147: 3 Ways To Know You Have Herpes With Alexandra Harbushka
Podcast |
Life With Herpes
Publisher |
Alexandra Harbushka
Media Type |
audio
Publication Date |
Aug 15, 2019
Episode Duration |
00:09:02

When you have an itch, a tingle or maybe slept with someone that you know has herpes the automatic OMG phase kicks in. It turns to panic and your mind will take you down the rabbit hole of horrible thoughts. Oh and then you turn to google. PLEASE, whatever you do...don’t turn to google. You’re in the right spot to find out more answers and not see scary photos on the internet. 

 

There are 3 basic ways to confirm you have herpes. But before we break it down let’s talk a little bit about symptoms and what that feels like. I talk about this in detail here so you can go check it out too. 

 

Symptoms can be slightly different for everyone and sometimes symptoms can pop up immediately after a person comes in contact with the virus and then sometimes it can take, months, weeks or years.  But her are some common symptoms:

  • Blistery sores
  • Burning when you pee if you have sores
  • Trouble peeing if you have sores covering your urethra
  • Itching or pain around your genitals
  • Sometimes the blisters can blee
  • Swollen, tender glands in the pelvic area, throat, or under the arms
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • General run-down feelings
  • Achy, flu-like feelings

 

Also if you’re experiencing any, all or some of this. STOP RIGHT NOW AND GO GET TESTED! No reason to keep yourself in this space of anxiety and freaking out mode. 

 

Here are the 3 way’s to know you have herpes:

 

Visually

So this is pretty self-explanatory. If you see bumps, and they’re painful and you have flu-like symptoms then most likely it's a herpes outbreak. A way to diagnose by looking at the area visually is called a clinical diagnosis. This is when a medical professional examiner looks at the symptoms. The great news with this is it can be done through a Tela Health company like HerpAlert, where you don’t need to even leave your house. The potential downside is there’s no way to know what strain you have if it’s HSV 1 or HSV 2. This is something that may not be important to you but you can always have a blood test done in the future and get that all sorted out. 

Blood test 

Having a blood test done can be helpful to tell you what strain you have, HSV 1 or HSV 2, but it doesn’t tell you where you have it or how long you’ve had it. The way this works is the blood test is looking for antibodies for the herpes virus. This can take some time for it to show up in your system. So in some cases, people who have herpes will go in for a blood test and the antibodies have not made it into your system yet. In this case, this person would have a blood test that’s negative for herpes, however, if they came back in a few weeks they would test positive. It can sound confusing but if you get a positive test result for herpes with a blood test then you can pretty much guarantee that you’re positive.

Culture test

So this test only works when there’s an outbreak. When there’s no outbreak or viral shedding happening you’re going to test negative for herpes.  In other words, you have to have a culture or a sample from the sore to see the live virus under the microscope. Now you can get a false reading if you were just exposed and the virus hasn’t had time to settle in or if you’re on the tail end of your outbreak and the healing or scabbing has started. 

So as we talk through all of this if you’re in this freak out mode I want you to stop what you’re doing and get tested. I recommend using HerpAlert because they specialize in herpes and are a telehealth company but it doesn’t matter just go get tested.  But what the important thing is to do is talk to your doctor and tell them how long you’re symptoms have been going on. Like I mentioned earlier, you may have just been exposed so getting a blood test won’t help you at all. And if you have sores or blisters but you’ve waited too long to get in and have a culture test done then you’re going to get a negative result. Tell your doctor everything and let them decide the best way to proceed. 

And again...I’m beating a dead horse but please do yourself a favor and if you think you have herpes then go get tested. Just don’t think it’ll go away or think that maybe it’s some weird skin rash. You owe it to yourself to treat your body right and get the proper diagnosis. This way you can get the antiviral and get onto your path of recovery soon. 

Life With Herpes Details:

Oh yea, remember to subscribe to the Life With Herpes newsletter and get The 5 things  I wished she knew before I was diagnosed with herpes sent directly to your inbox + weekly updates. 

 

Xoxo,

Alexandra

Just in case…

Learn about the Herpes Outbreak Toolkit:

Need to talk confidentially about herpes? 

Oh Yea and in case you need Herpes Outbreak Essentials

 

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