How Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Herpes

How To Diagnose Herpes

Can I get pregnant if I have an abnormal pap smear? – Dr. Sapna Lulla

Diagnosis of herpes simplex is something very simple. You first observe for the visible signs and symptoms. It normally presents as Herpes Labialis or shingles. Herpes attack a certain dermatome. Blister like painful papules normally appear on the genitals or lips.

Skin biopsy can be done. This will give assurance that it is HSV you are dealing with. Polymerase chain reaction is another method of diagnosis that can be done. IgM specific antibody test will also be useful if done because it gives precise results.

Pregnant mothers should be treated before delivery date. This is because the virus is normally increasing day by day and if the mother delivers while having the disease it will be passed to the child and can cause neonatal herpes. Mothers infected should be treated and vaccinated against Herpes for safe delivery of the baby.

Transfusions must not be done if blood has not been screened against herpes virus. Donors must be carefully examined before donating blood to avoid herpes virus infection. Herpes is a dangerous virus just like any other viruses therefore care should be taken.

What Do I Do If I Find Out I Have Herpes

Its normal to have lots of different feelings after you find out that you have herpes. You might feel mad, embarrassed, ashamed, or upset at first. But youll probably feel a lot better as time goes by, and you see that having herpes doesnt have to be a big deal. People with herpes have relationships and live totally normal lives. There are treatments for herpes, and theres a lot you can do to make sure you dont give herpes to anyone you have sex with.

Millions and millions of people have herpes youre definitely not alone. Most people get at least one STD in their lifetime, and having herpes or another STD is nothing to feel ashamed of or embarrassed about. It doesnt mean youre dirty or a bad person it means youre a normal human who got a really common infection. The reality is that herpes can happen to anybody who has ever been kissed on the lips or had sex thats a LOT of people.

Herpes isnt deadly and it usually doesnt cause any serious health problems. While herpes outbreaks can be annoying and painful, the first flare-up is usually the worst. For many people, outbreaks happen less over time and may eventually stop completely. Even though the virus hangs around in your body for life, it doesnt mean youll be getting sores all the time.

And tell anyone you have sex with that you have herpes. Its not the easiest conversation, but its an important one. Here are some tips:

What Are The Risks Of Genital Herpes In Pregnancy

If youre pregnant and you think that you have genital herpes, give your midwife or GP a shout straight away .

Genital herpes wont put you at higher risk of a miscarriage but it can be passed onto babies during pregnancy. It can cause a serious illness called neonatal herpes.

Neonatal herpes is rare in the UK but risks are highest if you get a new infection in your third trimester or within six weeks of having your baby .

If youre pregnant and have genital herpes, youll be referred to a genitourinary medicine physician for treatment .

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Treatment If The Blisters Come Back

Go to a GP or sexual health clinic if you have been diagnosed with genital herpes and need treatment for an outbreak.

Antiviral medicine may help shorten an outbreak by 1 or 2 days if you start taking it as soon as symptoms appear.

But outbreaks usually settle by themselves, so you may not need treatment.

Recurrent outbreaks are usually milder than the first episode of genital herpes.

Over time, outbreaks tend to happen less often and be less severe. Some people never have outbreaks.

Some people who have more than 6 outbreaks in a year may benefit from taking antiviral medicine for 6 to 12 months.

If you still have outbreaks of genital herpes during this time, you may be referred to a specialist.

Will Having Herpes Affect My Pregnancy

Herpes Simplex 1 And 2 Testing  Herpes Free Me

If youve had genital herpes for a while and you get pregnant, you probably dont need to worry its unlikely that youll give herpes to your baby during birth. But you should still let your doctor know you have genital herpes if youre pregnant, no matter what.

If you get herpes while youre pregnant, its a lot more dangerous especially late in the pregnancy. It can cause a miscarriage or cause you to deliver too early. If you give herpes to your baby during birth, it can cause brain damage or eye problems. If you have herpes sores when you go into labor, your doctor might suggest that you to have a C-section so you dont pass the virus to your baby during delivery.

If your partner has herpes and you dont, dont have unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex when youre pregnant, since thats the most common way to get herpes. The doctor might tell your partner to take herpes medication during your pregnancy so theyre less likely to pass on the virus. Check out How to prevent herpes to learn more about how to avoid getting herpes.

Oral herpes isnt dangerous during pregnancy or birth. But if you have a cold sore after you give birth, dont kiss your baby until the sore is totally healed.

