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.
What Treatment Can I Get If I Have A Genital Herpes Outbreak In Pregnancy
If you have genital herpes, an antiviral drug called aciclovir is recommended. Aciclovir isnt licensed for use during pregnancy but is considered safe and hasnt been associated with an increased incidence of birth defects . Antiviral treatment is offered:
- to treat outbreaks in pregnancy
- from 36 weeks to reduce the chance of an outbreak during birth
- from diagnosis until birth if a pregnant woman gets a primary infection after 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Myth: Cold Sores And Genital Sores Are Way Different
Many people wrongfully believe that cold sores dont count as real herpes, Raquel Dardik, MD, clinical associate professor at NYU Langones Joan H. Tisch Center for Womens Health, explains to Health. This misconception stems from the general patterns of the two types.
For most people, HSV-1 tends to affect their mouth, while HSV-2 usually manifests on the genitals. But either virus can affect either body region all it takes to spread is skin-to-skin-contact.
Lets say you touch an infected persons genitals with your mouth while theyre shedding the virus, but theres no genital-to-genital touching. You can then be infected with either HSV-1 or HSV-2 and go on to develop lesions at the site of the infection .
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If You Have Genital Herpes Can You Donate Blood
Before discussing whether you can donate blood when you have herpes, we need to answer the question: Can herpes be transmitted through blood donation?
Previously, blood collection facilities allowed herpes carriers to donate blood as long as they did not have an active infection. Thats because many believed that herpes could spread only during intercourse or via direct skin-to-skin contact.
However,recent studies suggest that herpes may spread via blood transfusions, regardless of whether the infected has an active infection. Since there isnt enough evidence to support this theory, many facilities still accept blood from herpes carriers.
How Can I Best Learn To Cope With Herpes Simplex
Some people feel distressed or embarrassed about their herpes simplex infection. Its important to understand that the herpes virus is common. For most people, herpes doesnt significantly interfere with daily life.
To cope with negative feelings, you may consider:
- Connecting with others through support groups or online forums.
- Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or loved one.
- Speaking with a therapist.
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Protecting Your Loved Ones
- Herpes can be spread to a child if a person kisses them while having an active cold sore. If you have an active outbreak, or a family, friend or relative does, take care to avoid the cold sore coming into contact with the child.
- Babies can also contract herpes from being kissed by someone with a cold sore . A young child cannot fight off infections as easily as an adult can, so serious health problems can occur. If you suffer from cold sores take every precaution not to put an infant child at risk.
- An infant with herpes can become very ill, causing eye or throat infections, damage to the central nervous system, mental retardation or death. By the time a baby is around six months old, his/ her immune system is better able to cope with exposure to the virus.
- If you have an outbreak of genital herpes, be sure to wash your hands before touching the baby
- Be sure to take all the necessary precautions not to spread the virus to a young child
Strains And Unexplained Female Infertility
One recent study found that there was a link between a certain strain of herpes and unexplained infertility in women. This study showed that 43% of 30 women with unexplained infertility had a uterine lining that was infected with this specific herpes strain . However, the 36 women in the study who had no problems conceiving were not found to have the herpes strain in their uterine lining.
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Reducing The Risk Of Herpes In Pregnancy
HSV is spread by sexual contact and leads to a herpes infection.
The risk of passing on a recently caught infection during birth is around 40%. Neonatal herpes is a serious but rare condition that causes infection of the skin, eyes, and mouth.
Some things you can do to reduce the risk:
- Its recommended you and your partner abstain from oral sex in pregnancy if you have been diagnosed
- Make sure your health care provider knows you or your partner have genital herpes
- To increase the chance of women with recurrent genital herpes being able to birth vaginally, many experts advise they take antiviral medication from 36 weeks. This reduces the likelihood of developing an outbreak at the time of birth.
Speak to your healthcare provider if you would like to find out more about how to reduce your risk of herpes in pregnancy.
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Getting Pregnant With Genital Herpes
If you have a history of genital herpes and you want to conceive naturally, the challenge is to time unprotected intercourse at your most fertile time, yet not infect your partner. The same applies if your partner is the one infected, and you are not.
As with everything in life, there is no guarantee the non-infected partner will not acquire the virus, but taking the best approach together will certainly limit the risk while you are trying to get pregnant.
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What If I Have A Cold Sore While Breastfeeding
If you have cold sores, it is safe to breastfeed your baby as long as the cold sores are not on the breast or nipple.
