Genital Herpes Home Test Kit

Genital Herpes Home Test Kit

Order a genital herpes test kit to check if you've got a genital herpes infection.

In stock
from £80.00

Product details

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). You can test for the infection privately at home, using a genital herpes home test kit to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

This test should only be used to confirm a diagnosis of genital herpes.

Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Development

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 21 Sep 2021

Genital herpes test kit prices

Pack Size Price
1 test kit(s) £80.00

How it Works

About Genital Herpes Testing

What is a genital herpes test?

Genital herpes tests can detect the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV 1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV 2).

The viruses can be tested by using:

  • blood
  • urine (pee)
  • swabs on the sores

Swab tests are more commonly used at clinics and in home testing kits, but there needs to be sores or blisters for a fluid sample to be collected. Where a sample can be taken, a swab test is really effective. We provide testing through swabs only. Where there are no blisters or lesions, a blood test is sometimes used. We do not offer blood testing for HSV. Herpes can be detected via urine sample in some cases. Our extended STI kit involves a urine sample and does test for herpes, but we do not currently provide urine tests for herpes only.

HSV 1 is also called oral herpes. It’s the most common form of herpes that can give you sores and blisters around the lips, although many cases of cold sores are caused by HSV 2 as well. HSV 2 is referred to as genital herpes and results in sores, blisters, and lesions around the genital area and anus (bottom). Genital herpes can also result from HSV 1 where there has been contact between mouth and genitals.

Why should I get tested?

Genital herpes does not often show signs or symptoms until you have an outbreak. If you have had unprotected sex with someone who has genital herpes, then you may have caught it too. It is important to get tested so that you do not pass it on to someone else.

It is very important to get tested if you are a pregnant woman and have a partner with genital herpes. This is because your baby could also become infected if you get genital herpes too. Herpes infections in babies can be life-threatening.

What are the symptoms of herpes?

Blisters are the most common symptom of herpes. They can occur in various parts of the body around the:

  • mouth
  • throat
  • penis
  • vagina
  • anus (bottom)
  • thighs
  • buttocks

The blisters can often be itchy or tingle. They can also be painful, sometimes causing pain when you use the toilet. This can also affect your quality of life and ability to enjoy sex.

The blisters contain a clear liquid that bursts and scabs over. Blisters may take 1 to 2 weeks to heal, but the first outbreak may last longer. Symptoms may disappear on their own but can return.

If herpes is left untreated, it can increase the risk of getting other STIs, including HIV. As herpes has no cure, it is only advisable to test for it if you have symptoms. Early diagnosis can help manage the condition and reduce the risk of spread to sexual partners.

How does the test work?

The genital herpes home test kit conveniently allows you to detect genital herpes without the need to visit your doctor or a sexual health clinic.

The test is carried out by rubbing the swab on any of the sores or blisters you have in the anal or genital region. The most accurate result can be obtained if the swab is used directly on an open sore or blister, this may mean you have to break a blister to obtain some of the fluid. You can make sure you get the most accurate result by following the instruction leaflet provided with the test kit.

Ordering a test kit from Superdrug Online Doctor is easy – just follow these simple steps:

  • Click “Start Order” above to place your order for a Genital Herpes Test
  • Your test kit will be delivered to an address of your choice
  • Follow the instructions in the included leaflet to collect the sample
  • Place the sample in the prepaid and addressed envelope and send it to our lab
  • Your results will arrive within 2 to 3 days of the sample arriving at the lab

What type of herpes does the test check for?

The test will check for both HSV 1 and HSV 2. These are more commonly known as Oral Herpes and Genital Herpes (cold sores). Our test will tell you which one you test positive for, or if you test positive for both.

When should I get tested for Herpes?

If you think you have been exposed to herpes, then you should get tested 12 days after exposure. Herpes has an incubation period of 2 to 12 days, so may not show up on a test before then. Otherwise, you should get tested for herpes when you have visible symptoms, such as blisters, as this can confirm whether your symptoms are the result of a herpes infection.

Which symptoms mean I should get checked?

Get tested for herpes if you have:

  • an outbreak of blisters, sores or lesions around the genital area
  • pain around the genital area
  • pain or discomfort when urinating

As soon as you begin to see blisters around your genitals, you can try home testing or visit a clinic. Do this before the blisters begin to scab over and heal for the most accurate results. If you have no symptoms or suspect a false negative result, a blood test can be done. This will only show if you have ever been exposed to HSV and if you may have outbreaks in the future.

How soon after unprotected sex can I test for Herpes?

Herpes has an incubation period of 2 to 12 days for initial infections. This means it can take 12 days for it to show on a test. The symptoms can appear quickly after exposure. This leaves a short window of time within which to do a swab test. Blood tests can however be accurate even months after exposure. You can wait either until symptoms appear or allow the incubation period to end before performing a blood test after unprotected sex.

