Im Pregnant How Could Genital Herpes Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, prenatal care visits are very important. Some research suggest that a genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage or make it more likely to deliver your baby too early. You can pass herpes to your unborn child before birth, but it more commonly passes during delivery. This can lead to a deadly infection in your baby . It is important that you avoid getting genital herpes during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a genital herpes diagnosis or symptoms. Also tell them about any possible exposure to genital herpes.
If you have genital herpes, you may need to take anti-herpes medicine towards the end of your pregnancy. This medicine may reduce your risk of having signs or symptoms of genital herpes when you deliver. At the time of delivery, your healthcare provider should carefully examine you for herpes sores. If you have signs or symptoms of genital herpes at delivery, a C-section is likely to occur.
How Can I Avoid Getting Herpes
The best way to prevent the transmission of herpes is by using a condom or other barrier method of protection. Using protection is especially important if you know that your partner has herpes. You can typically prevent the transmission of oral herpes by avoiding skin-to-skin contact with an infected person during an outbreak. If someone has a fever blister or cold sore, do not kiss them or receive oral sex from them until the sores are fully healed.
How Do People Get Genital Herpes
Infections are transmitted through contact with HSV in herpes lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions. 5 HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be shed from normal-appearing oral or genital mucosa or skin. 7,8 Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during genital contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. However, receiving oral sex from a person with an oral HSV-1 infection can result in getting a genital HSV-1 infection. 4 Transmission commonly occurs from contact with an infected partner who does not have visible lesions and who may not know that he or she is infected. 7 In persons with asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, genital HSV shedding occurs on 10.2% of days, compared to 20.1% of days among those with symptomatic infections. 8
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Is There A Cure For Herpes Simplex
There is no cure for herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, its a lifelong infection.
What is the outlook for people with herpes simplex?
For many people, the first herpes outbreak is the most severe. Many outbreaks are less frequent and milder after the first year of infection. Some people may have only one outbreak and never have another again.
Putting It Into Perspective
According to Dr Foran, many of us carry HSV on the lips or the genitals without ever knowing it and without ever passing it on to anyone else.
“But there is still a lot of confusion about this virus and many people are unaware that the same virus that causes cold sores can cause genital herpes as well,” she said.
“It just goes to show that safer sex is still important and that goes for oral sex as well.”
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How Is It Treated
Genital herpes can be treated, but it cannot be cured.Anti-viral medicines can make outbreaks:
Living with genital herpes causes some people to:
- Feel embarrassed or ashamed
- Worry about infecting a sexual partner
- Worry that having herpes will affect relationships with sexual partners
- Avoid dating or sexual relationships
Most people with herpes are able to live with the virusand manage their outbreaks. Talking to trusted healthcare providers and friends can help. Your health careprovider can talk to you about medicines that treatoutbreaks and about ways to reduce the chance ofpassing the virus on to a sexual partner.
Medicines can help lower the chance that you will pass the virus to others.
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First Off Having Herpes Isnt As Uncommon As You Might Think
What we call herpes is actually several different types of the herpes simplex virus. These are HSV-1 and HSV-2 . Each type of the virus acts differently in the body, infecting different nerves while causing identical symptoms.
HSV-1 is the most common form of the herpes virus. Research suggests it affects anywhere from 50 percent to 70 percent of the worlds population under 50 years of age, meaning about half of the people you talk to every day are likely to be infected.
HSV-1 usually affects the skin on or around the lips, causing cold sores. However, its possible for HSV-1 to spread to the genitals and cause genital herpes outbreaks.
Despite being extremely common, most people with HSV-1 never experience any symptoms as a result of being infected with the virus. This means you can have a lifelong HSV-1 infection but never notice a single cold sore outbreak.
HSV-2 is the form of herpes most commonly associated with genital herpes. While it isnt quite as common as HSV-1, its still an extremely common infection. Study data from the WHO data shows that more than 491 million people worldwide have HSV-2, or 11 percent, of all people aged 15 to forty-nine.
In short, if you have herpes, youre not unusual, unclean or unhealthy. You also shouldnt feel as if you developed the virus because of unsafe or unsanitary sexual behavior. Herpes is and anyone can become infected.
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How To Tell If You Have Herpes
Heres the truth about 8 common myths about genital and oral herpes, which can help you determine if youve been infected with either herpes simplex 1 or herpes simplex 2.