If they are, it may be wise to breastfeed from the unaffected nipple only until the lesions have cleared up. You would express and dispose of breastmilk from the affected nipple. Breastmilk itself doesn’t contain the herpes virus but it can be contaminated through the skin lesions.
Talk to your doctor or midwife as soon as you notice any cold sores on your breast or nipple.
What Do I Need To Know About Dating With Herpes
Some people feel like their love lives are over when they find out they have herpes, but its just not true. People with herpes have romantic and sexual relationships with each other, or with partners who dont have herpes.
Talking about STDs isnt the most fun conversation youll ever have. But its super important to always tell partners if you have herpes, so you can help prevent it from spreading.
Theres no one way to talk about having an STD, but here are some tips that may help:
Keep calm and carry on. Millions of people have herpes, and plenty of them are in relationships. For most couples, herpes isnt a huge deal. Try to go into the conversation with a calm, positive attitude. Having herpes is simply a health issue it doesnt say anything about you as a person.
Make it a two-way conversation. Remember that STDs are super common, so who knows? Your partner might have herpes too. So start by asking if theyve ever been tested or had an STD before.
Know your facts. Theres a lot of misinformation about herpes out there, so read up on the facts and be prepared to set the record straight. Let your partner know there are ways to treat herpes and avoid passing it on during sex.
Tell your past partners too, so they can get tested.
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How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed
To find out if someone has genital herpes, health care providers do tests on:
- fluid from a sore
People with genital herpes need to tell recent, current, and future sex partners about their infection. Because someone may never have symptoms or may not have symptoms for months to years after infection, a current partner may not be the source of the infection.
Being A Parent With Herpes
Genital herpes, in either parent, does not generally affect children and there is little risk of transmission so long as normal hygiene and herpes prevention methods are practiced.
Initial exposure to HSV in babies and young children, after being kissed by someone with a cold sore, can cause gingivostomatitis, an infection of the mouth and gums which goes largely unrecognized and untreated.
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How Genital Herpes Can Affect Your Pregnancy
If you have genital herpes, its possible to spread the virus to your baby. A woman can spread it to her baby while she is:
Taking care of her newborn
If the baby gets the virus while in the womb, the mother may have a miscarriage or deliver the baby too early, causing the baby to be premature.
When the baby catches the virus during birth or shortly thereafter, this can be deadly for the baby. Be sure your OB/GYN knows that you have genital herpes so that precautions can be taken.
How Can I Reduce The Risk To My Unborn Baby
Medication for you and your baby should help prevent or reduce the chance of your baby being seriously ill:
- if your first episode is before 28 weeks of pregnancy, you may be offered antiviral treatment at that time and again from 36 weeks of pregnancy until your baby is born
- if your first episode is at or after 28 weeks of pregnancy, you will be advised to continue your treatment until your baby is born.
If your first episode is late in pregnancy , you should be offered a planned caesarean section to reduce the chance of your baby getting neonatal herpes.
If your first episode is earlier in pregnancy, the risk to your baby is low and you should be able to have a vaginal birth. Talk to your midwife or doctor if you have any concerns.
Some people have no signs or symptoms at all. Some people just get a few blisters in the genital area, which are not particularly painful. Flare-ups are usually mild. An early-warning tingling sensation often happens before the flare-up occurs.
However, for some people, the symptoms can be very painful. This is particularly so if it is your first episode when you may also feel unwell and notice very painful sores or watery blisters.
Symptoms can occur within a short time of coming into contact with the virus or it may take many weeks, months or years before any signs or symptoms appear.
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Can You Donate Blood If On Thyroid Medication
Thyroid disease Patients with thyroid disease may not donate if the condition is under investigation or if malignancy is suspected. Anyone on maintenance therapy with levothyroxine must be stabilised for at least three months before donation. An over- or an underactive thyroid increases the risk of heart disease.
Is It Safe To Have A Baby If You Have Herpes I Know Because I Did
One of the most terrifying parts of finding out that I had genital herpes was wondering if Iâd ever be able to have a baby. I knew that some STIs could result in infertility, and others could be transmitted to the baby. But I knew virtually nothing about the herpes simplex virus when I found out I had it. I wanted to know if it was safe to have a baby if I had herpes. The answer, it turned out, was yes. With some caveats, of course, because having an STI makes some things just a little bit more complicated.
