How Does Genital Herpes Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby
Neonatal herpes is one of the most serious complications of genital herpes.5,16 Healthcare providers should ask all pregnant women if they have a history of genital herpes.11 Herpes infection can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth, or babies may be infected shortly after birth, resulting in a potentially fatal neonatal herpes infection. 17 Infants born to women who acquire genital herpes close to the time of delivery and are shedding virus at delivery are at a much higher risk for developing neonatal herpes, compared with women who have recurrent genital herpes . 16,18-20 Thus, it is important that women avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy. Women should be counseled to abstain from intercourse during the third trimester with partners known to have or suspected of having genital herpes. 5,11
Common Herpes Virus Symptoms
- An ulcer, cold sore, or cluster of cold sores on the lips or inside your mouth shows the possibility of the HSV-1 herpes strain
- Ulcers or cold sores on the upper thighs or genital area may indicate the HSV-2 herpes strain
- The area may show redness and swelling
- Sores may be painful and rupture
- Some sores develop a white coating that burns when touched
- You may feel pain and tenderness in the affected area
- A tingling, itchy sensation in the specific area may indicate an imminent outbreak
- Some people develop flu-like symptoms that include aches, fever, irritability, and fatigue
A natural herpes treatment may address a number of these symptoms.
What You Need To Know
- Herpes simplex virus , also known as genital herpes, is most likely to be spread when an infected person is having an outbreak, but it can also be transmitted without any symptoms being present.
- Medications can help reduce your symptoms, speed up the healing of an outbreak and make you less contagious.
- If you know you have genital herpes before becoming pregnant, your physician will monitor your condition throughout your pregnancy. If you have an active outbreak at the time of delivery, cesarean section may be recommended.
Read Also: Can My Partner Have Herpes And Not Me
How Do I Talk With People About Having Herpes
It might feel scary to admit you have herpes, but talking about things can really ease your mind. You could lean on a close, non-judgmental friend that you trust to keep the conversation private. Parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and other family members can also be a source of comfort. Remember, herpes is really common, so its possible the person youre talking to has herpes, too.
There are a lot of online support groups for people who have herpes, and the American Sexual Health Association has a list of support groups that meet in person.
How Does Genital Herpes Affect Pregnancy
Genital herpes doesnt affect fertility or your ability to conceive. Pregnant women with a diagnosis of herpes genitalis are recommended to start a daily antiviral at 36 weeks of pregnancy to prevent outbreaks during time of delivery. If you have an active infection at the time of childbirth, you can pass the herpes virus to your baby. Neonatal herpes puts a baby at risk for blindness, brain damage, skin infections and death. Your healthcare provider will perform a cesarean section to lower this risk.
Recommended Reading: Do Normal Std Tests Check For Herpes
Recommended Reading: How To Know If It’s Herpes
If You Have Symptoms Find Out What Youre Dealing With
With genital herpes, the biggest mistake people make is not seeking medical advice, says Gade.
People often find the signs or symptoms of a first herpes outbreak confusing, says Gade. You may mistake herpes symptoms for those of a yeast infection and try curing that condition on your own. But if your healthcare provider diagnoses you with herpes, the first line of treatment will be antiviral medications.
, you can make matters worse by putting things on the herpes sores that you shouldnt put on the sores, she says. People often try using Vaseline, bacitracin, or Aquaphor to soothe the itchy or painful eruptions.
Honestly, not putting anything on the sores is best, says Gade. Do keep the area clean and dry, though.
Warm compresses applied to tender or painful areas can help. So can sitting in a warm bath, using Epsom salt.
Sometimes people have enormous pain with urination, says Gade. For relief, you can urinate in your bathwater or while taking a shower to dilute the urine stream and lessen the sensation. You can also use warm water in a spray bottle to dilute the stream while youre urinating.
Why Genital Herpes Comes Back
Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, it stays in your body.
It will not spread in your body to cause blisters elsewhere. It stays in a nearby nerve and causes blisters in the same area.
If you can, avoid things that trigger your symptoms.
Triggers can include:
- surgery on your genital area
- a weakened immune system for example, from having chemotherapy for cancer
Don’t Miss: How To Prevent Herpes Transmission
Side Effects And Follow
Side effects with these herpes drugs are considered mild, and health experts believe these drugs are safe in the long term. Acyclovir is the oldest of the three, and its safety has been documented in people taking suppressive therapy for several years.
People taking suppressive therapy should see their doctor at least once a year to decide if they should continue. You may find taking the pills every day to be inconvenient, the drugs may not work for you, or you may naturally have fewer outbreaks as time goes on. Your doctor can help you make treatment choices to suit your needs.