Nearly two-thirds of the global population is infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 , according to a recent report released by the World Health Organization. Researchers affilated with the organization estimated that 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 are infected with HSV-1, the type of herpes most people associate with cold sores on the mouth.
Another 417 million people worldwide aged 15-49 have HSV-2, the type most often thought of as a sexually transmitted infection , causing sores to appear on the genitals. But heres the truth: 140 million adults have genital infections caused by HSV-1, meaning half a billion people could sexually transmit either virus.
While this news may be shocking, dont panic. Herpes has been seriously stigmatized for years, but its also incredibly common, as these statistics show. The fact is, if you dont have one type of herpes already, youre very likely to be exposed to it eventually. Below, we take apart eight big myths about this common infection, so you can get a better sense of whether any sore or lesion youve noticed on either your mouth or genitals might actually be caused by herpes.
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Should I Be Worried About Getting Genital Herpes From Oral Sex
Because HSV may lie dormant in many people there is no way of knowing whether a sexual partner has genital herpes or not. You could get a blood test to determine if one of you has herpes, but for most people, its unlikely going to make a big difference to their sexual behaviors.
Unless youre prepared to remain abstinent from sex for the rest of your life, you shouldnt worry about genital herpes.
If you know you have HSV, you must tell your partner. Its important that people have the freedom to choose whether herpes is a big deal for them or not.
People who are experiencing breakouts should avoid sexual contact until theyre sores and lesions have calmed down and they are no longer highly infective.
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Recurrent Herpes Outbreaks And Their Effects On Sex
While some people with herpes never experience any symptoms, many people will experience occasional outbreaks of oral or genital herpes.
Because herpes is an incurable virus, these outbreaks can continue to occur for life, making it important that you have a treatment plan worked out with your healthcare provider.
The most common medication used to treat herpes is valacyclovir. Our guide to valacyclovir explains more about how this drug works to treat herpes outbreaks, with information on common dosage protocols for oral and genital herpes.
Your risk of infecting your sexual partner with herpes is as its highest during an outbreak, since the herpes sores that can develop during this period contain large amounts of highly infectious viral fluid. As such, its best to avoid all sexual activity during recurrent outbreaks.
This can sound frustrating, but the reality is that herpes outbreaks tend to become less frequent as your body develops its immune response. Most people with HSV-1 only ever experience one to two outbreaks per year, which typically take one to two weeks to heal.
People with HSV-2 usually experience outbreaks four to five times per year, with each outbreak lasting for one to two weeks.
Once you have a prescription for an antiviral drug like valacyclovir and understand how to use it to treat herpes symptoms, treating herpes outbreaks becomes fairly easy, making the impact on your ability to maintain a normal sex life much less serious than you might think.
Could I Give It To Other People
Yes. Herpes is usually spread by contact with the sores. Even when you have no sores, there is a small chance you may pass the infection on to a sex partner. Many people tell a new partner they have had herpes because they have respect for the other person.
If you are pregnant, tell your doctor that you have herpes. The virus can spread to your baby, especially around the time of birth. Your doctor may need to take specific action during pregnancy and at the time of delivery.
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How Will My Healthcare Provider Know If I Have Genital Herpes
Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at any sores that are present. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. If sores are not present, a blood test may be used to look for HSV antibodies.
Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider about herpes testing and 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 when you got the infection.
How Is Herpes Simplex Diagnosed
Healthcare providers may diagnose herpes simplex based on how the sores look. Your provider may take a sample from the sore. Laboratory analysis of the sample can confirm or rule out the herpes virus.
If you dont have sores, your healthcare provider can use a blood test to check for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibody, a marker showing youve been exposed to the virus. The blood test doesnt show an active infection . But it informs your provider whether youve been exposed to the herpes virus in the past. If this is your first infection, you may not test positive for herpes if there hasnt been enough time for your body to develop antibodies. The HSV-1and HSV-2 antibody test may be repeated in eight to 12 weeks.
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Hsv1 And Oral Transmission
The other commonly transmitted strain of the herpes simplex virus, HSV1, typically results in oral herpes, or cold sores around the mouth. This form of HSV is more readily transmitted via oral contact, such as kissing, than through genital contact.
Unlike HSV2, which usually lies dormant between outbreaks at the base of the spine, HSV1s latency periods are typically spent in nerve endings near the ear. Thats why its more likely to cause oral herpes than genital herpes.
