How to get Pregnant » Pregnant With Herpes

Pregnant With Herpes

How to Get Pregnant

Herpes is a condition manifested by the HSV or Herpes Simplex Virus. The disease enters the body via mucous or lesions in the skin and typically, sexual contact triggers spread of the disease. Being pregnant with herpes can be a threat, or can pose no danger at all, depending on when the disease was contracted.

Dangers Posed by Herpes during Pregnancy

Women, who have had herpes for around 6 years or more, have minimal chances of spreading the disease to the baby. This happens because the woman's body has developed antibodies, which protect the baby against the disease. In such instances, even virus shedding inside the birthing canal does not trigger the condition in the infant. If herpes is contracted within the initial two trimesters, antibodies are still developed. However, should a woman be pregnant with herpes during the last trimester, it can pose fatal for the baby. In such instances, there is a 50% chance of the infection passing to the baby.

Suppression Treatment

As per the FDA, certain drugs of the likes of valacyclovir, acyclovir or famiciclovir are not approved for prescription to pregnant women. However, these drugs would be prescribed if the woman was not pregnant. In some instances, should there be very frequent outbreaks, an occasional administration of acylclovir might be necessary. For those women who are pregnant with herpes, and have contracted the disease in the last trimester, oral suppression treatment becomes essential. In such situations, the conventional drug dosage needs to continue 36 weeks into pregnancy until delivery.

Remedies for Relief

Conventionally, if a woman is pregnant with herpes, it is recommended that she not have any of the drugs mentioned above. Therefore, it becomes imperative to find ways to relieve symptoms and discomfort. Wearing loosing clothing and cotton underwear as well as cleansing genitals with lukewarm water post urination can help. Drying agents of the likes of cornstarch can be topically applied over the genitals to ease discomfort. Ice bags and black tea bags provide instant relief. Intercourse should ideally be avoided because the friction can worsen the condition.

Precautions during Delivery

A woman pregnant with herpes poses maximum risk to her baby during delivery. Hence, certain precautions need to be ensured. If there are no active scabs or lesions, vaginal delivery is prescribed as the recommended method of delivery. If there are outbreaks during delivery, a C-section is the best alternative. Many doctors will not use scalp electrodes, which are usually used to keep track of the heart rate of the infant. These electrodes can cause punctures on the skin of the baby, which facilitate easy entry of the virus.

Protection Post Delivery

Once the baby is born, they are at heightened risk of contracting neonatal herpes. People with cold sores should refrain from kissing the baby. Mothers with herpes outbreak should periodically wash their hands, more so before touching their baby. Monitoring the baby closely helps as most babies start showing symptoms 14 days post birth.

It is important to inform the obstetrician if you are pregnant with herpes. Necessary medication can be administered and precautions can be taken to ensure minimal risk to the baby.