Genital Herpes

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Genital Herpes Medications

Your final treatment will be decided by our prescribers based on your medical assessment. You will be asked to select a treatment option from a list after completion of your medical assessment.


  • Treatment for genital herpes
  • Helps to stop the virus being so active
  • Effective in the prevention of future outbreaks

From £109.99

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What is Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is a viral infection caused by the presence of the HSV virus. A virus cannot be cleared up with antibiotics making it untreatable.  This means that, once contracted, there is no cure and it lives, usually inactive within the body.  Although it cannot be cured, those who suffer from regular outbreaks can take antiviral medications which help them to manage it. For anyone suffering from 6 or more annual outbreaks, suppression therapy can also help ease it, and decrease, or even stop the occurrence.

What causes Genital Herpes?

The virus in question, HSV-2, manages to invade the body via saliva, vaginal fluid and semen through thin layers of tissue that surround the openings of the body known as the mucous membrane.  They are found in the mouth, nose and genitals, hence why these areas are particularly susceptible to herpes. Once in the body, the virus will remain in and amongst the nerve cells in your pelvis, adapting to its environment and making itself particularly tricky to treat.

What are the common symptoms of Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes outbreaks tend to go in cycles although the initial outbreak is often the most severe, usually lasting anywhere up to 4 weeks. After that, the virus will retreat and lay dormant within the body, reemerging during periods of stress, low immunity, poor health or due to an unhealthy diet. Other triggers can include the use of ultraviolet light such as that found in sunbeds and genital friction from tight clothing or sex.  Other people may not experience any, or else very few further outbreaks.

Symptoms during these flare-ups differ from person to person, but they generally include painful blisters on or around the genitals. They may also appear on or around the face, and anywhere else which came into contact with the infection. 

As with cold sores, genital herpes usually begins as an itch or tingle on the skin, which then develops into often open, fluid-filled blisters which can be fairly painful whilst active. Many times, they will scab over and begin to heal within a week of the outbreak and during this time, as your body fights the virus, you may notice your lymph glands swelling up.  This is because they are designed to fight infection. You may also suffer from head and body aches and a high temperature in your body’s attempt to fight the outbreak.

Can I get tested for Genital Herpes?

A standard STI test will not include herpes; as such you will need to request a specific test for it.  If you have experienced an outbreak then you can contact Click Pharmacy to arrange a prescription to ease your symptoms as soon as possible. If you are concerned that you may have come into contact with someone suffering from genital herpes but have not yet experienced an outbreak then it is wise to get screened before beginning any treatment.

Your doctor or local sexual health clinic can help diagnose you with the virus. A viral culture test will involve taking a tissue sample or sample of the blisters for study. A blood test will check your blood for HSV antibodies which, if present, points to a past herpes infection. 

The polymerase chain reaction test, or PCR test, lets you know if you are carrying the virus regardless of whether a patient currently has active symptoms or not. It is performed through the study of a sample of cells, blood, or fluid from the urinary tract or spine. A doctor will look for the virus’s DNA within this sample and if found, it confirms that the patient is carrying the infection. This is a common method for testing for genital herpes and is one of the most accurate tests.

How to treat Genital Herpes?

Antiviral treatments are available from Click Pharmacy which can help to ease the flare-up but they cannot cure it. The medications available, including famciclovir, are for those who need treatment for the pain and discomfort of the sores, as well as anyone who requires support in reducing the number of episodes they are experiencing.

This type of medication binds and blocks the enzymes which the virus needs to grow and, as such, decreases its ability to cause an outbreak whilst also lowering its length and severity.

It's important to begin your medication as early as possible and to complete the course to ensure your body gets the most support possible from the drug. Stopping early or skipping a dose could result in the treatment being ineffective as it works best when there is a certain level of it within your body. If you keep on missing doses of antiviral drugs, then over time your body will build up a resistance to them making them unable to work successfully against the herpes virus in the future.

Can I buy Genital Herpes treatment online?

You can easily and discreetly purchase the genital herpes treatment online at Click Pharmacy once you have been tested positive for the infection. There is a quick questionnaire to complete so our doctors can assess the suitability of your treatment after which you can check out quickly and easily. You may prefer to book an appointment with one of Click Pharmacy's online doctors who can also offer advice and supply you with a prescription. Your order will be sent to your home in discreet packaging the next working day if ordered before 3 pm.

How long does it take to treat Genital Herpes?

The medication will work differently for each patient but when taken as early as possible it can help the blisters to heal more quickly and shorten the length and frequency of each flare-up.

Other things to consider about Genital Herpes

The genital herpes medication will not stop the transmission of the herpes virus to a sexual partner (though it can reduce the chances). It is therefore important to let them know of your diagnosis. Using a condom can help but it is still not completely devoid of risk. 

Another risk to consider is the possibility of passing the virus on to your baby during pregnancy or from a vaginal birth. Known as neonatal herpes, the NHS suggests that a mother carrying herpes before conception should expect that a vaginal delivery is possible and the possibility of transmission of the virus is lower.  This should be discussed with your midwife.

Patient Information Leaflet

Always read the patient information leaflet before starting your treatment.

