Pregnant and living in fear due to husbands history of cold sores

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
Member
2114 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I am a nurse, but not an OB nurse so I can’t answer the questions below but I did have a breif rotation in maternity and can tell you that it seemed like every other woman on the maternity floor had genital HSV1 or HSV2….extremely common and not handled like some high risk case….the woman is simply checked for lesions and the delivery continues as planned from what I saw….I never saw it discussed in front of anyone, never saw it blaring on anyone’s chart…just part of admission assessment. 

I think you will feel beter once you discuss your fears with your OB. 

Post # 4
Member
1887 posts
Buzzing bee

@fresitachulita:  +1

@Nearsigntedgirl:  When I did my OB rotation in Nursing School, it seemed that many people had this issue.  Don’t fret- it is not as unusual as you think and they know how to handle it. 

Post # 5
Member
1167 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

http://www.babycenter.com/0_herpes-during-pregnancy_1360877.bc

This has some useful information, and from what Ive gleaned from both stories and the internet, because you were infected long before you were pregnant, you have built up some antibodies and immunity and should have passed those on to your baby. The only real problem is if there is an outbreak at the time of labour when a c-section may be neccessary.

Listen to PP’s, discuss this with your OB and don’t worry too much 🙂 They will know what to do and will give you the information you want.

Post # 6
Member
1164 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@Nearsigntedgirl:  Also a nurse, but not an OB nurse. My rotation in OB was similar to the PP. HSV was pretty common. I’m not sure about the answer to your first question, but your doctor will be able to answer that. As far as the second, I know that many times with STIs, partners have to be notified. Obviously you know you got it from him so I’m not sure how that will come into play. But he is your husband and this is a virus that affects him and potentially you and your child. So honestly, it’s probably a discussion you should have after you get more info from your doctor. That being said, there is no reason it should be talked about freely in front of any other family members. HIPAA laws protect against that. You will probably pre-register at the hospital so your initial interview may be completed a couple weeks before you are ever admitted to a room. If not, your nurse SHOULD ask everyone to step out besides your husband. I work in ICU and we always do our initial interviews before letting any family into the room unless the patient is unable to communicate and family is our only source of information. If you’re worried about it, visit the OB unit beforehand and ask questions about how they handle these things.

Post # 7
Member
2114 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I also want to add that the times I had been present at the inital interview, even hubby/boyfriend was asked to leave when sensitive subjects were raised. It didn’t seem as though they were trying to hide anything from partners but questions are asked that may be uncomfortable for the woman to answer in front of her partner. Basically, it seemed as though the nurses were intent on getting accurate information, which can sometimes only be obtained in privacy. I think you are going to have to tell your husband that you may or may  not have it, that you will be checked for it at delivery and I think it won’t be that big of a deal, but again, talk to your OB/GYN. I am sure you are just worrying too much! 

 

Post # 8
Member
918 posts
Busy bee

Doctor bees, feel free to correct me if what I think isn’t 100% correct, as my knowledge of infectious disease is somewhat limited, but…

Lots of people have HSV type 1, and most who have it catch it during childhood from a kiss from a family member, or playing “kiss and catch” in the school playground and catching it from another child, or sharing food utensils or face towels.

I can’t offer any advice in terms of pregnancy and delivery, but I do want you to know that this is a very common virus, and although it can be passed sexually, it can also be passed via many non-sexual means, so there’s no reason to automatically think “STI” when you think of HSV.  Yes, your husband could have given it to you, but for that matter you could have given it to him if you caught it during your childhood and never had symptoms (many people with HSV-1 don’t have symptoms).  Or you could easily have both caught it during your respective childhoods from different sources.  I probably have it too, as my sister used to get lots of cold sores as a child, and I’m sure we drank from the same glass or used the same spoon multiple times when we were young.  It really is a very common thing to have!

Post # 9
Member
2114 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@JulietFoxtrot:  You are indeed correct. =) HSV is harmless. It’s certainly sad that it’s thought of as some terrible thing when it ends up in the wrong place. However, I want to say that I recall from lecture from my midwife instructor that people who have a history oral HSV1 lesions are at very low risk of getting it in other parts of their body. People who are seronegative for HSV1 are at the highest risk of contracting it genitally through oral sex. But you are right, he could have gotten it from his Aunty slobbering all over him when he was little. She could have gotten it the same awy or more likley from him orally or genitally. Who knows, not everyone is symptomatic. 

 

Post # 10
Member
1887 posts
Buzzing bee

@fresitachulita:  Exactly! People can get this form from kissing their mother or grandmother. 