The CDC estimates that somewhere around 1 in 6 Americans have genital herpes, though the numbers could be much higher than that because as many as 87 percent of people who have it are unaware of their infection.
But what this means is that lots of people who have genital herpes also have babies. The fact that itâs so common means that there should be way more information available than there is, but shame and stigma make people reluctant to talk about STIs, including herpes. When I was pregnant, I had a very difficult time finding information about how herpes would affect my pregnancy.
What I discovered is that there are two main things to know: the fact that youâre immunocompromised during pregnancy may affect your infection, and you need to have a plan for what youâll do if you have an outbreak when you go into labor.
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How To Prevent Spreading Herpes To Your Partner
If you have genital herpes and your partner doesnt, you can spread the virus that causes it to your partner during sex. For this reason, dermatologists recommend the following:
Tell your partner you have genital herpes
Explain that there is a risk that you can give your partner the virus that causes genital herpes. Be sure your partner knows that the following can reduce this risk:
Skipping sex when you have sores. To avoid giving your partner genital herpes, its recommended that you skip all sexual contact while you have sores and for one or two days after the sores clear. If your partners skin or genitals touches a herpes sore, your partner can easily catch the virus.
Using a condom when youre free of sores. Even when you dont have sores, its possible to spread the virus to your partner. When the virus isnt active, it travels from your skin to nearby nerve cells.A trigger can wake up this virus at any time. Common triggers include stress, illness, and surgery. If the virus wakes up, it travels back to your skin .Sometimes, when the virus wakes up, you wont have any sores or symptoms. During these times, you wont even know that the virus is on your skin . Its during these times that you can spread it to your partner. Condoms help reduce this risk.
Even when taking an antiviral every day, a condom must be used every time you have sex.
How Is Neonatal Herpes Treated
Neonatal herpes is usually treated with antiviral drugs given directly into the babys vein .
This treatment may be needed for several weeks.
Any related complications, such as fits , will also need to be treated.
The baby can be breastfed while receiving treatment, unless the mother has herpes sores around her nipples.
If the mother is taking antiviral treatment too, this can be excreted in her breast milk, but is not thought to cause any harm to the baby.
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How Is It Diagnosed
You should see a doctor or other healthcare provider if you suspect youve contracted herpes.
A healthcare provider can usually diagnose herpes with a physical exam and one or more of the following tests:
- a viral culture, which involves scraping off a sample of the sore for examination in a lab
- a polymerase chain reaction test, which compares a sample of your blood and from a sore to determine which type of HSV you have
- a blood test to check for HSV antibodies from a past herpes infection
Can You Be Born With Herpes
Herpes is a common event. According to the CDC , herpes affects about 1 out of every 6 people. It is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by being infected with the herpes simplex virus . One of the main questions people ask about this disease is, “Can you be born with herpes?” This article will attempt to address that.
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Women Who Dont Have Genital Herpes
The greatest risk of neonatal herpes is to babies whose mothers contract a genital infection late in pregnancy. While this is a rare occurrence, it does happen, and can cause a serious, even life-threatening, illness for the baby. The best way you can protect your baby is to know the facts about HSV and how to protect yourself. The first step may be finding out whether you already carry the virus.
You can talk to your healthcare provider about testing for genital herpes. If you test negative for genital herpes, but your partner has genital or oral herpes, you may acquire it unless you take steps to prevent transmission. The following steps can help protect you from getting an infection during pregnancy:
Signs Of Congenital Herpes Simplex
Congenital herpes simplex is transmitted from mother to baby in utero or during vaginal delivery. Symptoms usually appear in the first month after the baby is born. Newborns may show signs of irritability, jaundice , trouble breathing, grunting, breathing irregularities, blue appearance, seizures, bleeding and shock. Once infected, some babies may develop localized skin infections in the form of blisters on the face or eyes, while others may develop more serious issues such as encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can lead to seizures and damage to the brain and spinal cord. A disseminated herpes infection is one that spreads throughout the body and infects the babyâs vital organs. If left untreated, both encephalitis and disseminated herpes infections can be fatal, so it is critical to seek treatment right away if your baby is showing any of these signs.
- Congenital herpes simplex is transmitted from mother to baby in utero or during vaginal delivery.
- If left untreated, both encephalitis and disseminated herpes infections can be fatal, so it is critical to seek treatment right away if your baby is showing any of these signs.
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