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How Can Herpes Simplex Spread To An Infant

  • Herpes simplex is most often spread to an infant during birth if the mother has HSV in the birth canal during delivery.
  • HSV can also be spread to the baby if he or she is kissed by someone with an active cold sore.
  • In rare instances, HSV may be spread by touch, if someone touches an active cold sore and then immediately touches the baby.

Do They Test For Herpes When Youre Pregnant

In general, herpes testing is not recommended during pregnancy. However, there is an exception for people with symptoms.

If you have symptoms of herpes during pregnancy, your doctor will likely recommend testing. Thats particularly true if you have never had symptoms in the past.

Herpes Doctor Discussion Guide

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Pregnant With Recurring Genital Herpes


Hi there,

I have had what I believe to be genital herpes for about 10 years now, I only seem to get an outbreak when I am run down/stressed. I am now 20 weeks pregnant and, again due to being stressed, have an outbreak. I am worried about the health of my baby though – can he get infected by these recurrent outbreaks or will he be immune to it whilst in the womb? I am seeing my consultant soon to discuss birth options.

Does anyone have any advise/experience of this?


Genital Herpes Treatment During Pregnancy

Living With Herpes | Can I Have A Normal Pregnancy With Genital Herpes? w/Dr. Kelly

Women taking antiviral drugs for herpes — either daily suppressive therapy or occasional therapy for outbreaks — should consult their doctor about whether to take the drugs during pregnancy. The answer is not set in stone: You and your doctor have to discuss the risks and benefits to decide what’s right for you.

For pregnant women with a history of genital herpes, the doctor might recommend daily doses of an antiviral medication during the month before their due date.

Herpes infection in a newborn is also serious. Do not allow anyone with a cold sore on the mouth to kiss the baby. If you have a cold sore, don’t kiss the baby, and wash hands with soap and water before touching the baby.

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How Will My Doctor Know If I Have Herpes

Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at your symptoms. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. In certain situations, a blood test may be used to look for herpes antibodies. Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for herpes or other STDs.

Please note: A herpes blood test can help determine if you have herpes infection. It cannot tell you who gave you the infection or how long you have been infected.

What Is The Cause

You can get infected with the herpes virus if you touch blisters or sores on the genitals, mouth, or rectal area of someone who is infected. The virus can spread to others by kissing or sharing food or drink, or during sex. You may spread it from one part of your body to another if the virus gets on your handsfor example, after touching a blister.

Once you are infected, the herpes virus stays in your body, even after the sores are gone. Most of the time the virus is inactive, but the virus can become active again and cause an outbreak of sores. Repeat outbreaks of genital herpes are particularly common during the first year of infection.

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Herpes Outbreaks Near Labor

If you are symptom-free and you go into labor, this will not change your plans for labor. The only risk of being infected is if you have an outbreak and the baby comes into contact with the active sore during the birth. This would be a reason to do a c-section. Talk to your doctor or midwife about watching for signs of an outbreak to prevent neonatal herpes.

My Partner Has Herpes How Can I Avoid Getting It And And Still Have A Fulfilling Sex Life

Global Medical Cures

I just found out the guy Ive been seeing for a couple weeks has herpes. Im full of questions, but one question I keep dwelling on is, how can people get pregnant without passing on herpes to their partner? How can I avoid getting herpes and still have a fulfilling sex life with him?

Its normal to have complicated feelings after you find out that your partner has herpes. Millions of people are living with herpes, and sharing your concerns with your partner and educating yourself on how its spread are good ways to protect yourself.

Genital herpes is spread from skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Herpes can live on areas of your body that arent protected by condoms , so condoms wont always protect you from herpes. But they do lower your chances of getting herpes.

Here are other ways to avoid getting herpes from your partner:

  • Always use condoms and dental dams during oral, anal, and vaginal sex.

  • Talk with your partner about taking herpes medicine every day, which can lower their chances of spreading herpes.

  • Dont have sex during a herpes outbreak, even with a condom. There may be sores on places the condom doesnt cover. Wait until the sores are totally gone, and the scabs heal and fall off.

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How Is Herpes Diagnosed In Pregnancy

If you or your partner experience any of the above symptoms, check in with your doctor. A health care provider may be able to identify your sores via an exam, but a lab test is necessary to diagnose a case of genital herpes.

A sample is taken from the fluid inside a sore and then tested to see if it contains the virus and, if it does, what type of HSV is present. A blood test can check for antibodies and therefore diagnose HSV and its type but it cant determine how the infection was contracted or how long youve had the virus.

