Herpes is a very common condition, one of the most common forms of STIs/ STDs in the world. In fact it is the same virus that causes cold sores.
Herpes can lead to skin infections on the mouth and lips or on the genitals (vagina, penis and testicles).
It can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, causing miscarriages or stillbirths. While babies born with herpes can have serious health problems.
How is herpes contracted?
People can catch herpes easily, through unprotected sex (vaginal, oral or anal) or from kissing and foreplay. In some cases people can have one outbreak and then never again, while other people will have herpes outbreaks on a regular basis for the rest of their lives.
Are there different types of herpes virus?
There are two main types of herpes virus.
HSV-1 is a type of herpes that mainly affects the mouth and leads to cold sores. It can be spread to the genitals via oral sex.
HSV-2 is a form of herpes that usually affects the genitals.
What are the symptoms of herpes?
Some people who have herpes do not have any symptoms. However herpes symptoms usually appear about two weeks after infection. In some cases the symptoms are so mild the person infected will not even realise if they have contracted herpes.
In other cases the herpes symptoms are much more obvious. Blisters and sores can appear on the area around the vagina, the penis, the anus, the mouth or on other parts of the body, which can be painful. Once the blisters break they will be very sore but they usually heal in about 7 to 10 days.
For some people the first infection of herpes can cause pain, itching, a burning sensation when passing urine, fever, headaches, decreased appetite, aches their muscles and possibly swollen lymph nodes in the groin.
The herpes virus remains in the body, meaning that the outbreak can return without a new infection occurring. This can be caused by simply being run down, stressed or even by a women’s period.
How do you treat herpes?
There is no cure for herpes and once a person is infected the virus will live with them for the rest of their lives. However there are treatments which will help reduce and manage the symptoms when they appear.
Antiviral medication is available which can help shorten and heal the infection during an outbreak of herpes. While if there are frequent herpes outbreaks on a person’s body they may also be prescribed with a preventative, antiviral treatment.
Any partner or recent partners should also be treated.
Cost of consultation about herpes:
At Hazelhill Family Practice, the cost for patients who wish to have a consultation about a possible sexually transmitted infection (STI)/ sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as herpes is as follows:
|Procedure||Private Patients||GMS Patients|
|STI/ STD health screen, including tests and follow up||€80||€80|
How do I make an appointment at Hazelhill Family Practice?
To book your consultation about a possible sexually transmitted infection at Hazelhill Family Practice click here.
You can also call the Hazelhill Family Practice on 094 9630091.