Saturday, July 20, 2024

Can You Still Have Kids With Herpes

Men Vs Women With Herpes

How Contagious is Herpes?

Because of the nature of male and female genitalia, it is easier for herpes to be transmitted to a woman by a man than vice-versa. This is because female genitals have more exposed soft tissue. This also accounts for the slight gender gap in women vs. men with herpes. Approximately one in four American women in has it, while approximately one in five American men does.

How Can I Get Pregnant With Genital Herpes

Dr. Vilma received her M.D. in Obstetrics, Gynecology, Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology from Harvard. She is trained in managing pregnancy, pre-pregnancy health, and family planning.

Learn about our Editorial Policy.

It’s completely normal to have concerns about getting pregnant when you or your partner has genital herpes. But herpes doesn’t have to stop you from having a healthy pregnancy and baby. In fact, by keeping a few considerations in mind, you can make things much comfortable and reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

Because herpes spreads through skin-to-skin contact, conceiving a baby presents a risk for transmission. There are several ways to make getting pregnant with genital herpes safer, and there are also alternative methods for having a baby that make spreading the virus much less likely. No matter what situation you are facing, knowing how the virus behaves and how it sheds and spreads can help you plan how to time unprotected sex to get pregnant.

Guest Commentary: If I Have Herpes Can I Still Have Children

David S. Reitman, MDConsultant for Pediatricians

How did I get herpes? Is there a cure? What causes an outbreak– and what can I do to prevent another one? My friend got herpes and had to stay in the hospital will that happen to me? Can I still have children?

How did I get herpes? Is there a cure? What causes an outbreak– and what can I do to prevent another one? My friend got herpes and had to stay in the hospital will that happen to me? Can I still have children?

Teenagers with newly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection have many questions for their physician. In the case of herpes simplex virus infection–the focus of this month’s clinical update on sexually transmitted diseases–approximately 50 million Americans are infected with type 2 virus, and 6% of all 12- to 19-year-olds carry the HSV-2 antibodies that indicate either active or latent infection.1 HSV-2 infection crosses all socioeconomic and racial classes. Its prevalence is growing fastest among Caucasian adolescent boys.

The adolescent who contracts a genital HSV infection is at risk for “outbreaks” or “reactivations” throughout his or her teenage and adult life. Thus, the infection can have substantial effects on the adolescent’s self- esteem and sense of security about sexual health.

Read Also: How To Heal Herpes Outbreak Quickly

What Else Should I Know

Genital herpes is a lifelong condition, but there are ways to manage it. If your teen has genital herpes, you can help them learn to live with the infection. Talk to your teen about:

  • taking medicines to stop outbreaks or make them less frequent and less severe
  • learning how to reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes by taking medicines, always using a condom during sex, and avoiding sex during outbreaks
  • talking to partners before starting a sexual relationship

Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Herpes

Hsv Toddler / Newborn baby almost dies after contracting herpes in his ...

If you have herpes, you should talk to your sex partner about their risk. Using condoms may help lower this risk but it will not get rid of the risk completely. Having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase your risk of spreading the disease. Even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.

You may have concerns about how genital herpes will impact your health, sex life, and relationships. While herpes is not curable, it is important to know that it is manageable with medicine. Daily suppressive therapy can lower your risk of spreading the virus to others. Talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns and treatment options.

A genital herpes diagnosis may affect how you will feel about current or future sexual relationships. Knowing how to talk to sexual partners about STDs is important.

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Genital Herpes Treatment During Pregnancy

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.

How Is Genital Herpes Spread

  • Saliva from a partner with an oral herpes infection
  • Genital fluids from a partner with a genital herpes infection
  • Skin in the oral area of a partner with oral herpes or
  • Skin in the genital area of a partner with genital herpes.

You also can get genital herpes from a sex partner who does not have a visible sore or is unaware of their infection. It is also possible to get genital herpes if you receive oral sex from a partner with oral herpes.

You will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools. You also will not get it from touching objects, such as silverware, soap, or towels.

If you have more questions about herpes, consider discussing your concerns with a healthcare provider.

