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.
What Tests Are Available For Genital Herpes
Common methods for testing genital herpes include swabs, blood testing, and visual examination by a healthcare provider.
The most common testing method in Canada is swabbing the lesionâs surface and sending it to a lab for testing. This cell culture test can determine whether HSV-1 or HSV-2 caused the genital herpes infection.
Swab testing is most likely to detect HSV when completed within 72 hours of symptoms first appearing.
Getting regular STI tests is a critical way to prevent infection or reinfection of sexual partners. â
How To Use An External Condom
1. Open carefully
Dont use teeth, scissors or a knife to open the condom. Roughly tearing or handling the condom can damage it. If the person handling the condom has long fingernails, be extra careful as they can nick the condom, making it ineffective, putting you at risk of STI or unplanned pregnancy.
2. Place and pinch
3. Roll it on
Its recommended to use lubricated condoms and, if needed, add a personal lubricant to the outside of the condom to decrease the risk of breaking and to decrease discomfort.
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When To See A Doctor
People should see their doctor if they think they might have herpes, or if they have any symptoms of herpes. Getting tested for herpes is also important to rule out other sexually transmitted infections.
People can visit their doctor or a sexual health clinic for a test. If people have any sores or blisters present, a healthcare provider will use a swab to take a sample from the sores. The sample will indicate whether or not the sores are due to a herpes infection.
Some people may be concerned that they have the herpes virus but no symptoms. In such cases, a doctor might be able to order a blood test to check for the virus in a persons blood. However, the
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What Is The Purpose Of A Herpes Igm Test
The herpes IgM test is a simple blood test and results are usually available within a week.
Keep in mind that:
- This test may be done to confirm that a person has herpes after they’ve had a recent outbreak.
- Herpes IgM is one of the first types of antibody that appears after infection, so this blood test is the earliest one that can be used to detect herpes.
- The herpes IgM antibodies can take up to 10 days to develop after a primary infection with the virus.
If you believe you have been exposed but have no symptoms, you should wait at least two weeks before getting tested. You may want to wait even longer depending on which tests are available in your area.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend HSV IgM testing because it may give a positive result during a recurrent oral or genital herpes episode. Instead, they recommend specific testing to determine which HSV you may have.
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What Happens If You Get A Positive Test Result
If you receive a positive test result from your STD test, you and your doctor will need to come up with a treatment plan that is dependent on the type of infection you have. One of the first things you should do is inform any of your partners that youve tested positive. They will also need to be evaluated as infections can easily be passed back and forth.
How Long Does It Take To Get An Std
Each STD has a unique incubation period. For some STDs, the incubation period for testing can be as short as a week or two, and for other STDs, as long as a few months.
If you believe you have been exposed to a specific STD, its important to learn about its incubation period so you know how long you should wait to get tested.
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Can You Donate Blood With Hsv 2
According to the American Red Cross donor eligibility guidelines, people with HSV are allowed to donate blood , unless they have another prohibitive infection, like HIV or hepatitis. However: People having their first herpes outbreak are discouraged from donating, and are asked to wait about a month.
When Is The Hsv 2 Blood Test Most Useful
If someone wants to know if they have genital herpes because of their sexual history, then the HSV 2 blood test can provide conclusive information about whether or not they have been infected. This result can then help to reduce future transmissions to additional sexual partners. It is also useful to confirm a herpes diagnosis if someone is suffering from the symptoms of an active infection.
The symptoms of an HSV 2 infection can be so mild that they are undetectable. Many people who are infected with genital herpes do not know that they have it. If there are active symptoms, however, they will typically involve the presence of a small blister that will eventually break and ooze fluid. The blister than scabs over and becomes a painful sore that takes several weeks to heal.
There may also be flu-like symptoms experienced with the first outbreak of symptoms after the initial infection. This may include a fever, chronic and severe fatigue, nausea, and dizziness.
The issue with an HSV 2 infection is that the body is always shedding the active virus. People can transmit HSV 2 even if they arent experiencing active symptoms. The herpes virus can also make people 2x more susceptible to other STD infections, particularly HIV. This is because small, unnoticeable cracks in the skin can occur around the genital region to allow the virus to have access to the body. Herpes also attracts the cells that HIV likes to infect.
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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.
The Different Types Of Herpes
Herpes, or the herpes simplex virus, is a highly contagious and common virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes. You may become infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 or herpes simplex virus type 2 . Each type of virus causes unique symptoms, so its important to understand their differences.
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Why Doesnt Everyone Receive A Herpes Blood Test
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 may be common infections today, but a majority of people who actually have this infection will not experience any symptoms. Disease control agencies, such as the CDC do not recommend herpes testing for anyone without symptoms. There is evidence that diagnosing someone without symptoms does not change their sexual behavior.
When discussing your sexual habits with your doctor, it is more effective to determine if you should be tested for any or all STDs instead. This would include a herpes blood test at this point.
If there are bothersome signs and symptoms of a herpes outbreak, then the herpes blood test may be able to provide useful information. Youll want to consider requesting this blood test if any one of these three sexual health issues would describe your current situation.
- You are currently experiencing genital symptoms that you believe could be related to herpes.
- You are currently having sex or have had a sexual partner in the past who you know had genital herpes.
- You have had multiple sexual partners in the recent past and you want to have a complete STD exam.
