Im Pregnant How Could Genital Herpes Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, it is very important for you to go to prenatal care visits. Tell your doctor if you have ever had symptoms of, or have been diagnosed with, genital herpes. Also tell your doctor if you have ever been exposed to genital herpes. There is some research that suggests that genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage, or could make it more likely for you to deliver your baby too early.
Herpes infection can be passed from you to your unborn child before birth but is more commonly passed to your infant during delivery. This can lead to a potentially deadly infection in your baby . It is important that you avoid getting herpes during pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, you may be offered anti-herpes medicine towards the end of your pregnancy. This medicine may reduce your risk of having signs or symptoms of genital herpes at the time of delivery. At the time of delivery, your doctor should carefully examine you for herpes sores. If you have herpes symptoms at delivery, a C-section is usually performed.
Genital Herpes Treatment In Pregnancy
You may be offered antiviral treatment:
- to treat outbreaks in pregnancy
- from 36 weeks to reduce the chance of an outbreak during birth
- from diagnosis until the birth if you first get herpes after 28 weeks of pregnancy
Many women with genital herpes have a vaginal delivery. You may be offered a caesarean, depending on your circumstances.
Preparing For The Genital Herpes Test And Consultation
If you see your GP or visit a GUM clinic, they will ask a number of questions about your condition before providing a diagnosis. Your doctor will most likely ask you about your symptoms, recent sexual encounters, your STI history, whether you use condoms and whether you are taking any medication. You should use your consultation to ask any questions you may have with regards to your condition, your risk of STIs and how to avoid infecting future partners.
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What Is A Genital Herpes Test
Genital herpes tests can detect the herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 .
The viruses can be tested by using:
- swabs on the sores
Swab tests are more commonly used at clinics and in home testing kits, but there needs to be sores or blisters for a fluid sample to be collected. Where a sample can be taken, a swab test is really effective. We offer testing through swabs and urine . Where there are no blisters or lesions, a blood test is sometimes used. We do not offer blood testing for HSV.
Can You Be Tested For Herpes Without Symptoms
You can test for herpes with and without symptoms. If you do not have symptoms then you should have a blood test, but you must wait at least 4 to 6 weeks since any potential exposure. If you do have symptoms, you should choose a swab test to take a PCR swab of the suspected herpes blister or rash. If you would prefer not to have a swab, then you can choose to provide a urine sample. A urine sample is also the preferred sample if you have an outbreak near your urethra .
Remember even if you had sex with a new partner 4 to 6 weeks ago and have no symptoms, you could still have herpes. The only way to know is to get tested.
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What Should I Do If I Test Positive For Herpes
If you test positive for herpes, our doctors can provide you with expert advice on your next steps, including your treatment options and how to protect yourself and your partners. Herpes has no cure. However, the symptoms can be managed using medication. Some treatments can help to reduce the length of outbreaks and how often they happen.
How Can I Prevent Transmitting Herpes
Although latex condoms can reduce the risk of transmitting most STIs by 98 percent, condoms dont prevent herpes transmission. This is because not all herpes sores occur in areas that are covered by a condom.
If youre experiencing an active outbreak, you can
- avoiding sexual activity until symptoms go away
- washing your hands thoroughly and applying medication with cotton swabs to reduce contact with sores
Taking a daily antiviral herpes medication can also help prevent transmission, shorten outbreaks, and manage symptoms.
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Can I Take The Test At Home
At-home tests are available to test for evidence of an HSV infection. At-home herpes testing typically detects HSV antibodies in a self-collected sample of blood and may require additional follow-up if preliminary results are positive. At-home herpes tests can be obtained online or at a local pharmacy.
Can Herpes Show Up In A Urine Test
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Herpes False Positive Test Results
There are many tests that can diagnose herpes, but some are more accurate than others. It is in fact possible to get a herpes false positive.
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Which test is best? First lets take a closer look at some of the tests and the overall effectiveness of each.