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Know More Facts About Herpes Outbreak:

First herpes outbreak | Recurrent herpes outbreaks | Stages of a herpes outbreak | How long does a herpes outbreak last | How often do herpes outbreaks occur? | What can trigger herpes outbreaks? | How to recognize a herpes outbreak? | How to prevent herpes outbreaks | Viral shedding | Herpes treatment | How to strengthen your immune system

Signs Of Congenital Herpes Simplex

Herpes and Pregnancy

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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Can Herpes Be Transmitted To An Infant During Pregnancy Or Delivery

When babies contract herpes, its known as neonatal herpes. Also called birth-acquired herpes, neonatal herpes can happen if your baby is exposed to genital herpes during vaginal delivery.

Neonatal herpes is considered rare, but when it does happen, there can be serious complications, such as permanent injury to the babys nervous system, developmental disabilities, and death.

The risk to your baby is greatest if you acquire HSV for the first time during the third trimester of pregnancy. Thats because the levels of the HSV in your system will be highest during that time, and youll have fewer protective antibodies to pass on to the baby prior to delivery.

If you contract a genital herpes infection during the third trimester, the risk of passing the virus to your baby during delivery is

How Genital Herpes Affects Reproduction

The following important facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will give you an additional perspective on genital herpes as you consider your options to get pregnant:

  • Genital herpes is common in the United States, affecting one in 16 people ages 14 to 49.
  • Herpes simplex type 2 causes most cases of genital herpes, while type 1 mostly infects the mouth and is responsible for “fever blisters.”
  • More women are infected than men, and men pass the disease to women more frequently than vice versa.
  • Most of those infected with herpes simplex have had minor or no active symptoms.
  • People infected with genital herpes only shed the virus 10% of the time when there are no lesions.

In the absence of lesions, a doctor can swab your genital area and send it to test for herpes simplex DNA to see if you are shedding the virus. However, because the virus only sheds 10% of the time, a negative test doesn’t mean you don’t ever shed virus.

Also Check: Can Herpes 1 Be Treated

When Both Partners Have Herpes

Congratulations you can skip having the talk! If you and your partner have the same type of herpes, you have more freedom than a couple not trying to infect one partner. If you both have HSV-2, for example, you both already have the antibodies built up and cannot be re-infected. Your outbreaks and symptoms will instead be affected by the strength of your immune system, so keep it strong.

You will also not necessarily have the same need to avoid sex during and around times of outbreaks, but you will probably want to, for the sake of avoiding discomfort or prolonging the outbreak by irritating it.

If you have different strains of herpes i.e. one of you has HSV-1 and one has HSV-2, read on. You are already well-protected by your antibodies. If you have HSV-2, you can still get, but might not be as likely to get, genital HSV-1. If you have HSV-1, however, you are still as susceptible to get HSV-2. Getting tested.

There are dating sites for people with herpes that can help you to meet potential partners with the same type of HSV as you. .

Myth: I Cant Have Kids If I Have Herpes

My newborn son got Herpes from a kiss, and nearly died.: Moms 4

When my patients find out they have herpes, they often ask me, Oh my god, can I still have children?’ shares Dr. Rosser. The answer? Absolutely. Herpes doesnt affect your fertility in any way and there are plenty of safe delivery options to ensure the virus isnt transferred to your baby, she says. Still, genital herpes can increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, or in rare cases, a potentially dangerous infection in newborns if the mother is experiencing symptoms at the time of birth.

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How Is Hsv Treated During Pregnancy Or Breastfeeding

You can treat cold sores and genital herpes with:

  • aciclovir cream, available from a pharmacist without prescription
  • aciclovir or valaciclovir tablets, for which you need a prescription

These ‘antiviral’ drugs are known to be safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women and are effective most of the time.

Famciclovir tablets are not recommended to take during pregnancy. Speak to your doctor if the cold sore is severe.

How Can I Manage Herpes During Pregnancy

There is no evidence to suggest pregnancy causes flare-ups. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says 75% of pregnant women who have herpes, however, can expect to have an outbreak during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, you should watch for symptoms of the virus becoming active, such as tingling, itching, or burning around where the sore will eventually appear.

If you have a history of herpes , your provider may prescribe an antiviral medication such as acyclovir to reduce the risk of spreading the virus or having an outbreak around the time of your delivery.

We typically recommend starting an antiviral at 36 weeks or sooner if you are at risk for preterm birth. The antiviral medications are safe during pregnancy. In fact, we can give the same medications to your baby if needed.

