What Should You Know About Genital Herpes When You're Pregnant

If your spouse recently committed infidelity in your marriage, you may be concerned about whether or not you have a STD, especially if you're pregnant. Having a STD or sexually transmitted disease like genital herpes is a potentially harmful and life-changing event for you and your baby. However, your OB/GYN offers hope and treatment to help you get through this emotionally-draining time.

Until you see your doctor to find out if you have a STD or not, keep the information below in mind.

Can Herpes Harm Your Baby?

Right now, your main concern may be about the safety of your baby — and you should be. Sexually transmitted diseases, such as genital herpes, can affect your baby during his or her delivery when they become active.

Genital herpes, also called herpes simplex type 2 or HSV-2, forms from a virus that hides inside your body. It awakens or becomes active when you experience high levels of stress or a serious illness, such as the flu or the emotional pain of your spouse's infidelity. When you don't experience these physical and emotional changes, the STD remains dormant or asleep.

Some people notice that their HSV-2 is active based on the symptoms the disease produces:

  • Blisters
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Headaches

The most prevalent symptom of genital herpes is the formation of blisters on the outside of your vagina, thighs, rectum, and buttocks. The blisters can be very painful and easily transmitted to someone else through skin to skin contact. Your OB/GYN calls this an outbreak.

An outbreak describes the time when genital herpes show up or erupt into blisters. The timeline for the outbreaks vary from person to person, but a number of people experience their biggest outbreak within a week or so after contracting the STD. Afterward, they may experience an outbreak when they have some type of stress.

Keep in mind that it's possible to not notice any symptoms of herpes, even during an outbreak. The blisters tend to be mild or less painful during this time. That's why it's critical that your doctor monitor your health throughout your pregnancy, as well as prescribe you anti-viral medications to help control the virus in your body. The doctor needs to make sure that you don't have any blisters present during the delivery, or the baby can contract the virus on his or her skin as he or she passes through the birth canal.

How Will You Deliver Your Baby?

You can have a normal delivery if you don't have herpes simplex virus blisters present. However, you may choose to have a c-section instead. A c-section requires the OB/GYN to deliver your baby through an incision in your abdomen instead of through the vagina. It may help reduce your chances of spreading the STD to your baby.

The best way to know if you have HSV-2 is to watch your health carefully. Look for signs of blisters when you bathe, use the bathroom or change your clothing. If you notice any symptoms, contact your doctor immediately for care. Your OB/GYN can also perform a blood test to see if you have the herpes virus in your body. However, you should discuss this option with your physician.

To learn more, contact a company like Triad OB-GYN PC with any questions you have.