Is There Any Resistance To Genital Herpes Medication
Resistance to drugs that treat genital herpes even after 20 years of use is very rare. Herpes medications may not work as well in patients who are very immunosuppressed and have been treated with these drugs for a long time. Each individuals response to treatment may vary. In some cases, patients may need more drugs to suppress their viral outbreaks than others.
Don’t Miss: How To Ease Genital Herpes Symptoms
Who Might Get Herpes Simplex
People of any age can contract herpes simplex. You are more likely to get the virus if you:
- Were assigned female at birth.
- Have had multiple sex partners.
- Started having sex at a young age.
- Have a history of any sexually transmitted infection .
- Have a weakened immune system.
- Dont use condoms for intercourse and dental dams for oral sex.
Who gets HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes?
Anyone can get HSV-1. Most people contract HSV-1 during childhood. It spreads when an adult who has the virus has close contact with a child, such as when a family member kisses a child.
Who gets HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes?
Genital herpes affects sexually active teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms or dental dams.
People assigned female at birth are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black people who were AFAB are especially vulnerable, with an estimated 1 in 2 people AFAB between the ages of 14 and 49 infected with HSV-2.
Types Of Tests Used To Diagnose Herpes
There are a number of tests used to diagnose herpes, depending on whether lesions are present.
- Symptomatic testing: Samples taken from lesions can be used to detect the virus with a viral culture or nucleic acid amplification test . Of the two, NAAT is more sensitive . A polymerase chain reaction test may be used if herpes is suspected as the cause of a systemic or central nervous system infection, such as encephalitis or meningitis.
- Asymptomatic testing: A blood test may be used to detect HSV antibodies. This is an option for people who had a previous outbreak or had recent exposure. Very recent herpes infections may not be detected. Retesting in a few months may be necessary for accurate results. Some blood tests can also specifically identify an HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection.
Due to the high rates of false-positives, screening for genital herpes in asymptomatic adults and adolescents is not recommended.
Recommended Reading: Can You Heal Genital Herpes
Don’t Miss: Can Valtrex Stop The Spread Of Herpes
Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Herpes
If you have herpes, you should talk to your sex partner and let him or her know that you do and the risk involved. 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 overall health, sex life, and relationships. It is best for you to talk to a health care provider about those concerns, but it also is important to recognize that while herpes is not curable, it can be managed with medication. Daily suppressive therapy for herpes can also lower your risk of spreading genital herpes to your sex partner. Be sure to discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider. Since a genital herpes diagnosis may affect how you will feel about current or future sexual relationships, it is important to understand how to talk to sexual partners about STDsexternal icon.
Supplements For Herpes Outbreaks
If you feel that your diet doesnt contain enough lysine, you can take lysine supplements. Small preliminary studies suggest that daily lysine supplements might minimize and improve healing times of herpes outbreaks. In one study, patients were given 1000mg of lysine three times per day . However, the study used a small sample size and was limited it its scope.
Lysine supplementation is safe and its considered the best cure for herpes outbreak sufferers. Lysine supplements that have minerals, such as bioflavonoids and zinc, as well as vitamins can work miracles to prevent and control herpes outbreaks. Here is a good lysine supplement that includes zinc. Each pill contains 333mg, so you can adjust to the proper dosage. Formulas often include zinc, vitamin B complex and vitamin C supplements in a herpes diet.
Another well-known supplement used in treating herpes is commonly called curcumin, or turmeric extract. Its an anti-inflammatory that makes your body cells less susceptible to viral infections. See it here. A traditional supplement such as cayenne pepper is also sometimes recommended by physicians to fight the herpes virus . You can apply either of these externally to ease pain.
Red marine algae is another great supplement as it helps your immune system fight the herpes virus and prevents its re-occurrence . Read the reviews from people who use it for HSV on the product page here!
Read Also: What Is The Best Cure For Herpes
Prevention Of Genital Herpes
The best protection against STIs is to always use barrier protection such as condoms, female condoms and dams . Because herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact, condoms will reduce the risk of transmission, but it will not protect sexual partners completely as condoms do not cover the entire genitals.
Using lubricant with a condom during sex will also reduce the risk of trauma to the genital skin. This has been shown to reduce HSV transmission, especially in the first six months of a sexual relationship. Silicone-based lubricants are recommended.
Remember that herpes transmission can occur when symptoms are present , but may also occur even if there are no genital symptoms through asymptomatic viral shedding.
For people who have frequent episodes of genital herpes, antiviral medication, taken daily, helps to reduce transmission of herpes to a sexual partner.
How To Avoid Herpes Infection
Condoms cut the risk of getting or passing on herpes if they cover the affected area.
Other types of contraception, such as the contraceptive pill, offer no protection against sexually transmitted infections .