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Herpes Simplex Virus Infections

The herpes simplex virus causes a variety of infections, characterized by dormant periods with no symptoms and sporadic outbreaks of red, itchy, painful blisters. Generally, there are two types of herpes: genital herpes and oral herpes . However, herpes lesions from both types can be found anywhere on the body, including on the skin, mouth, eyes, and genitals.

Type 1 infections are most often found on the mouth, while type 2 infections tend to occur in the genital area.

Ask Your Doctor About Antiviral Medications

Protecting Against Herpes

There is no cure for herpes, but medicines can modify the pattern of the disease process. Taking an antiviral herpes medicine daily might make it less worrisome and stressful to get pregnant with genital herpes. Daily treatment can:

  • Reduce the chance of passing the virus to your partner or the other way around
  • Suppress the virus and decrease viral shedding and transmission

Acyclovir , valacyclovir , and famciclovir are the choices of medicines used for herpes suppressive therapy, according to the CDC guidelines. Ask your doctor about taking suppressive therapy while you are trying to conceive.

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Talk To Your Doctor If Youre Pregnant And Have Herpes

If you’re pregnant, have genital herpes, and are worried about passing it on to your baby, keep in mind that the risk is small According to the American Sexual Health Association, “While neonatal herpes is a serious condition, it is also very rare. Less than 0.1% of babies born in the United States each year get neonatal herpes. By contrast, some 25-30% of pregnant women have genital herpes. This means that most women with genital herpes give birth to healthy babies.”

Don’t let herpes stigma stop you from telling your doctor that you have it, urges Alexandra. Once your doctor knows you have herpes, she can monitor you for outbreaks, since it’s critical to be aware of them before you give birth. If you do have an outbreak , it’s recommended that you have a C-section, so that the baby won’t come into contact with the sores.

Sex with herpes during pregnancy

If your partner has genital or oral herpes and you don’t, avoid sex during outbreaks, and make sure to use barrier methods, like condoms and dental dams, every time you have any kind of sex during pregnancy. Your partner should also talk to their doctor about getting on suppressant therapy during your pregnancy.

Viral Shedding Without An Outbreak

A large 2011 study published in JAMA investigated how often people with symptom-free herpes infections shed the virus and how much virus they shed.

The researchers found that people with asymptomatic genital HSV-2 shed detectable levels of virus 10% of the time. That’s about half as often as people with symptomatic infections. However, the amount of virus they shed was similar.

Other studies showed that pregnant women with a history of recurrent genital herpes infections have a 1.4% rate of shedding at the time of delivery.

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What Is The Treatment For Genital Herpes During Pregnancy

If you have genital herpes, you may be prescribed an oral antiviral medication, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir starting at around 35 weeks to help reduce the chances that youll have an outbreak of genital herpes at the time of delivery. The drugs cant cure genital herpes, but they can help speed up healing if you have an outbreak of genital herpes and suppress future outbreaks while you get ready to have your baby.

As your labor begins, your doctor will carefully check for any genital herpes lesions blisters or sores. If you dont have any signs of an active outbreak of genital herpes when labor starts, you will probably be able to have a vaginal delivery.

If there are genital herpes lesions present during your labor, you will likely need to have a cesarean delivery to prevent tranmission of the herpes virus to the baby during delivery. Your doctor will discuss your options with you prior to your due date.

Your risk factors for contracting genital herpes are the same during pregnancy as they would normally be. Your risk factors for HSV are linked to being directly exposed to the virus. Risk factors include:

Herpes And Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

Herpes Pictures &  Symptoms of Herpes Simplex

Got herpes? When contracted it could make all the difference when it comes to your babys health.

Most women think that having herpes during pregnancy is a fairly straightforward matter: If you have any sores when you go into labor, youll simply deliver by Cesarean section to avoid infecting your baby. Yet the issue is much more complicated than is often perceived.

For example, herpes is far more prevalent than is generally recognized, and many people dont know theyre infected or that they can contract the virus from a partner who has no symptoms. Whats more, few people realize that contracting herpes during pregnancy can be very dangerous to the baby.

Heres what every pregnant woman needs to know about this very common virus:

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Your chances of having herpes may be greater than you think

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16.2 percent of U.S. adults1 in 6have genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus 2, or HSV-2. However, when you factor in the number of people who have genital herpes caused by HSV-1, the strain typically associated with fever blisters of the mouth, the number skyrockets to approximately 1 in 3, says David Kimberlin, M.D., a professor in the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

And that may actually be a good thing.

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