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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.
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