward conversations you might not otherwise be willing to have.
For $139, individuals get access to both HSV-1 and HSV-2 testing. A 10-test panel with other STDs costs $249
Ability to alert sexual partners by anonymous text
Results within 1-2 days
Tests are run at the same labs used by a doctors office
The least expensive option does not detect genital herpes cases caused by HSV-1
Doctor consultations are only available for people who test positive
Insurance is not an option for payment
STDcheck.com allows people to order STD tests online and then go to a local lab for testing . Over 4,500 testing locations are available nationwide, and most people will be able to find a site that is convenient for them. After the test is ordered, you go to the lab and have your blood drawn. The lab sends it for analysis and, in a few days, you can access your results by phone or online.
Recommended herpes testing options run from $139 to $249, and telephone doctor consultations are free for individuals who have a positive test.
Are Test Results Accurate
Tests that identify evidence of HSV infections are routine and commonly used medical tests. The ability of a test to accurately diagnose or rule out HSV infection depends on the test used for analysis and the stage of a patients infection.
The Tzanck smear and viral culture are less able to accurately identify patients who have an HSV infection than other tests. PCR testing and antibody testing are more sensitive, which means that they miss fewer cases of infection.
Blood tests that detect antibodies to HSV can distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2 but not the site of infection. This means that blood tests cannot tell whether a patient has a genital or oral herpes infection.
Although these tests are valuable for identifying HSV infection, no test is perfect. When learning of test results, patients should talk to their doctor about the type of test conducted, the reliability of test results, and if additional tests are necessary to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.
Since iâm postingin this discussion you can geuss what came back postive. HSV-2.
The worst part was having to tell my girlfriend that i had this and she probably does too, BUT ater she went and got tested her results came back NEGATIVE.
So now I am left here, told that I have HSV-2 without ever having an outbreak and with my girlfriend, who iâve made gentail open wound contact with , that is negative and donât know what to do.
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Reliability And Choosing A Home Test
People who are considering buying a home test may wish to seek advice from a pharmacist on which test is likely to be best for them. The pharmacist may also be able to show them how to collect the sample at home to prevent inaccuracies.
People who are looking for an at-home herpes test should consider the following before making a purchase:
- Clear information: The company should offer all of the information that a person needs for testing, including clear and complete instructions.
- Consultations: Some companies offer consultations for people who may wish to discuss their sexual health concerns, particularly if they receive a positive result.
- Treatment plan: Online providers may suggest further testing or treatment depending on the individuals results and concerns.
- Certified laboratories: Some companies work with laboratories with
Avoiding Passing Genital Herpes To A Partner
If you have herpes, you can follow some simple measures to avoid passing the virus on to your partner, and to continue to have a healthy and happy sex life. These include:
- telling your partner if you have herpes
- learning to recognise the warning signs that an episode is starting
- not have sex during an episode of herpes
- avoiding direct contact with your sores or blisters and another person
- avoiding kissing and oral sex when you or your partner has cold sores around the mouth
If you have frequent episodes of herpes then it is worth talking to your GP or sexual health clinic about longer term treatment which may also reduce the chance of you passing on the virus to your partner.
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Are There Any Risks To The Test
There is no known risk to having a swab test.
There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.
If you had a lumbar puncture, you may have pain or tenderness in your back where the needle was inserted. You may also get a headache after the procedure.
Taking A Genital Or Oral Herpes Test
Testing for genital and oral herpes may be performed with a blood sample or a sample of fluid swabbed or scraped from a sore. Both types of samples are collected by a health professional when conducted at a doctors offices, clinic, or community organization.
If a patient is experiencing an outbreak, a doctor can collect a sample for testing by swabbing or scraping a sore. Material from the sore can be used for a herpes viral culture, PCR testing,
A Tzanck smear or an antibody test.
If a patient is not currently experiencing an outbreak, a blood test may be used to identify HSV antibodies. If a doctor suspects a brain infection with HSV, a lumbar puncture may be performed to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid for analysis.
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Herpes Testing : What Are Your Options
Medically reviewed by Michele Emery, DNP
Are you worried you might have been exposed to the herpes virus?
First: don’t panic. The HSV viruses are a lot more common than you may think, and are very manageable in most cases.
Second: if you think youve been exposed to the herpes virus, testing is going to be your first plan of action.
Take a couple deep breaths and when you’re ready, read on.
Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results
The following questions may be useful as patients review genital and oral herpes test results with their doctor:
- What type of test was conducted?
- What is my test result?
- What is the most likely explanation for my test result?
- Are there any follow-up tests that you recommend?
- How should I discuss my test result with sexual partners?
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Best Home Herpes Tests
Many at-home herpes tests are available to purchase online. The sections below look at four of the best options.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based.
Best subscription for herpestest
LetsGetCheckeds home kits can test for both HSV-1 and HSV-2.