How do I control and suppress the symptoms of Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes occurs due to the herpes simplex virus (HSV), a contagious viral infection. You can identify the virus through outbreaks of agonising blisters that appear around the genital area. The symptoms can last up to 20 days when a herpes outbreak occurs. Due to this, it is essential to treat the symptoms right away in order to control and suppress them. 

The most effective treatment options are Aciclovir and Valaciclovir treatment to clear out an outbreak successfully. Both of these medications contain the outbreak and suppression dosage options. Note that the outbreak dosage is for exclusively treating outbreaks as soon as they occur, while suppression treatment should be taken in a continuous manner in order to suppress outbreaks of genital herpes for an extended period of time.

How do you get Genital Herpes?

Like other sexually transmitted diseases, unprotected sexual intercourse is the main culprit of the spread of genital herpes. Primarily, when there is skin-to-skin contact, however, it is not limited to unprotected sexual intercourse -- one can pass on while using a condom, too. Although the risk is significantly reduced, using contraception may not cover all of the areas that are affected by genital herpes.

In addition to this, an individual can also get genital herpes from unprotected oral sex with someone who has HSV.

How long do Genital Herpes Last?

Genital herpes, or the HSV virus, remains in the body permanently. However, this does not mean you will always experience symptoms. Symptoms are relatively rare in 80% of individuals with HSV. However, once infected with HSV, outbreaks can repeatedly occur in the span of a year. During this, the symptoms can last up to 20 days.

What should I do if I get another Genital Herpes outbreak?

As mentioned, once you get infected with genital herpes, you will likely experience another outbreak during the year. To get ahead of the problem, you can treat genital herpes outbreaks with antiviral medication as soon as the symptoms arise. If you take the medicine for five days, it will help clear the infection.

However, using suppression treatment is advised if the outbreaks continue to persist continually. It may be more practical and effective.

There are warning signs of genital herpes that you can keep an eye out for:

  • Tingling sensation,
  • Itching or burning sensation around the genital area or sometimes down your leg,
  • Pain around the genital area
  • Small bumps around the genitals or mouth.

How does suppression treatment work?

Genital herpes suppression treatment reduces the probability of genital herpes outbreaks. Suppression treatment typically involves taking a daily dose of antiviral medication for about three months.

The suppression treatment prevents the herpes simplex virus from reproducing in the body. As a result, the risk of outbreaks reduces significantly.

What are the treatments for Genital Herpes?

There are various treatment options for genital herpes. Unfortunately, not all available treatments produce the same effect for everyone. The most common treatment is Acicolovir.

Aciclovir treats an outbreak of herpes to shorten the duration and severity of the sexually transmitted disease. The typical treatment is 200 mg tablets per day.

In addition, you can also use a local anaesthetic ointment, such as lidocaine 5% ointment. These ointments help alleviate the painful symptoms that accompany an outbreak. However, such ointments do not shorten the outbreak or affect its severity.

What areas of the body do Genital Herpes typically affect?

In general, genital herpes affects the areas that come in contact with other viral-ridden areas. Simply put, the location of symptoms may vary according to where the virus entered the body and where the virus spread to. For example, people with vaginas and penises experience symptoms in different places:

Both sexes can develop genital herpes sores at:

  • the bottom and thighs, the mouth, the urethra as well as the anus

Women can develop genital herpes sores at:

  • the exterior of the vagina, the vagina, and the cervix

Men can develop genital herpes sores at:

  • the penis or scrotum

Is Genital Herpes painful?

This may vary significantly. Many people with the HSV virus do not experience any symptoms; however, it is excruciating when they develop sores.                    

For some, the blisters around the affected area can itch and tingle. Once ulcerated, these blisters turn into open sores. Along with sores, some individuals experience flu-like symptoms during their first outbreak. You may also experience fever, muscle aches, headache, and swollen lymph nodes in the groyne.

Typically, the first outbreak of genital herpes tends to be the most painful. After that, you may experience an aching or burning sensation in the affected area. Others may even experience abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina.

What do Genital Herpes look like?

The initial characterisation of genital herpes can appear as tiny red blisters. These blisters gradually fill up with liquid creating a pus-like appearance due to the yellow colour. Once they fill up with fluid, the blisters burst open, leaving sores within the genitals and anal area.

In addition to this, the blisters are not limited to the genital area as they can also appear on the thigh and buttock region. The severity of the blisters varies from person to person. While some individuals experience multiple blisters simultaneously, others may get only one sore. Similarly, some may experience severe symptoms, while others may experience mild ones that go unnoticed. 

How can I avoid getting Genital Herpes?

There are various precautionary measures that you can take to avoid getting genital herpes. For instance:

  • Use a condom or a dental dam whenever you engage in vaginal, oral or anal sex
  • Cover the genitals with a barrier before engaging in oral or dry sex
  • Avoid using same sex toys on different people without
  • Or, simply wash the sex toys thoroughly before using them

Will getting Genital Herpes affect my fertility?

Fortunately, no. Genital herpes do not affect your ability to procreate, nor does it impact your fertility. However, if you have genital herpes while carrying, it is vital to inform your primary healthcare provider. In addition, it is crucial to inform your doctor as an outbreak during childbirth can potentially harm the child. You may also need to take suppressive therapy before giving birth.

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Last reviewed 11 April 2023

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