Genital herpes is sometimes considered to be a harmless infection, but this is not actually the case. When people are infected with herpes and they are unaware of it, they may be susceptible to much more serious complications. For example, pregnant women with genital herpes suffer miscarriages more often than those without the infection, and it can be dangerous to their babies. Women with herpes are also at greater risk of contracting cervical cancer.
The Symptoms of Herpes
Those who notice that they have the symptoms of herpes will definitely want to be tested for the infection. Thy symptoms may include the following:
• Lesions that appear on the genitals about six to eight days after sexual contact
• Muscle pain
• Swollen lymph glands
• Burning sensations when urinating
• Vaginal discharge
The Herpes Home Test
As people can be embarrassed to have a herpes blood test at their primary care doctors’ offices, they choose to perform a herpes home test to maintain their privacy. The herpes home test allows them to take cultures of their lesions and send them directly to the lab. The lab, in turn, mails the results to the patients in the most confidential manner possible.
The Herpes Zoster Virus
People might confuse the sexually transmitted herpes simplex virus with the herpes zoster virus. Herpes zoster is more commonly known as “shingles” and is characterized by a rash that appears on one side of the body. Varicella zoster virus is the virus that leads to chickenpox. Because the virus remains within the body, it can cause people to suffer from shingles later in life. Herpes zoster treatment includes analgesics to reduce the pain and anti-viral medications that shorten the amount of time people suffer from their symptoms.
Anti-viral medications are also an effective treatment for genital herpes. These drugs shorten the duration when infected people experience outbreaks. However, these medications are not a cure for the infection, and those infected will remain infected for life. Some people will be able to take these medicines only when they have occasional flare-ups. Other people have outbreaks much more often, and they will require more aggressive treatment. These people may be advised to take anti-viral medications on a daily basis.