Genital Herpes Testing

May 03, 2010 No Comments by

How Do They Know?

Genital herpes testing is done by skilled doctors familiar with the Herpes Simplex Virus , which causes painful sores and blisters in the genital region of the body.Those that have this condition are often afraid to seek out the medical attention they need, but should realize that this is one of the most common types of illnesses today that is sexually transmitted.  Getting tested for herpes is a first step in getting the herpes medicine that you need to overcome the illness.

Why Test For It?

Doctors will test you for the genital herpes virus , also called HSV, because they need to know which type of the strain you have.  Herpes tests will let doctors know if you have HSV type 1 (herpes simplex i ) or HSV type two (herpes simplex ii .)  From here, they can provide you with the appropriate treatment for the condition so that you can live a normal daily lifeHerpes medications can offer normality and reduced amounts of pain and discomfort.

What Is Herpes?

The signs and symptoms of genital herpes are the most tell tale sign that you have contracted this disease.  These symptoms include blisters that appear on the urethra, rectum, nose, vagina, throat and mouth, depending on the type and location of the disease.  Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that usually only moves from one person to the next during sexual relations with an infected person that is suffering from an outbreak .  Outbreaks can happen only one time, but most patients will experience them ongoing for the rest of their lives at various frequencies.  Herpes pictures can help you to know if you have this condition.  But, pics of herpes are not the best way to know for sure.  Instead herpes testing is necessary.

Tests That Are Given

There are several ways that your doctor can test for the herpes virus.  One of the first things done is a herpes viral culture which is simply a collection of cells and fluid from an area where the virus looks to be.  The virus is allowed to grow in the culture cup until it is determined if it is the herpes simplex virus .  This is the most effective way to know if this is the disease, but the most time consuming.

Another method of detection of herpes is to use a herpes virus antigen test.  Here, cells are removed from a sore and then placed on a microscope slide.  Here, doctors are looking for specific antigens that are present in the virus.  Sometimes, this test is done alongside the culture and is reliable.

Doctors can use other methods to test for herpes as well.  A polymerase chain reaction test, called a PCR test can be done where the cells are collected from sores, blood or other fluids from the individual (spinal fluid, for example.)  Here, the test is done by determining the DNA of the virus and determining if it is that of the herpes simplex virus. This test is rarely done and is usually only done using the spinal fluids.  Usually this is done if there is a situation in which the patient has developed infections surrounding the brain that could be caused by the herpes virus, another rare occurrence.

Many times, doctors will use a physical exam as well as cultures to determine if you have the virus. Blood tests are done as well, though cultures are preferred methods to getting a very accurate determination if this is what you are suffering from.  If you believe that you have the symptoms of HSV , or could have come into contact with it, then getting tested for herpes is important because help in avoiding outbreaks is a must.

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