What Is Oral Herpes
Oral herpes is primarily caused by HSV-1, although it is also possible to have an HSV-2 infection around the mouth.
A person with an oral herpes outbreak may first feel itching, burning, or tingling around the mouth, lips, or tongue. Later, cold sores or small blisters may develop in these areas or anywhere on the skin.
Roughly four to six days after these cold sores start leaking, they start healing by forming a crust. Outbreaks of oral herpes can last for two to three weeks, which can be shorter than the two to six weeks of a genital herpes outbreak.
People who develop symptoms of herpes may first experience tingling, itching, or burning, then notice sores or blisters forming around the mouth or genitals.
Symptoms tend to develop 220 days after exposure to the virus.
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The Bottom Line: Tests For Herpes Are More Worry Than Theyre Worth
If you do have symptoms, dont fret: If you know your status, youre at an advantage in that you can talk with your doctor and find an antiviral drug that works for you. Medication can curtail the severity of your symptoms, as well as the number of outbreaks you get. Additionally, taking an antiviral daily will greatly reduce your chances of transmitting the virus to someone else. In case you missed it, theres also a very promising new drug for herpes on the horizon, which researchers say could be the most effective one yet.
Take it straight from the pros and dont put yourself through the stress of a herpes blood test if you dont need to. And, whether you have symptoms or not, know that youre not alone if you are herpes-positive.
Read more stories on herpes facts and myths:
Do I Need A Pap Smear If I’ve Had A Hysterectomy
A total hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove your uterus and cervix. You may still be at risk for cervical cancer, so talk to your healthcare provider to make sure you can stop having regular Pap tests.
If you had a complete hysterectomy to treat a noncancerous problem, such as uterine fibroids, you probably won’t need Pap smears.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What happens if I dont treat a cold sore?
- What are the side effects of antiviral medications?
- How can I reduce the risk of future outbreaks?
- Whats the best way to prevent getting another STI?
- How can I protect my partner from getting genital herpes?
- Should I lookout for signs of complications?
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Polymerase Chain Reaction Test
As with the viral culture, your doctor swabs or scrapes a sample from one of your sores. A lab gets the sample and looks for genes from the herpes virus. PCR test results usually come back to you within 24 hours.
Youre more likely to get this test if you have symptoms but its been longer than 48 hours since they showed up. In this case, you can rely on the results from this test more than the viral culture.
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Where Can I Obtain A Test For Genital Herpes
Your family physician and most walk-in medical clinics can perform genital herpes testing. Testing for genital herpes is not standard in STI screenings, so make sure to mention to your healthcare provider that you may have been exposed.
Sexual health testing facilities are also available to perform screening and treatment:â
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About An Hsv Test
The best way to prevent genital herpes or another STD is to not have sex. If you are sexually active, you can reduce your risk of infection by
- Being in a long-term relationship with one partner who has tested negative for STDs
- Using condoms correctly every time you have sex
If you’ve been diagnosed with genital herpes, condom use can reduce your risk of spreading the infection to others.
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How Do You Test For Herpes
You can test for herpes in three different ways: a blood test, a urine test, and/ or a swab test. The right test for you will depend on:
- whether you have any symptoms at the time of your test
- how long ago you think you might have been exposed
- where you think you have herpes
- your personal preferences
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How Long Will It Take To Get Std Results Back
There isnt a set time to get your STD results back. Several factors determine how long does it take to get STD test results back from the doctor:
- The kind of disease youre being tested for
- The testing method used
- The location of the test
Below provides an overview of the type of results you may receive and how long they could take.
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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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Do Regular Sti Tests Include Herpes
No. If you dont have symptoms, STI testing includes gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV and syphilis, and only involves time with a medical assistant. The Centers for Disease Control does not recommend herpes testing for people without symptoms.
If you think youve been exposed to herpes, but you arent showing symptoms, make sure to tell your health care provider prior to getting tested. At Planned Parenthood, herpes testing requires a visit with the nurse practitioner.
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Cost And Health Insurance
Depending on where you live and the lab you use, your HSV IgG blood test can cost between $35 and $80. Public clinics tend to be cheaper.
Genital HSV is considered an STI. But dont assume that a free STI clinic will have the test or provide it free of charge. Some may only offer free testing for:
Search for free or low-cost STI clinics in your area by using the GetTested locator offered by the CDC.
Which Herpes Test Should You Get
Each method of testing for herpes has advantages and disadvantages, from time and cost, to an increased possibility of false results. Often, people concerned about the virus use a range of herpes testing to get a more accurate, proven picture of whether or not theyre infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2.
Since herpes is a lifelong infection that cant be cured, its important to discuss testing options with your healthcare provider and make sure you receive an accurate result. Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you more about the best options for herpes testing based on your symptoms and situation.
Typically, your healthcare provider will carry out a physical exam before choosing the best testing method for you. As herpes symptoms tend to be worst during the initial outbreak of the virus, its best to talk to your healthcare provider as soon as you start experiencing symptoms.
In the event that you do have herpes, theres no need to panic. Both oral and genital herpes are extremely common, and a variety of effective treatments are available for both.
Our Valacyclovir 101 guide goes into more detail about one of the most common, effective drugs for treating both symptomatic and asymptomatic herpes. You can also learn more about the risk of catching herpes in our guide to how herpes is transmitted between people.
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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.
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|Con||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|
|Con||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.