Discovering you have genital herpes while you’re pregnant may have raised concerns about your health. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) often require careful management to prevent the infection from worsening. What does this mean for your pregnancy? The diagnosis of an STD may have disrupted your plans a little bit. You may be worried about continuing the pregnancy now that you know you have herpes. Or, perhaps you’re still considering your options. But you have questions about accessing treatment. Where can you go to find the reliable information you need?
Are you dealing with a herpes diagnosis in the midst of a pregnancy? Avenue Women’s Center understands the difficulties of discussing such a challenging situation. Our expert pregnancy consultants will meet with you in a nonjudgmental environment to answer any of your valid questions. We offer limited medical services to help you learn more about your pregnancy. We can also provide you with referrals for ongoing treatment.
Contact us today to begin receiving confidential care and support!
How Might I Have Contracted Herpes?
Genital herpes is usually passed along from one person to the next through sexual contact. Vaginal sex is typically not the only form of intercourse where herpes can be transmitted. Engaging in genital sex, oral sex, and anal sex can expose you to the infection.
What Is the Difference Between Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2?
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) is said to cause cold sores on the lips. These may also be referred to as fever blisters. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) is believed to cause genital herpes. This can affect your genital area, your anus, your thighs, or other places. Typically, both forms of herpes will remain in your body forever. Symptoms may even reoccur from time to time.
However, HSV-1 may recur less frequently than HSV-2. A strong immune system can also ensure the infection remain in a dormant state. When this happens, outward signs of infection may not be visible. You may want to be careful about passing herpes onto someone if you’re asymptomatic.
Does Herpes Come With Any Symptoms?
Being wary of possible herpes symptoms can clue you on when to seek treatment. The signs of herpes can sometimes be easy to miss. Do you know if you’ve recently engaged in sexual intercourse with someone who has herpes?
If yes, you may begin to notice sores within two to ten days. These symptoms may last two to three weeks. Some people who contract herpes may experience more outbreaks in the future. These outbreaks may happen a couple of times a year. In some cases, they may not come at all. Or, they may be less severe.
It can be important to pay close attention to any changes. Getting tested even if you don’t notice any symptoms is probably still a good idea.
Some common symptoms of herpes include:
- Itching or burning feeling in your genitals or anal area
- Pain in your genital area
- Vaginal discharge
- Lesions on your cervix or vagina
- Flu-like symptoms during the first outbreak
Is There a Cure for Herpes?
As of now, we do not have a cure for herpes. This particular STD will usually stay with you once you’ve contracted it. A doctor may provide you with medications that lower your risk for future outbreaks. If you’re pregnant, then you’ll likely need to ask which medicines are safe to take.
How Can I Manage Herpes During My Pregnancy?
Understandably, learning you have herpes while you’re pregnant might have raised concerns. Is there a chance that you will transmit the infection to the fetus? If your first herpes outbreak occurs during pregnancy, there may be a risk of transmission. Women who have had previous outbreaks may not carry the same risk of passing it on to their offspring.
However, an active genital lesion during delivery can potentially cause the fetus to contract herpes. Speak with a doctor about this possibility and your next steps.
What if you’re considering abortion because you have herpes during your pregnancy? It can still be important to receive STD treatment. Having an abortion with an untreated STD can cause the infection to spread and worsen. It may even put you at risk for complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. One way to avoid this is to ensure you access the proper care you need beforehand.
Navigating through a pregnancy with an STD is challenging. You deserve to find the treatment you need. Speaking with a professional resource can help you learn about the many supportive outlets available to you.
Do you need help coping with herpes or another STD as you gather information about your options? Avenue Women’s Center offers clients accurate information about their health. We offer private consultations at each of our DuPage County centers. Confirm your pregnancy and receive limited medical services at no cost. If you’re concerned about locating STD treatment, we’re equipped to supply you with referrals.
Reach out today for free, compassionate services!
- Mayo Clinic. (2019, August). Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Retrieved from: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/symptoms-causes/syc-20351240
- verywellfamily. (2020, September 2). How to Handle Herpes and Pregnancy. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellfamily.com/herpes-in-pregnancy-2753634
Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.