Herpes, or Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) in full, might be the second most common STIs around, but that does not make the walk to the doctor’s office any more comfortable once you suspect that it might be what is ailing you.
Thankfully, you don’t have to; and that is because you can do the test at home and avoid an embarrassing hospital-based test.
And to be honest, you don’t have to be showing any telltale signs of herpes to want a test. Being as common as it has become, you may want to check things out because of any suspicious recent sexual encounters you might have had.
After all, in a place like the US, 1 in six people of between 14 and 49 years have had contact with this disease at some time in their lives.
So, its a big deal to get tested for herpes if you have a sex life, especially when it involves more than a single partner or someone whose sexual history you don’t completely trust.
Why Use a Herpes Home Test?
As previously mentioned, the idea of walking into your doctor’s office and get tested for a genital infection can be embarrassing. Many people avoid the test simply for this reason. But a home test takes care of this problem entirely.
Additionally, an at home herpes test makes it easier to do regular tests; which is the best way to stay on top of things if you want to avoid future infections. The other reason a home test is so much preferable is that it is easier for your partner to go along with your suggestion that you both get tested.
And for all practical purposes, a home test will give you the same results a hospital-based test. Herpes home testing ultimately involves the credible lab analysis that hospitals do, which means you don’t have to second guess the results.
To cap it off; many home testing providers will also provide the relevant medical advice that go with the results you get. That means you don’t have to sit around wondering what to do about your results; or even consider visiting the doctor you have been trying to avoid the whole time.
How to do a Herpes Home Test
Technically speaking, this test is pretty easy to do. But here are some general guidelines. Note that there might be some variations to the process depending on the test kit provider you have chosen to use. In any case, you will have to go through these basic steps.
Each test – penile, vaginal, oral, anal – usually requires a unique test kit. That means you have to know which test site you want to test. It also means that if you want to test more than one area of your body for herpes, you will need to order an appropriate number of test kits.
Usually, you decide the body parts to test at checkout so that you get the suitable kit. This is very important because while a vaginal test might require a swab to collect the fluid and skin cells, a soft brush would be needed for a penile test; and a cup might be required in the case of a urine test.
2. Purchasing the Herpes Home Test Kit
You can do this online; and in a very confidential manner. The kits are similar for both men and women, and they can be used to test for penile, vaginal, oral, and even anal herpes.
However, each kit is intended for a single test site; and you have to declare which one it is during your purchase for the reason explained above. And for obvious reasons, the package is usually nondescript. So, you don’t have to worry about people knowing what you are up to.
3. Testing for Herpes at Home
Once the nondescript kit has been mailed to you, all you have to do is use it to test yourself for herpes. Depending on the area you are supposed to use the kit on, you will also get appropriate instructions. For instance, you will learn how to get a swap, or how to collect a urine sample and seal it properly.
4. Sending Back the Kit for Lab Testing
Once you have done the tests as per the provided instructions and on the appropriate body parts, you should send the kit back. This is so that they can take your results to the lab and determine whether or not you have herpes like you suspected. The return envelope is usually prepaid for added convenience.
5. Getting Your Results/Result-based Medical Advice
Once they have your kit and have run all the tests; then they will get back to you with your results. You can even get an email if you prefer, or use your account with the testing outfit to view your results. The results are simplified, and you will get some tips on what to do next.