Genital herpes is a widely prevalent sexually transmitted disease that is a result of the herpes simplex virus. Sexual activity is how the virus is primarily transmitted. Following the initial exposure to the infection, the virus remains inactive in the body and can become active numerous times throughout a year. Genital herpes symptoms include sensations of burning and itching, as well as painful sores, in the genitals. That said, some patients do not exhibit any herpes signs and symptoms. The infection is transmittable even when a patient is entirely asymptomatic. Hence, it is important to get a herpes test if you are suspicious of your condition.
Genital herpes is not yet curable, but antiviral medications can relieve symptoms and lower the risk of its spread. Practicing safe sex is also integral to the prevention of the virus’ spread.
Most herpes patients typically do not find out their status as they remain asymptomatic. Others do not notice because their symptoms never become severe. This is why this sexually transmitted infection is spread easily and, at times, at an alarming rate.
When patients exhibit symptoms, they usually present themselves over the course of two weeks upon the initial exposure. In most cases, the hallmark herpes symptoms include:
- Itchiness, tenderness, and pain
- Painful, tiny red blisters
- Pus-filled sores and/or ulcers that may eventually crust over
During a patient’s first outbreak, they may also experience flu-like symptoms such as a fever, headaches, muscle pain, and swollen lymph glands.
Are There Any Herpes Test That Diagnoses Genital Herpes?
When you consult with a doctor upon suspecting you may have herpes, your physician will likely rely on a thorough physical examination and various lab tests to reach a definitive diagnosis. These tests may include:
– A standard blood test for diagnosing herpes requires the analysis of a blood sample to look for herpes antibodies.
A Viral Culture
– This herpes test entails checking sample tissues from herpes sores in a lab setting.
A Polymerase Chain Reaction Test
– This particular herpes test involves the replication of the patient’s DNA—using a blood and tissue sample, taken from the affected area. This DNA sample is then assessed to identify whether the patient carries the herpes simplex virus, as well as determine the herpes strain.
If your physician concludes that you have herpes, you can usually take antiviral drugs to lessen the severity and frequency of herpes outbreaks.
Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ maxxyustasPosted on May 22, 2023