The Western Blot Test for Genital Herpes
This test is considered to be one of the most effective ways of diagnosing genital herpes, and it is thought that the test has great accuracy results. However, cost, time and availability are a major issue and this may make people turn to other types of herpes screening programs. Never the less, many physicians are willing to refer patients for a Western Blot test if they suspect an outbreak of genital herpes.
The HerpeSelect Test
This test comprises of two parts. Patients undergo the herpes immunoblot test and the genital herpes Elisa IgG test. The blood samples are analyzed at a laboratory, hence, the patient may have to wait for the test results. Both tests offer highly accurate results and as a rule, they will detect both variations of the herpes simplex virus . Recent studies show that herpes false positive results are unlikely when this type of test is used.
The SureVue HSV-2 Test
The Tzanck Smear
Can I Get An Sti Without Intercourse If We Are Just Fooling Around
Yes, you can get some STI just by intimate skin-to-skin touching or kissing of an infected area.
It doesnt matter whether youre heterosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit or questioning. STI can be transmitted by anyone.
Drugs and/or alcohol can impair judgement and lead to risky behaviour. When you or your partner are impaired and caught up in the moment, you may be more likely to have sex without a condom and take other risks that can increase your exposure to STI and unplanned pregnancy.
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Most STI have no obvious symptoms , so you may not know if you or your sexual partner has an infection. Thats why practising safer sex and getting tested regularly is so important.
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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
Symptoms Of Utis And Herpes
In many cases, the symptoms experienced by a patient with genital herpes resemble those of a UTI at first, which can lead to the mistaken conclusion that herpes has caused the UTI. Rather, the initial symptoms that tend to occur one or two days before the sores of an outbreak appear may mimic those of a UTI. These include:
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Painful urination
- Frequent and urgent need to urinate, as well as difficulty urinating
However, as the symptoms progress, patients with genital herpes also experience:
- Numbness nad tingling or even burning in the genital area
- Watery blisters in and around the genitals
- Tenderness and sores near the rectum
These additional sores, once burst, can take up to four weeks to heal. Throughout this time, hygiene is of the utmost importance to assure that bacteria dont settle into these sores or transfer bacteria from them to the urethra.
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Can Herpes Be Treated
If your symptoms are already cleared, you may not need any medication. You will however need to learn more about how to manage your condition if an outbreak happens in the future.
There are several antiviral medications you can take to manage or prevent outbreaks. Antiviral medication can shorten outbreaks by several days. Some can also suppress the virus, reducing the risk of spread to partners.
Treatment options for herpes are:
You can also apply a pain relief or numbing cream to the affected area. Local anaesthetic creams like Lidocaine can be used for such relief.
Other ways to manage herpes outbreaks are to:
- apply petroleum jelly as a barrier to skin contact
- apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to help numb and soothe painful sores
- take a cool shower to soothe pain and irritation
- avoid frequent washing and drying of the affected area
- wear loose fitting clothes
- take mild over the counter pain relievers if needed
- drink plenty of water for better skin health
When talking to your doctor, you will be asked to tell any previous partners so they can get tested. Your doctor or nurse may help you tell them anonymously if you prefer.
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.
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How Do Healthcare Providers Test For Herpes
How are you tested for herpes at a clinic or healthcare providerâs office? Healthcare providers will examine the location and severity of any active blisters or sores around the mouth or genital area. They may take a tissue sample of the sores to send to a laboratory for examination. A blood sample will be needed if an antibody test is used to check whether you have been infected with the herpes virus.
Urine Tests Vs Swab Tests
Urine tests can be used to identify bacterial sexually transmitted infections.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea urine tests are widely available. Trichomoniasis urine tests are also available, but they are less common.
It is important to note that the most accurate way of under-going STD testing is via bacterial culture. Bacterial cultures may be taken from using a swab sample. That involved attempting to grow bacteria out of samples that were taken directly from the cervix or urethra.
Bacterial DNA testing looks for the DNA of the bacteria as opposed to looking for the culture. Urine testing very simple and completely safe. You simply collect your urine sample in a sample jar and either hand it to your healthcare provider or mail it to the laboratory.
Samples are tested in the laboratory to identify whether it contains bacterial DNA.