A person receives a collection kit with all the tools they need to collect their samples at home. These include needles, a prepaid envelope, alcohol swabs, and a tube. The tests come in discreet packaging so that other people will not know what the person has received.
The person also has access to an instruction video on the company website that explains how they should take their test. LetsGetChecked suggests that people take a blood sample before 9 a.m. and return it to the laboratory on the same day.
The company states that it issues the results within 25 days.
Individuals who receive a positive result can contact a nurse through the company, and they may suggest a treatment plan.
LetsGetChecked offers a one-time purchase for about $100, but anyone who requires regular testing can purchase a subscription and pay less per kit.
Once a person has purchased a test, they need to register it on Everlywells website. They then need to post the collected samples with prepaid shipping.
This test costs around $150. However, people can subscribe for twice-yearly tests and save money per kit.
How Herpes Is Diagnosed
Your first step is to make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have a lesion on your genitals or believe you were exposed to herpes. “Google really can’t tell you if you have genital herpes or not,” said Dr. Shim. A diagnosis of herpes can be made with an exam, but your healthcare provider will also order a culture swab from the sore to confirm the virus.
Your healthcare provider can give you advice on easing symptoms, shortening their duration, and preventing outbreaks in the future. Taking a daily dose of the antiviral drug Valtrex can decrease transmission to a non-infected partner, said Dr. Shirazian. It can also prevent recurrent outbreaks for the person with the infection. Maintaining general healthful habitseating nutritious foods, staying active, and getting enough sleepgo a long way to keeping your immune system able to minimize outbreaks.
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Treatment The First Time You Have Genital Herpes
You may be prescribed:
- antiviral medicine to stop the symptoms getting worse you need to start taking this within 5 days of the symptoms appearing
- cream for the pain
If you have had symptoms for more than 5 days before you go to a sexual health clinic, you can still get tested to find out the cause.
How Accurate Is The Herpes Test
Taking a swab of a lesion is the most accurate way to test for herpes. If you receive a positive result from a sore, you can be certain that you have herpes. A swab can also tell you whether you have HSV-1 or HSV-2. Unfortunately, a swab can also give you a false negative. Youre especially likely to get a false negative if the lesion has been present for more than 48 hours, as it will begin to heal after that time. False negatives from viral cultures are more likely with each subsequent outbreak.
A PCR test is more accurate than a swab test and is a good option both for those who do have current sores and those who do not.
Blood tests do not look for an active herpes outbreak. Rather, they check the blood for antibodies. There are two types of antibodies that may be present: IgM and IgG. IgG antibodies appear shortly after you become infected with herpes and stay in the body for life. IgG testing is more accurate than IgM testing.
IgM tests can yield a false negative if youve recently become infected with herpes, as you might not have these antibodies yet. Over time, IgM antibodies will go away, so you can get a false negative between outbreaks as well. Some IgM tests also cross-react with similar viruses that cause chickenpox or mono, so you may also get a false positive.
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Why Have False Positive Tests Been Used As An Argument Against Routine Testing For Genital Herpes But Not For Other Stds Which Can Also Have False Positives
False positive test results are test results that say a person has a disease or condition when they do not actually have it. False positive results can occur with many diagnostic tests, including STD tests. The chances of false positive results increase as the likelihood of the infection decreases in the person being tested. False positive HSV-2 results can happen, especially in people who are at low risk for a herpes infection. Also, we do not know if people who test positive for herpes will change their sexual behavior as a result of a positive test. This tells us that the harm of a possible false positive test may be a greater concern than the benefits of an actual diagnosis. Unlike curable STDs, such as chlamydia, herpes infections are life-long, so it is especially important to avoid a false positive test.
There Are 2 Herpes Simplex Viruses That Can Cause Infection
- One causes most genital herpes.
- The other virus can also cause genital herpes but more often causes blisters of the mouth and lips.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about 1 out of 6 people ages 14 to 49have genital herpes.
Women are more easily infected with herpes than men.
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How Lysine Works Against Cold Sores
Lysine supports human health in many ways, but its best known for its potential role in protecting against cold sores.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 . Some people infected with HSV-1 never experience an outbreak, but most have experienced the pain and embarrassment of cold sore blisters. These fluid-filled sores develop on or around the mouth and burst to release their fluids.
Though no permanent cure for cold sores exists, its possible to prevent future outbreaks or expedite the recovery of existing cold sores using lysine. HSV-1 relies on arginine-rich proteins to spread and reproduce. Arginine is a different amino acid found in certain meats, nuts, and wheat. It triggers cold sore and aggravates existing outbreaks.
Research suggests that lysine works against cold sores by interfering with the absorption of arginine. With the help of enough lysine, arginine becomes unavailable to the virus and shortens the duration of the outbreak.
In one small study, treatment with lysine ointment achieved full resolution in 40% of participants by the third day and in 87% of participants by the sixth day. This marks a vast improvement compared to a standard cold sore episode that may last up to 21 days without treatment.
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