Protecting Against Genital Herpes

You can reduce the chances of passing herpes on by:

  • using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex but herpes can still be passed on if the condom does not cover the infected area
  • avoiding vaginal, anal or oral sex if you or your partner has blisters or sores, or a tingle or itch that means an outbreak is coming
  • not sharing sex toys if you do, wash them and put a condom on them

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What If I Find Out I Have An Sti

Dont worry. Most STIs can be treated. These are available in most pharmacies or from a GP or GUM clinic.

Some treatments are not suitable if you are trying to get pregnant. Your GP, pharmacist or clinic will let you know which ones.

If you have an STI you shouldnt have sex until seven days after you and your partner have completed treatment and the infection has cleared. Sometimes, symptoms may not go away after the first treatment and you may need another round. If the treatment doesnt work you may need more tests.

Tell the doctor, nurse or pharmacist that you want to start trying for a baby. They will be able to advise you about when the infection should clear and when to start trying for a baby.

Managing Genital Herpes During Pregnancy

Can Genital Herpes pose problems during pregnancy? – Dr. Achi Ashok

If youre pregnant and you have genital herpes, you may be concerned about the risk of spreading the infection to your baby. Be reassured that the risk is extremely smallespecially if you have had herpes for some time. The following steps can help make the risk even smaller:

Remember, the odds are strongly in favor of your having a healthy baby.

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More Support And Information

The Family Planning Association provides straightforward information and support on sexual health, sex and relationships to everyone in the UK.

Public Health England National Sexual Health Helpline 0300 123 7123

NHS Choices provides information on sexual health including contraception, STIs and sexual health services in your area.

Terrence Higgins Trust provides HIV and sexual health services in the UK, running services out of local centres across Great Britain. Also provides information about HIV and pregnancy.

HIV i-base provides information about HIV including pregnancy and womens health

How Is Herpes Treated In Pregnancy

Its not clear whether all antiviral medications for genital herpes are safe during pregnancy, so follow your doctors lead when it comes to treatment.

Herpes symptoms may be managed with antivirals and during an outbreak, and they may reduce the length and severity of it. Daily medication, which is called suppressive therapy, can also reduce the number of outbreaks you experience.

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Using The Opk To Time Intercourse

The ovulation predictor test helps you time intercourse as follows:

  • The day you see your strongly positive result is the day of the biggest increase in your LH secretion from your pituitary gland.
  • In the average 28-day menstrual cycle, you will see this result around day 12 or 13.
  • This “LH surge” is what triggers release of an egg from your ovary .
  • The LH surge predicts that ovulation will likely occur 24 to 36 hours later – around day 13 to 14 of a 28-day cycle.
  • Have intercourse the day of the surge and about 36 hours later.

This is your best fertile window for live sperm to catch the egg while it is still fertilizable. The timing takes into account the lifespan of the sperm and the egg. According to Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility , sperm can survive in a woman’s reproductive track for three to five days. The egg is only viable for fertilization from 12 to 24 hours.

Is Vaginal Birth Safe For Women With Genital Herpes


It can be stressful to know that having genital herpes during pregnancy means there is a possibility your child could become infected with the virus during vaginal delivery.

Because of this, and the potential of serious consequences of infection in babieswhich, in rare cases, includes deathwomen with genital herpes are often advised to consider a Cesarean delivery instead of a vaginal one. That said, this may not be necessary in all cases.

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How Can I Protect My Newborn From Getting Herpes

If your partner has herpes and you dont, do not have sex and oral sex the last few weeks of pregnancy. Condoms can reduce the risk of transmission but arent 100% effective. Theres no reason to risk a new infection close to delivery.

In the unlikely event your baby has been exposed, well treat the baby with antiviral medications. HSV cant be passed through breast milk, so unless you have sores or lesion on your breasts, breastfeeding is safe.

With visitors, do not allow anyone who has a cold sore or has had one recently to hold your baby. Same goes for people who have a cold or virus. Insist that anyone who wants to hold or touch your newborn wash their hands first this should be the norm anyway due to COVID-19.

Genital herpes is a common condition, and we are well-equipped to help reduce your baby’s risks. If you or your partner has a history of herpes, talk with your Ob/Gyn. We are eager to help you have a safe pregnancy and delivery.

Ways To Avoid Getting Herpes While Pregnant

Women who don’t have genital herpes should be careful about sex during the third trimester. Unless you know for sure that your partner is herpes free, avoid sex altogether during the third trimester. If your partner gets cold sores , they should not perform oral sex on you during this time.

Some doctors think all women should be tested for herpes when they get pregnant, especially if their sex partners have herpes. Ask your doctor if you or your partner should be tested.

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