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Purpose Of Urine Testing For Stis
It used to be that STI testing, particularly for bacterial STIs, was very uncomfortable.
Men who thought they might have a bacterial STI like chlamydia or gonorrhea got tested by having a swab inserted into their urethra. Women had to undergo a pelvic exam, during which a cervical swab would be taken and tested for bacteria.
The fact that STI testing was uncomfortable and invasive made it less likely that people would undergo regular STI screening.
That probably contributed to what is sometimes known as the hidden epidemic of asymptomatic STIs. Because many STIs have no symptoms, the only way to detect them is through testing. When people aren’t tested regularly, they can spread STIs to their partners without even knowing it.
Urine testing makes it easier for people to undergo STI testing as part of their regular medical care. Note, however, that STI testing is still not a standard part of most annual exams.
When Should I Get A Genital Or Oral Herpes Test
Testing for the viruses that cause genital and oral herpes may be ordered when a patient develops signs and symptoms of a herpes infection. Although many people who contract HSV never notice symptoms, signs of an initial infection appear 2 to 20 days after infection and depend on the type of HSV causing the infection.
When signs and symptoms of an initial infection occur, they may include:
- Small sores on the skin
- Tingling, itching, or burning on the skin
- Fever, headache, or body aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
After the initial infection, HSV remains dormant inside of the body. HSV can reactivate throughout a patients life, causing symptoms of genital or oral herpes to reappear. While the trigger for an HSV outbreak is often unknown, potential triggers include a fever, stress, physical trauma, and a suppressed immune system.
Generally, expert organizations do not recommend herpes testing for patients without symptoms. An exception may be made for certain patients, including:
- Patients who have a partner with genital herpes
- Patients seeking a more complete STD test panel, including people with multiple sexual partners
- Babies born to a mother who has HSV
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What Should I Do If My Test Results Are Positive
Many at-home services have independent physicians or nurses reach out to people with positive test results. Theyll discuss your results with you and suggest a plan of action, possibly including medication.
If your results are positive, its important to let any recent sexual partners know so they can also get tested.
Can Herpes Be Dormant For 30 Years
Can it lie dormant? The herpes virus can lie dormant in the body for years before people experience any symptoms. After people have the first outbreak of herpes, the virus then lies dormant in the nervous system. Any further outbreaks are due to the virus reactivating, which causes symptoms to appear.
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How Herpes Is Transmitted
HSV-1 is transmitted through oral secretions or skin sores by acts such as sharing objects like utensils or through kissing. HSV-2 spreads through sexual contact with an infected person. HSV-1 and HSV-2 can spread even in the absence of any sores. Some commonly seen symptoms of herpes infection are:
- Poor health condition
- Emotional and physical stress
Reducing The Risk Of Genital Herpes
The herpes virus cant pass through a condom. However, if the virus is present and active on the skin in areas around the genitals not covered by the condom , infection may still occur. Therefore condoms are not 100% protective against the herpes virus.
If your partner has herpes, avoiding sex when they have visible sores reduces your risk of getting herpes.
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Best For Quick Results: Stdcheck
STDcheck offers tests for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. A person can order an HSV-2 test for $45, or they can order a test for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 for $79. There is also an option to order a test package that tests for 10 different STIs.
This option is best for people who need their results quickly.
Book Your Herpes Test
Better2Know is the worlds leading provider of private sexual health testing services. We will arrange a clinic appointment or home testing kit quickly, and deliver fast and accurate results for your peace of mind. If you have any concerns about your sexual health, please call our friendly booking team on the number above or click Book Now.
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How Soon After Unprotected Sex Can I Test For Herpes
Herpes has an incubation period of 2 to 12 days for initial infections. This means it can take 12 days for it to show on a test. The symptoms can appear quickly after exposure. This leaves a short window of time within which to do a swab test. Blood tests can however be accurate even months after exposure. You can wait either until symptoms appear or allow the incubation period to end before performing a blood test after unprotected sex.
If you test positive for herpes, it will be a lifelong condition. This applies to both HPV 1 and HPV 2. There is no need to retest if confirmed positive. Simply manage the symptoms as they come.