HSV1 and HSV2 are genetically similar to each other and clinical symptoms are indistinguishable.
For this reason, having one form of the virus sometimes reduces the risk of acquiring the other form. This is because your body actively produces antibodies to fight the virus once you have it. However, its possible to contract both forms.
HSV1 and HSV2 can both have no symptoms or very mild symptoms that you might not notice. Not having symptoms doesnt mean you dont have the virus.
If you do have symptoms of HSV1 or HSV2, they may include:
- a tingling sensation, itching, or pain, anywhere in the genital area or around the mouth
- one or more small, white blisters that may become oozy or bloody
- one or more small, red bumps or irritated-looking skin
Its important to see a doctor if you suspect you have acquired HSV1 or HSV2. Theres no cure for herpes, but antiviral medications can help reduce the number and severity of your outbreaks.
Herpes Diagnosis In A Newborn Baby
Diagnosing herpes in children is complicated. Children arent screened for the infection. In other words, only symptoms should alert the parent that all is not okay. It should prompt a diagnosis that could be done with a swab sample. Nevertheless, a complicated herpes infection calls for specific tests like a lumbar puncture.
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What If You And Your Partner Already Have Genital Herpes
Surprise, surprise, you can still get oral herpes!
Lets just say that you are in a happy relationship and both you and your partner have genital herpes. If you give your partner a blow job, regardless of what strain they have, you may end up with oral herpes.
- If you have HSV-2 on your genitals, your partner can still give you HSV-1 on your mouth.
- If you have HSV-2 on your mouth, your partner can still give you HSV-1 on your genitals.
- If you have HSV-2 on your genitals, your partner can still give you HSV-2 on your mouth.
- If you have HSV-2 on your mouth, your partner can still give you HSV-2 on your genitals.
What Are The Types Of Herpes Viruses
Herpes is a group of contagious viruses. All of these viruses cause blisters and sores. Some of the more common herpes viruses include:
- Type 1: HSV-1, or oral herpes, causes cold sores to form on lips, gums, tongue and inside the mouth. It can cause genital herpes in some cases This type usually spreads through saliva when you kiss someone with open herpes sores. You can also get HSV-1 by sharing items like toothbrushes, lipsticks or eating utensils.
- Type 2: HSV-2 causes genital herpes.
- Herpes zoster: This virus causes chickenpox and shingles.
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How Do You Get Herpes
The skin on your genitals, mouth, and eyes can be infected easily. Other areas of skin may get infected if theres a way for the herpes virus to get in, like through a cut, burn, rash, or other sores. You dont have to have sex to get herpes. Sometimes herpes can be passed in non-sexual ways, like if a parent with a cold sore gives you a peck on the lips. Most people with oral herpes got it when they were kids. A mother can pass genital herpes to a baby during vaginal childbirth, but thats pretty rare.
You can spread herpes to other parts of your body if you touch a herpes sore and then touch your mouth, genitals, or eyes without washing your hands first. You can also pass herpes to someone else this way.
Herpes is most contagious when sores are open and wet, because fluid from herpes blisters easily spreads the virus. But herpes can also shed and get passed to others when there are no sores and your skin looks totally normal.
How Long Can Herpes Go Undetected
Once youve contracted HSV, there will be an incubation period the time it takes from contracting the virus until the first symptom appears.
The incubation period for HSV-1 and HSV-2 is the same: 2 to 12 days. For most people, the symptoms begin to show up in about 3 to 6 days.
However, according to the
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Genital Herpes And Pregnancy
Women with herpes before pregnancy can usually expect to have a healthy baby and a vaginal delivery.
If you have genital herpes during pregnancy, there’s a risk your baby could develop a serious illness called neonatal herpes.
This can be fatal, but most babies recover with antiviral treatment.
The risk of your baby getting neonatal herpes is low if you have had genital herpes before.
It’s higher if you get genital herpes for the first time in pregnancy.
Can You Spread Herpes Without An Outbreak
Yes. It is possible for a person to spread herpes without an outbreak. As long as the person has a herpes infection, they can spread it even if an outbreak has never occurred.
Fortunately, many people who have a herpes infection never have an outbreak. If an outbreak does occur, visible symptoms such as sores and blisters will show up in the affected area. These symptoms may become visible about two and a half weeks after exposure.
When a person has an initial outbreak, they may experience symptoms such as painful urination and muscle and joint pain.
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