Monday, June 24, 2024

How Can I Get Tested For Genital Herpes

Choose The Right Moment

What You Need to Know About Genital Herpes

Its good to initiate this conversation when you and your partner are alone and free from distractions. There may not be a perfect time, but some moments are better than others. Avoid times when other major conflicts or stressors are occurring.

Once youre alone and comfortable, broach the subject with your partner. Stay focused and use the following techniques to help you share the information clearly and succinctly.

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Symptoms Of Genital Herpes

Many people who have genital herpes are unaware that they have the virus because they have no symptoms, mild symptoms, or mistake the symptoms for other conditions such as jock itch, yeast infections, razor burn or allergic reactions to detergents. The infection can be diagnosed by taking a swab from the sores or through blood tests. Those with symptoms may experience a tingling sensation or itching in the genital area within a few days of having sex with an infected person. A cluster of blisters may appear and burst, leaving painful sores often lasting two to three weeks. A fever, headache and muscular pain may occur during the first attack.

After the sores from the first attack heal, the virus goes into a dormant stage, but recurrent outbreaks can occur. Some people have only one or two recurrences in a lifetime, while others have them frequently. Recurrences are typically shorter in duration and less severe than the first episode. Stress, menstrual cycle, illness, fever, surgery, exposure to sun, having sex, pregnancy, and the use of some medications can play a role in the frequency and severity of outbreaks. Herpes can continue to be transmitted to others, even between recurrences when the infected person has no symptoms.

Women’s symptoms can include:

  • tender lumps in the groin

Men’s symptoms can include:

  • tender lumps in the groin

For both men and women, the sores will usually occur on or near the area where the virus was transmitted.

Best Subscription For Herpes Test: Letsgetchecked

The LetsGetChecked home kits can test for both HSV-1 and HSV-2. This test kit may be best for people who require regular testing as the companys subscription options can offer significant discounts.

Collection method
nurses available through LetsGetChecked to discuss positive results
Cost
tests for both HSV-1 and HSV-2
Con does not accept insurance

A person receives a collection kit with all the tools they need to collect their samples at home. This includes 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 $119. Anyone who requires regular testing can purchase a LetsGetChecked subscription and get discounts on its tests. For instance, a 3-monthly subscription will give a person a 30% saving on the cost of the kits.

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Where Does The Herpes Virus Live In The Body

The herpes simplex viruses are latent, meaning they can live in the body without causing symptoms. After the initial infection, the virus gets into the nerve roots and spreads to the sensory nerve ganglia, the junctions where nerves from different parts of the body come together. For the genital area, the ganglia are adjacent to the spinal cord in the lower back. For orofacial herpes , the ganglia are located behind the cheek bone.

Genital herpes can be treated, but it cannot be cured.Anti-viral medicines can make outbreaks:

Living with genital herpes causes some people to:

  • Feel embarrassed or ashamed
  • Worry about infecting a sexual partner
  • Worry that having herpes will affect relationships with sexual partners
  • Avoid dating or sexual relationships

Most people with herpes are able to live with the virusand manage their outbreaks. Talking to trusted healthcare providers and friends can help. Your health careprovider can talk to you about medicines that treatoutbreaks and about ways to reduce the chance ofpassing the virus on to a sexual partner.

Medicines can help lower the chance that you will pass the virus to others.

When Should I See A Doctor

Awaiting my test results, does this appear to be herpes?

If you have a primary care doctor who you regularly see, you can share your results with them to provide better insight on your next steps.

If you dont have a primary care doctor, you can consult with a physician or nurse from the testing site about treatment options.

If youve been treating your symptoms with medication and are still in pain or discomfort, reach out to a healthcare professional.

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How Accurate Are Blood Test For Herpes

Many people have questions about how accurate herpes blood tests are. The truth is that herpes blood tests work reasonably well, but no test is perfect. That’s one reason doctors may be reluctant to test for herpes. They worry about balancing the patient’s desire to know with the potential emotional damage caused by a positive herpes blood test result. Due to the stigma associated with herpes, that worry can be in place whether the result is true or false.

Herpes blood tests are actually pretty accurate.That’s particularly true for the type-specific tests that are most often recommended! In a relatively high prevalence population, they give accurate results the vast majority of the time. It’s worth noting, though, that if my prevalence estimates were off, it would make a big difference. What if we worked from the assumption that only 10% of the population was infected with either virus? Then although almost all negative tests would still be accurate, positive tests would only be correct 55% to 85% of the time. In other words, there would be a lot of false positive tests.

Herpes Might Not Have Any Symptoms

You or your partner may not have any herpes symptoms that you can see or feel, or the signs of herpes may be so mild you dont even notice them. Sometimes people confuse herpes symptoms with other things, like pimples, ingrown hairs, and the flu.

Herpes symptoms come and go, but that doesnt mean the infection goes away or that you cant spread it to other people. Once you have herpes, it stays in your body for life.

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Reliability Of Tests And Diagnosis

Swab tests are only reliable in the range of 50% to 90%. For half of the patients who suffer from herpes, the results are often false negative. False-negative is when the test may actually be positive, but the laboratory declares it negative. This occurs in cases when the blister might not have enough fluid to allow viral culture growth.