Post # 11
Member
785 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

@Nearsigntedgirl:  honestly I am so happy you posted this. I was diagnosed last august with genital herpes. After being completely monogamous with my FI for 4 years. He often gets cold sores, and I honestly had NO idea I could contract herpes through oral. So basically I was stupid. Since my FI was working OOT and knew I had some sort of UTI or something, he knew I had gone to the emergency room to figure out what it was, and was waiting to hear what the diagnosis was. When I got home, I called him

“So I know what it is”

“Really!? What is it!?”

“Fucking genital herpes” – I was mad, confused and sad.

“Really. Well how did you get that” – this really bothered me. 

“That was the first question I asked the doctor, and she told me how I could contract it. Remember your cold sores. Ya.”

*FI starts crying, and probably said sorry 300 times.*

 

Since then my only outbreak was last week. And lasted one day and was extremely minor. I could hardly walk with the initial outbreak.

 

 I am also TTC so Ive done a lot of internet research.

Basically, I take lysine supplements (a vitamin that is proven to keep herpes away). I avoid arginine and any food that would boost arginine in my body (proven to have more outbreaks if you consume arginine rich foods). I also avoid taking anti biotics or anything that would lower my immune system. 

From what ive researched, a doctor can give you something for your last weeks to keep the herpes virus away. You should only need a c section if you have visible blisters or lesions. Also, I will try to incorporate the lysine supplements if my doctor says its okay.

I think you need to tell your husband and your doctor.

My sisters are doulas, and im planning to have them there as my doulas so I will probably have to tell them and whoever I choose as my future mid wife.

Post # 12
Member
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

i just wanted to chime in, I have HSV-1 but have only had breakouts in my mouth. Before getting pregnant I would take lysene daily to help keep them under control (would get a sore probably 1x every 2-3 months). Since being pregnant, I stopped taking the lysene and have had no sores this entire time. I don’t know the medicial reason for this but truly believe it is because I am pregnant. 

Also, if you have never had a breakout before I wouldn’t worry too much about a breakout during pregnancy. But I agree with PPs, talk to your OB sometime when your husband is not around

Post # 13
Member
3360 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@Nearsigntedgirl:  Please talk openly about this with your DH and your medical provider, and don’t feel like you’re dirty or like anything is wrong with you because of this.  Trust me, the providers in your hospital should not bat an eye about this, HSV is soooo common.  I am actually in the same situation as you – I caught HSV-1 vaginally from my husband several years ago through oral sex.  He had never had cold sores before, and actually ended up performing oral sex on me the day before he got sores in his first outbreak (he caught it from sharing drinks with friends).  Of course he felt really bad when we realized that he gave it to me, but you get past it.  

If you haven’t had any repeated outbreaks, it’s actually really unlikely that you’ll even have a problem with it during pregnancy.  I am a little worried about it, because I’ve had a few outbreaks in the course of the 2-3 years I’ve had it, but like others have said, the only real effect it’ll have on your pregnancy is requiring a C-section if you have an active outbreak when you go into labor.  Because I really want to avoid a C-section, I’ll work with my midwife to take all possible preventative actions.  Just talk to your doctor openly, and don’t be embarassed!  You have no reason to be.

Post # 14
Member
6026 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Wait a second– if your husband was the one who passed the virus to you, why can you not talk openly with him about your prior symptoms and your fears?  It sounds like he’s got some issues he needs to deal with, and that his issues have turned into your issues.

Be honest with your OB-GYN. You will not be their first patient who has tested positive for HSV-1 and had to deliver a baby, and you will  not be their last. They are not going to pass judgment on you.  And tell your husband that his dodging of the issue, or contempt for people he considers “dirty”, are making it more difficult for you to be honest with your doctor, and making it more difficult for you to enjoy this time of your life. He needs to accept reality and move on.

Post # 15
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Aww–my sister got herpes from our cousin. I get the whole “unfortunate infection” thing!

I wouldn’t worry, though. They’re going to test you about 79840 times for EVERY STD, and they’ll know what to do. They’re not going to treat you like a leper, and you’re going to be FINE!

Post # 16
cherrypieBee
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

You may never have an outbreak, even if you have antibodies. Even IF your suspicious rash was genital HSV-1, it may never come back. You could also have contracted it somewhere else… you’ll still test serum positive. Still, there is nothing to be ashamed of– this is a very, very common infection! It’s OK! It’s NOT shameful. I know a lot of people who just take L-Lysine (an amino acid) and it completely prevents herpes outbreaks. If you haven’t had any that you know of, and you’re not prone to them, this might be a good preventative if it’s not contraindicted during pregnancy. You haven’t shown yourself to have high-rish HSV genital outbreaks, so cut yourself some slack. You’re gonna be OK. 🙂

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