Fewer things are more worrying than being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, especially if you haven’t engaged in unprotected sex in a long time.
However, most sexually transmitted diseases present with no symptoms, so if you have engaged in unprotected intercourse in the last five years but have concerns about your previous partner, then your best bet is to get a full STI and STD panel performed.
Few STDs have more stigma attached to them than genital herpes, probably because many people associate it with cold sores and uncomfortable blisters. But what are some of the most common myths surrounding herpes? This article explores 5 of them to demystify this condition.
Myth 1- You Can Catch Herpes From A Toilet Seat
OK, so start with the most common one! Can you catch genital herpes from sitting on a toilet seat? It is unlikely but not entirely impossible.
Suppose you are in a crowded communal bathroom, and the queue is long. The person who sat on the toilet before you may have left HSV 2 on the seat, and while unlikely, you can transmit it this way. It is extremely unlikely, and if you are diagnosed with HSV 2, you have likely caught it from a sexual partner and should head to chemistclick.co.uk for treatment.
Myth 2- Herpes Can Only Appear On The Genitals
This is not true. HSV 1, aka cold sores, appear on the lips and inner mouth. HSV 2, or genital herpes, can appear on the genitals, groin, pubis, buttocks, or even the back or upper part of your thigh.
Indeed, even the HSV 1 virus can appear on the genitals if you receive oral sex from someone who is having an outbreak. So, if you spot a blister, get it checked out!
Myth 3- An STI Check Will Always Look For Herpes
Actually, no, it won’t! A standard STI panel will not look for the HSV 2 virus, and if this is what you are concerned about, you will need to have your doctor run a check for this virus on its own by taking a sample. The same is true about cervical smears, as they do not check for herpes.
Myth 4- Herpes Impacts On Fertility
Herpes has not been found to negatively impact fertility in either men or women.
However, if you are trying to conceive a baby and either you or your partner has herpes, you will need to be on antivirals. If you are pregnant and diagnosed with herpes, this should be treated, even though the risks to the pregnancy are rare. It is better to be safe for the health of your baby, and your doctor will prescribe you antiviral medication.
Myth 5- You Can’t Donate Blood If You Have Herpes
Herpes is not present in the blood, so even if you have it, you cannot transmit it via a blood transfusion. It can only be passed on to another person if they come into contact with a lesion or blister.