Wash your hands after touching blisters, especially before handling contact lenses because herpes can cause an eye infection.
Avoid things that trigger herpes outbreaks such as a lack of sleep, sunbathing or stress.
Having herpes could make it easier for someone to get or pass on HIV. But if HIV drugs have made your viral load undetectable then you cannot pass on HIV.
Also Check: What Medicine Do They Give You For Herpes
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.
How Long Do Sores From Herpes Simplex Last
If youre infected with HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes, you may notice tingling or burning around your mouth in the days before a cold sore appears. These blisters break open and ooze fluid before forming a crust. Usually, sores last for seven to 10 days.
If youre infected with HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes, your first outbreak may last between two to four weeks. Recurrent outbreaks usually last between three to seven days.
Read Also: How To Stop Genital Herpes Outbreaks
A Diet High In Lysine
Clinical studies and research suggest a possibility that a diet high in lysine may have the potential to control herpes outbreaks.
Herpesyl is a 100% natural blend that targets and eliminates herpes virus in the body.
Positive Singles is a safe, supportive community to meet others with HSV! Dating profiles, blogs, support groups, and active discussion. Avoid the awkward herpes talk.
L-Lysine is an amino acid that may cut the occurrence, severity, and duration of herpes outbreaks. Why? Well, it has to do with another amino acid: Arginine.
Back in the 60s, researchers showed that elevated arginine levels in the human diet made herpes outbreaks worse. It turns out the herpes virus needs arginine to replicate .
So what does lysine have to do with it? Simple. Lysine and arginine compete for absorption in the body .
The idea is that you want to consume more lysine in your diet than arginine. Then youve taken a step to reduce the amount of herpes virus that replicates in your system. Once the reproduction of herpes simplex virus is stopped or minimized, it could reduce the duration and frequency of a herpes outbreak.
There is no clinical data proving the effectiveness of dietary lysine for herpes in humans, only small preliminary studies on lysine supplements. Still, it remains a popular and well-known diet change for various types of HSV.
Here are some lysine-rich foods:
Read Also: How Contagious Is Herpes 1
Simple Treatments For The Relief Of Discomfort
- Wear loose underclothes, preferably cotton , to help minimise discomfort and allow healing.
- Use plain water or saline solution with cotton wool to clean and soothe the area. To make a saline solution, use 1 teaspoon of salt in 600ml of water or a handful of salt in a shallow bath.
- Don’t use scented soaps, bubble bath, etc in the area, as these may irritate it.
- Using a hairdryer on its lowest setting to dry the area may be more comfortable than using a towel.
- Pain relief medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may ease the pain. Check with your pharmacist or other health professional whether taking these is suitable for you.
- Ice wrapped in a face cloth or flannel and placed over the sores for 510 minutes may be soothing. Don’t apply ice directly to the sores as this can cause ice burn.
- If you find peeing painful, try applying Vaseline® to the area or sitting in a warm bath before urinating or using a pump bottle full of water and spraying water on yourself while peeing.
- You can also try applying a pain relief cream such as lignocaine cream to the painful area. This is applied 5 minutes before peeing and should be used for a maximum of 12 days.
- Drink plenty of fluids as this dilutes your pee and may help reduce stinging.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Rid Of Herpes 1
Who Response To Herpes
As well as increasing awareness about HSV infection and its symptoms, improved access to antiviral medications and heightened HIV prevention efforts for those with genital HSV symptoms are needed globally.
In addition, development of better treatment and prevention interventions is needed, particularly HSV vaccines. WHO and partners are working to accelerate research to develop new strategies for prevention and control of genital and neonatal HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections. Such research includes the development of HSV vaccines and topical microbicides. Several candidate vaccines and microbicides are currently being studied.
Why You Should Go To A Sexual Health Clinic
You can see a GP, but they’ll probably refer you to a sexual health clinic if they think you might have genital herpes.
Sexual health clinics treat problems with the genitals and urine system.
Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment.
They’ll often get test results quicker than GP practices and you do not have to pay a prescription fee for treatment.
Read Also: How To Get Herpes Out Of Your System
Can I Treat Herpes Simplex At Home
Avoiding known triggers, such as illness or stress, can help reduce how often you have herpes outbreaks.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-1 ?
- Over-the-counter creams such as L-lysine, benzocaine or docosanol .
- Applying ice to blisters or sores.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-2 ?
- Apply an ice pack to your genitals. Wrap the ice pack in a washcloth or apply it over your underwear.
- Keep your genitals dry. Wear cotton or other nonsynthetic underpants and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Moist sores take longer to heal.
- Soak in a warm bath.
Recommended Reading: How Can You Tell If You Have Genital Herpes