Herpes Simplex Testing in Birmingham & Leicester

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When it comes to sexual health, we believe everyone should feel confident and comfortable in approaching medical help. At Midland Health, we endeavour to put our patients at ease as soon as they get in touch. With our non-judgemental, confidential service, we can help get your symptoms tested to confirm whether you are experiencing an outbreak of herpes simplex.

Once our experienced GPs have assessed your symptoms, they can support you through the next steps of living with the herpes simplex virus. From arranging treatment to help alleviate your current discomfort to advice on managing any blisters/lesions, our medical professionals will also help you to manage this condition.

Our Approach To Herpes Testing

If you suspect having symptoms of herpes or genital herpes, it is important to visit our sexual health clinic as soon as you can. Once you have been formally tested, you will be in the best position to gain relief and manage your condition. 

At Midland Health, we offer Herpes Simplex Testing allowing you to find out whether or not your symptoms are from the herpes simplex virus (HSV) quickly and efficiently. These tests involve collecting a sample of fluid from one of your blisters using a swab. The liquid can then be tested on-site for HSV. We do also offer blood tests which can look for Herpes type 1 or type 2. 

During this process, it is also possible to be screened against other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).

Identifying The Symptoms Of Herpes

The difficulty with the herpes simplex virus is that the majority of people do not experience any symptoms when they first contract the infection. Quite simply, people do not know they are actually infected with the virus. Initial symptoms can take weeks, even months or years before they first present themselves.

If your symptoms do happen to develop at the point you first become infected, the virus would have been developing in your system between four to seven days before presenting itself through visible symptoms. 

Herpes can be identified from the following symptoms:

  • Small blisters of fluid that when they burst, leave red, open sores - These blisters can present themselves around the genitals, rectum, thighs and buttocks. For those with female genitalia, ulcers can appear on the cervix.
  • Penile or vaginal discharge
  • Discomfort when urinating
  • Flu-like symptoms, including a temperature, aches and pains
  • Cold sores - red, itchy and lesions around the edge of the mouth. Most feel a tingling sensation before the cold sore develops.

The symptoms of herpes often last for approximately 20 days, and the blisters should scab, healing without scarring.

What is Herpes Simplex?

Herpes simplex is a viral infection, commonly known as HSV. Unfortunately, herpes simplex is a chronic condition for which there is no permanent cure. The virus will continue to live on in the body, occasionally becoming active again in the future. 

There are two types of herpes simplex, type one and type two. Both are very similar, presenting themselves in small blisters and ulcers. When the blisters present themselves on the face they are referred to as ‘cold sores;’ whereas, when the blisters are located on the genitals, they are recognised as ‘genital herpes.’

Despite herpes simplex living on in your body, it is possible to manage the condition with medication. Allowing you to live a normal life, without passing the virus on to others.

Treating Herpes

Oral antiviral medication is used to treat the primary herpes infection. These work as suppressive therapy for genital herpes, ensuring that the blisters will not flare-up in the future. The tablets work by targeting only the infected cells, actively attacking the virus, suppressing it and stopping it from growing any more. Consequently, this herpes treatment is incredibly effective and most experience a rapid improvement in their herpes outbreak within 24 to 48 hours. 

If you have experienced multiple outbreaks within a year-long period, the same oral antiviral medication can be used as a preventative treatment. Taking these tablets continuously helps many HSV carriers alleviate the stress of transmission, whilst suppressing any further outbreaks. 

Please note that it is important you are assessed by a medical professional as this medication is only effective on HSV, it will not work against other viral or sexually-transmitted infections. 

Why Choose Midland Health?

If you are experiencing a painful and uncomfortable outbreak of herpes, with sore blisters and lesions, the best course of action is to get seen by a sexual health clinician as soon as possible. At Midland Health, we offer appointments with qualified professionals as and when you need them. There is no need to feel embarrassed, our expert GPs are on hand to provide confidential and discreet appointments allowing you to address any discomfort you are experiencing from the herpes simplex virus.

