PregnancySexual HealthWomens Health

Genital Herpes: Special Care in Pregnancy

The genital herpes is caused by a very common virus, the herpes simplex (the same also affects our lips). There are several types of herpes simplex and those that primarily affect the genital areas are HSV-1 and HSV-2. They are much more common than we think, with women being the most vulnerable to being affected by their infection.

genital herpes

Although the most common form of infection is from an infected man to a healthy woman. It is not a disorder that we should underestimate, as it can have complications, especially if it occurs during the gestation period. To act as soon as possible, it is important to know the symptoms.

Symptoms of genital herpes

Most people infected with HSV-2 are not aware of their infection. And is that, although it may be contagious, usually does not show visible signs in its initial phase. When the symptoms become evident, they are usually very annoying, something that happens in the following weeks to the contagion. The initial symptoms may be itching, fever or, due to other diseases, swelling of the lymph nodes. They appear by outbreaks and then gradually disappear. The infection is also very dangerous in people with weak immune systems, and can also affect emotionally.

Genital herpes during pregnancy

Genital herpes can be especially dangerous for babies and pregnant women. Getting the virus can increase the risk of preterm delivery. The gynecologist can prescribe a vaginal swab before birth and if it is positive for the virus, opt for a cesarean section. The fact that the mother has the virus does not mean that the baby is irreparably infected.

In turn, you can get genital herpes if your partner has cold sores and practices oral sex.

Diagnosis of genital herpes

The symptoms, as we pointed out above, are not always visible. In the presence of an active outbreak, and therefore a painful wound, a clinical examination will be necessary to determine the cause. In one outbreak and another, blood analysis may be useful for detecting the presence of antibodies to HSV-1 or HSV-2.

Red spots may appear on the area of the vagina or vulva, which when ruptured ulcers becomes causing pain. It may be only a few sores or a greater number of them may be created. Ulcers can last for several weeks, especially if it is the first time you get an infection of this type. Other symptoms that may be noticed are burning or pain in the genital area, increased vaginal discharge or flow, and painful urination.

Can herpes affect the baby?

The answer is yes. The biggest risk is that genital herpes is transmitted to the baby during childbirth. If this happens, the infection could have consequences for the newborn. The risk of transmission is even greater if you have been infected for the first time and in the last trimester of pregnancy.

Take precautionary measures and let your doctor advice to protect the baby and prevent infection.

Remedies for genital herpes

There is no treatment that can eradicate the virus by one hundred percent, but some antiviral medications to alleviate its effects. The key is prevention, as in all sexually transmitted diseases, through the use of condoms in the case of relationships with new partners, but also with the stable partner if it is known that they are infected. It is always advisable to talk to the doctor.