If you test positive for herpes, it will be a lifelong condition. This applies to both HSV 1 and HSV 2. There is no need to retest if confirmed positive. Simply manage the symptoms as they come.

How quickly will I get my results?

A herpes test can be done quickly using a home testing kit. You will have to be showing symptoms to collect the required sample. The blisters should not have scabbed over and healed in order to collect a good sample.

How long do Herpes test results take?

As soon as you have collected the fluid sample and sent it to the lab, it can take just 2 to 3 days after the sample has reached the lab for the results to be ready. One of the Superdrug Online doctors will contact you through the patient account created online. This is an encrypted channel that protects your privacy.

If there is a need for more information, the doctor may call you. You will never be contacted through email or text with your results.

What do my results mean?

Negative Results

A negative result means that lab testing cannot detect HSV 1 or HSV 2 in your swab sample. This does not mean that you definitely are not infected with herpes. If the symptoms recur, then you should retest to be sure. Your GP can perform an exam and blood test for this. A second negative test will prove you do not have herpes and may suggest that another condition is causing your symptoms.

Positive Results

A positive result means that the lab has detected HSV 1 or HSV 2 in your sample. You can test positive for herpes even if you do not have any visible symptoms. If the symptoms are clear by now, you may not require further treatment, as herpes treatment helps to either suppress or prevent outbreaks. If you still have symptoms, our team of expert doctors can help you start the right treatment for you.

What should I do if I test positive for Herpes?

If you test positive for herpes, our doctors can provide you with expert advice on your next steps, including your treatment options and how to protect yourself and your partners. Herpes has no cure. However, the symptoms can be managed using medication. Some treatments can help to reduce the length of outbreaks and how often they happen.

Can Herpes be treated?

If your symptoms are already cleared, you may not need any medication. You will however need to learn more about how to manage your condition if an outbreak happens in the future.

There are several antiviral medications you can take to manage or prevent outbreaks. Antiviral medication can shorten outbreaks by several days. Some can also suppress the virus, reducing the risk of spread to partners.

Treatment options for herpes are:

You can also apply a pain relief or numbing cream to the affected area. Local anaesthetic creams like Lidocaine can be used for such relief.

Other ways to manage herpes outbreaks are to:

  • apply petroleum jelly as a barrier to skin contact
  • apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to help numb and soothe painful sores
  • take a cool shower to soothe pain and irritation
  • avoid frequent washing and drying of the affected area
  • wear loose fitting clothes
  • take mild over the counter pain relievers if needed
  • drink plenty of water for better skin health

When talking to your doctor, you will be asked to tell any previous partners so they can get tested. Your doctor or nurse may help you tell them anonymously if you prefer.

What is Herpes?

Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It comes from the herpes simplex virus.

The two types of the virus are:

  • HSV 1 (oral herpes)
  • HSV 2 (genital herpes)

HSV 1 is more common and estimated to affect 67% of people aged 0 to 49 years. HSV 2 is estimated to affect 11.3% of the global population.

Herpes infections have no cure. It is a lifelong condition. Most that are infected will go for long periods of time without symptoms. Many will never develop any symptoms. For people who do have a first outbreak, other outbreaks after this tend to be less serious.

How do I know if I have hsv1 or hsv2?

For people who have symptoms, blisters, sores or lesions are most common. The blisters can be different sizes and appear in a cluster. When they break, blood may appear, or a clear or whitish fluid. With time they burst and scab over to heal. They can be itchy and cause pain when urinating (peeing).

Other possible symptoms are:

  • flu-like symptoms of fever and muscle ache
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • lack of appetite

Genital herpes is mainly spread through sexual contact with the genitals of an infected person. The presence of sores can increase the risk of spread. But, even an infected person with no symptoms can spread the virus.

Neonatal herpes can also be spread from mother to child during delivery. The risk is higher when the mother contracts HSV for the first time during late pregnancy. This is because the virus is most serious during initial infection. A baby can also contract herpes if kissed by a person with a cold sore.


Antiviral therapy of HSV-1 and -2 (2007) National Institutes of Health [accessed 05 July 2021]

Genital herpes (2020) NHS [accessed 05 July 2021]

Global and Regional Estimates of Prevalent and Incident Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Infections in 2012 (2015) PLOS [accessed 05 July 2021]

Herpes simplex virus (2020) WHO [accessed 05 July 2021]

Neonatal herpes (herpes in a baby) (2018) NHS [accessed 05 July 2021]

The laboratory diagnosis of herpes simplex virus infections (2005) National Institutes of Health [accessed 05 July 2021]

Why Genital Herpes Boosts the Risk of HIV Infection (2009) National Institutes of Health [accessed 05 July 2021]

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