While blood tests are not fully reliable, they are more accurate. Individuals who engage in heavy sexual activity, often with new partners are recommended to get a blood test because they have a higher risk of suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.

What Types Of Herpes Tests Are There

Herpes Spreads, Even Without Symptoms

A common test for genital herpes is the swab test, which consists of taking a tissue sample from the sores and creating a viral culture in a lab. It takes a couple of days for the culture to grow. Laboratories usually send the test result within 1-2 weeks.Another method used for diagnosing genital herpes is a blood test. The analysis of a blood sample shows whether you have herpes antibodies. If you have herpes antibodies, this means that you have been infected with the virus at some point. There is also a DNA test which can help determine which type of herpes virus you carry HSV1 or HSV2.

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When Should I Talk With A Doctor

If you have a primary care doctor who you regularly visit, you can share your results with them to provide better insight into your next steps.

If you dont have a primary care doctor, you can consult with a physician or nurse from the testing site about treatment options.

If youve been treating your symptoms with medication and are still in pain or discomfort, reach out to a healthcare professional.

Before You Tell Them Practice

The one person youll definitely need to have the chat with is your sexual partner/s. This is very important even if you rarely experience herpes outbreaks, as genital herpes can be spread from an infected person into an uninfected person even without any visible outbreak symptoms.

Coming out as herpes positive can feel stressful and difficult, especially when its directed at a person you care about and with whom youd like a romantic or sexual future. Luckily, dating with herpes doesnt have to be such a big deal if you know how to address it.

One way to get over the nervousness of telling a partner you have herpes is to practice ahead of time. Make note of the key points you want to include and practice the script a few times in front of the mirror until you feel comfortable talking about.

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How To Test For Herpes

If you suspect you have herpes, the first thing you should do is contact your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider can examine your blisters or sores to check for herpes. If you do have an HSV infection, your healthcare provider may recommend a treatment plan for you.

The Center for Disease Control recommends a genital herpes test if you have symptoms of herpes or a sexual partner who has genital herpes . Note that some people have asymptomatic herpes and donât show symptoms, but the CDC does not recommend asymptomatic screening for herpes .

If you would like an easy at-home option to test for 6 other common STIs, try the Everlywell home STD Test for women or the STD Test for men which checks for chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Once your sample is received and analyzed at the lab, the test results are sent to you quickly and discreetly via our secure, online platform.

Genital And Oral Herpes Testing

Is this herpes?

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Is It Safe To Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes

Yes as long as there isnt an open lesion on your chest or breast. If you have an active outbreak while breastfeeding, its possible to spread the infection to your nipples through touch. Careful hand-washing can prevent this spread. You shouldnt nurse from a breast that has herpes sores. You can pump breast milk until the sores heal. Dont give your baby expressed breast milk if the pump comes into contact with an open sore.

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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.

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What Do The Results Mean

Your HSV test results will be given as negative, also called normal, or positive, also called abnormal.

Negative/Normal. The herpes virus was not found. You may still have an HSV infection if your results were normal. It may mean the sample didn’t have enough of the virus to be detected. If you still have symptoms of herpes, you may need to get tested again.

Positive/Abnormal. HSV was found in your sample. It may mean you have an active infection , or were infected in the past .

If you tested positive for HSV, talk to your health care provider. While there is no cure for herpes, it hardly ever causes serious health problems. Some people may only have one outbreak of sores their whole lives, while others break out more often. If you want to reduce the severity and number of your outbreaks, your provider may prescribe a medicine that can help.

Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

How To Choose The Right Herpes Test For You

Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of herpes | Infectious diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

Every herpes test has its own benefits and drawbacks. Its best to discuss your options with a medical professional to make the right choice for your healthcare needs.

It may be helpful to choose your herpes test based on your symptoms. Early in the disease, before a clear herpes outbreak appears, some test methodologies like a PCR test and an antibody blood test can yield false-negative results. On the other hand, a viral culture may yield false-negative results later in the disease.

If you want to receive test results that provide a comprehensive evaluation of your infection, consider using multiple herpes testing methods. If getting a rapid result is your priority, a PCR test is the fastest option.

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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.

What To Think About

  • Normal test results do not mean you do not have a herpes infection.
  • Herpes is often diagnosed by symptoms and by knowing whether the person has had contact with an infected person. Sometimes a test is not needed. A person who has genital herpes needs to learn how to avoid spreading the disease, because the disease is more likely to be spread when he or she has sores. If you have recurrent outbreaks, especially during times of stress or illness, you can also spread the disease.
  • You may want to know whether a herpes infection is due to HSV-1 or HSV-2 so you can take steps to prevent or treat outbreaks.
  • A genital herpes infection can be spread from a mother to her baby during vaginal delivery. In a newborn, herpes can cause organ failure, brain infection, and death. If active herpes is present near the time of delivery, a caesarean delivery may be done to prevent infecting the baby.

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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.

Follow-up:

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