Welcome to Qoctor’s online prescription service, which provides treatment for Genital Herpes. Before proceeding, we recommend you take a few minutes to learn more about this STI- there’s lots of helpful health information below.
Welcome to Qoctor’s online doctor service which can provide assessment, advice and treatment for people who have been previously diagnosed with Genital Herpes.
Our online doctor will ask you some questions about your health, and may advise a video consultation.
Once you’ve been assessed, treatment may be recommended- you can then opt to have a paper prescription sent to your home or local pharmacy, or medication delivered to an address of your choice, from one of our partner pharmacies.
About Genital Herpes
- 1 in 8 adults carry the genital herpes virus, also known as HSV2.
- It’s a sexually transmitted infection (STI) spread by skin-to-skin or sexual contact.
- The first attack may be severe, with intensely painful blisters or skin irritation in the genital area.
- Diagnosis is made by taking a swab of the rash.
- Unfortunately, HSV2 never leaves the body- some people get repeated attacks, though these tend to be less severe than the first episode. Antiviral treatment can reduce the severity of an attack, if taken soon after symptoms begin.
Common Questions and Answers
Genital Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two forms– HSV1 and HSV2. HSV2 usually infects the genital area. HSV1 tends to affect the mouth, as a cold sore, but it can also occur in the genital region.
Around 1 in 8 people carry the genital herpes virus (HSV2) – but 80% may be entirely unaware they have it. It can be difficult to tell when a person first became infected as the symptoms may not start for weeks, months or years- and many people never get symptoms at all.
HSV2 is spread by sexual or skin-to-skin contact, and can be passed on during vaginal, oral or anal sex. It can occur anywhere on the genitals or surrounding areas. A person who has had cold sores on their mouth (HSV1) can cause genital infection in a partner by having oral sex. It is important to realise that HSV2 can be spread when there are no blisters present- this is called viral shedding. The more often a person has flare-ups, the more virus they tend to shed in between the flare-ups.
Many people do not realise they have been infected with genital herpes and are therefore “silent carriers”, with no symptoms. In many people however, the first episode of herpes can cause a lot of pain, with small intensely painful blisters around the genital area- these break down and form shallow ulcers, which scab and heal over the following weeks. The pain can be very sharp (patients often say it feels like “sitting on glass”) and there may be redness and swelling in the genital area. Some people may have difficulty passing urine (if this happens it is important to seek medical attention).
It is easiest to diagnose herpes when the rash is present. A doctor will often be able to tell what it is, simply by looking at the rash. They may also take a swab from the area- results usually come back in a few days. Occasionally, a doctor may decide to do a blood test- this can show up past infection even if there is no rash, but it’s not a very reliable test.
Unfortunately, there is no medication that will completely cure your body of the herpes virus- but there are antiviral treatments that ease symptoms and reduce flare-ups. Ice packs, cool salt water baths and painkillers can be used to help ease symptoms. Local anaesthetic gel (such as Lignocaine gel) can also be used to numb the area-this is available over the counter from your pharmacist.
Using condoms during sex reduces risk of spread in the first place, and using a lubricant with a condom further reduces the risk (as it lessens trauma to the genital skin during sex). Silicone-based lubricants are thought to be best, but they may be less commonly available.
For people who have already been infected and get frequent flare ups, a daily dose of antiviral medication maybe taken as a preventive treatment for Genital Herpes- this can help to reduce the risk of passing it on to a sexual partner- you can discuss this option with your GP.
Health Library- symptoms and treatment of Genital Herpes (HSV2)
Genital herpes is usually caused by Herpes Simplex Virus (Type 2), also known as HSV2. HSV1 is the cold sore virus, which less commonly may infect the genital area also. Around 1 in 8 people carry HSV2 , but most are unaware of it. Carriers can still pass it on, but it’s more likely to be transmitted if there are active lesions/ulcers present. The first episode usually involves intensely painful blisters, ulcers and inflammation in the genital region. It can sometimes be difficult to pass urine. Treatment may involve antiviral medication, which must be prescribed by a doctor. Painkillers, salt baths and topical anaesthetic gel may also help. The virus never leaves the body, and in some people flare ups continue to happen from to time, though symptoms tend to be a lot less severe than the first episode. If these flare ups are very frequent, preventive treatment for Genital Herpes may be helpful. As with all STIs, it’s encouraged to inform your sexual partners- if unable to do so in person, you can do this anonymously at www.letthemknow.org.au. To learn more about HSV2, read the helpful article below.
Genital Herpes Genital Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two forms– HSV1 and HSV2. HSV1 usually affects the mouth, as a cold sore, but it can also occur in the genital region. HSV2 usually infects the genital area. Around 1 in 8 people carry the genital herpes virus (HSV2) - but 80% may be entirely unaware they have it. It can be difficult to tell when a person first became infected as the symptoms may not start for weeks, months or years- and many people never get symptoms at all! Pregnant women with a history of genital herpes should tell their antenatal care provider, as HSV can be passed on to the baby during childbirth, leading to serious illness, though this is rare. Click here to find out about online prescriptions now How is [...]