At our state-of-the-art medical centre in Birmingham, our sexual health clinicians and GPs are able to help you understand, alleviate and manage the symptoms of your herpes. At Midland Health, we are proud to set ourselves apart through:

  • Confidential appointments within 24 hours of your enquiry
  • Medical support without GP referrals or waiting lists
  • A comprehensive medical care system, using the most innovative methods 
  • Access to new, cutting-edge technology
  • Respectful GPs and clinicals, providing excellent care with judgement

To book an appointment with our sexual health clinic, contact our expert GPs today at our Birmingham or Leicester centre on 0121 768 0999. Or, submit an enquiry using the form below and a member of the Midland Health team will be in touch.

Prices

Herpes 1 & 2 Blood Test

£102.50

Herpes 1 & 2 Urine/Swab Test

£114

Full STI Screen

£339.50

HIV/Syphilis/Hepatitis/Chlamydia/Gonorrhoea/Herpes/Gardnerella/Ureaplasma/Mycoplasma/Trichomonas

Standard GP Consultation

£120

(30 min)

Express GP Consultation

£60

(15 min)

Instant Herpes Test

£120

FAQ

How can people become infected with herpes?

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is extremely contagious and easily passed between people through direct contact with an infected person, especially during sexual intercourse (oral, anal or vaginal). While most people are unaware they have been infected and carry the HSV, there are certain triggers that can activate an outbreak of blisters/lesions, commonly recognised as genital herpes.

Is it possible to cure genital herpes?

As herpes is a viral infection, it cannot be cured literally. But, with effective medicines it is possible to be managed, stopping you from passing it to a partner.

What are the side effects of the treatment?

Common side effects of the treatment include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Sickness
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Upset stomach and diarrhoea
  • Skin rash
  • Itchiness
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to light

Should my partner seek treatment too?

Your partner should only seek medical treatment if they have a herpetic lesion or need suppressive therapy.

Can I transmit genital herpes more than once?

Unfortunately, genital herpes is a viral infection that will always be present in your body. However, with general good health and a strong immune system, you should be able to manage the symptoms, even the blisters/lesions.

How can I avoid becoming infected with herpes?

Herpes is a highly contagious virus that is easily transmitted when the infected person is experiencing blisters and lesions. These blisters can be genital lesions or cold sores around the mouth. Do not have sexual intercourse (oral, anal or vaginal) with an infected person with genital blisters as this will reduce your chances of becoming infected with the virus. Even with a condom, during a herpes outbreak, you cannot guarantee the condom will cover all genital sores.

Do I have to get re-tested for herpes after my treatment?

There is no need to get re-tested unless you start experiencing symptoms, fall pregnant or are planning to have a baby.

Do I have to get tested? What if I ignore my symptoms?

While some people’s symptoms heal and go away without intervention. With treatment and medical consultations, it is possible to stop your symptoms from progressing before they get better. It also reduces the risk of complications occurring.

Is there anything I can try at home to alleviate symptoms of herpes?

There are a few recommendations to help alleviate the pain or distress you are experiencing from herpes; however, seeking professional medical advice is a must. After consulting a sexual health clinician, in addition to not touching your blisters, it is also possible to try the following:

Saltwater Baths – Soaking the affected areas for 5-20 minutes in warm water and table salt can help to alleviate your discomfort. This process can be repeated twice a day while you are experiencing your symptoms, patting the area dry with a clean towel after a soak. As a rough guide, one handful of salt is enough for a shallow standard bath (approximately 1 teaspoon to a pint)

Painkillers – Over the counter painkillers may also help to provide some relief. Speak to a qualified pharmacist for their advice on taking the medication.

Cold Compress/Ice Pack – Always wrap an ice pack or compress in a towel before applying it to your affected area.

Petroleum Jelly – Applying this jelly to your inflamed skin can add to its healing process, creating a water-protective layer and locking in the moisture.

Loose Clothing – Avoid tight and clingy clothing on top of your infected area, the friction clothing cause will only further irritate your skin.

Avoid Sexual Intercourse – While you are experiencing symptoms and blisters/lesions, do not engage in oral, anal or vaginal sex under your symptoms have healed. Doing so could risk the blisters opening up and passing the infection to your sexual partner.

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