Skip to content

Genital Herpes Health Center

Font Size

Genital Herpes - Exams and Tests

Your doctor may be able to diagnose genital herpes from your medical history and a physical exam, especially if the herpes sores are typical in appearance. Your doctor may ask you the following questions:

  • Do you think you were exposed to genital herpes or another sexually transmitted infection (STI)? How do you know? Did your partner tell you?
  • What are your symptoms?
    • Do you have sores in the genital area or anywhere else on your body?
    • Do they usually come and go?
    • Do you have any urinary symptoms, including frequent urination, burning or stinging with urination, or urinating in small amounts?
    • If you have discharge from the vagina or penis, does it have any smell or color?
  • What method of birth control do you use? Did you use condoms to protect against STIs?
  • What are your sexual practices and your partner's sexual practices?
  • Have you had an STI in the past? How was it treated?

If this is your first outbreak of suspected genital herpes, further testing may be done to confirm the diagnosis.

Recommended Related to Genital Herpes

Understanding Genital Herpes -- Treatment

There's no cure for genital herpes, but antiviral treatment can help. Your doctor might prescribe: Zovirax Famvir Valtrex All of these antivirals can be used to shorten or prevent outbreaks. Daily suppressive therapy can reduce the number of outbreaks and potential spread to partners when ulcers are not apparent (called asymptomatic shedding). The newer drugs, Famvir and Valtrex, can be taken less frequently and may be better absorbed and better tolerated in some. During an active...

Read the Understanding Genital Herpes -- Treatment article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 14, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    STD Overview
    Slideshow
    BHC Healthy Sex Life
    Quiz
     
    things your guy wish you knew slideshow
    Slideshow
    Sex Drive Killers 03
    Slideshow
     
    Genital Herpes Risks Quiz
    Quiz
    Young couple holding hands
    Quiz
     
    Hepatitis Prevent 10
    Feature
    Herpes Vaccine Study
    Video
     

    If you have genital herpes, do you know the person who passed it to you?


    Daughter Development Evaluator
    Article
    HPV Vaccine Future
    Article
     
    STD Facts Quiz
    Quiz
    mother and daughter talking
    Tool
     

    WebMD Special Sections