Pretty sure I have herpes - Mothering Forums
February 2005 > Pretty sure I have herpes
Lousli's Avatar Lousli 02:00 PM 06-27-2004
Oh, I am so bummed. I had not even thought about this while we were trying, or anything, until I got another one of my "rashes" this weeks. Long story short, I have had oral herpes (cold sores) since toddler-hood, and have gotten outbreaks of them throughout my life. About a year to 16 months ago I noticed a similar feeling (itching, tingling) in my vaginal area, and discovered bump or blisters.

My husband is completely without symptoms, and 100% faithful to me (I do not question this at all). I actually think I gave them to myself! Perhaps I was picking at my mouth and then forgot to wash my hands before using the bathroom. Anyway, since I was almost certain that that's what it was, and there's not a whole lot one can do about it, I have just lived with the occasional outbreaks.

But now I'm pregnant, and even though I have read up on the risks of herpes transmission, and the likelihood of having an outbreak at the time of labor, I am so depressed at the thought of a c-section. With my last I had an epidural, and I really wanted to have a natural birth with this one. It really makes me miserable that the choice may not be in my hands.

Also, my mom wants to be there for the birth, and I haven't told her about this problem, because I think she would flip out on me. What am I going to do if they suddenly say, "oh yes, you have active herpes, we'll need to section you" with my mom in the room!?!

This sucks.

I go to my OB tomorrow, so I'll have him look at my "bumps." but honestly, there is very little question in my mind that it could possibly be anything else. Well, I guess all I can do is hope, and follow dietary guidelines for prevention. Probably will take Acyclovir the last month or two as well.

ladyluna's Avatar ladyluna 02:44 PM 06-27-2004
Please update us about this! I would really like to hear what your Dr has to say about it. I also have herpes,mom doesn't know, and same fears of C-sec. I know exactly how you feel and it SUCKS, except for I got them from ancient irresponsible behavior and have given them to dh. IT KILLS ME.
Boobs's Avatar Boobs 02:55 PM 06-27-2004
Lesley and ladyluna...
I'm so sorry you have to deal with this on top of everything else you have to worry about when you're having a baby.
I really hope it works out that you can still have your vaginal birth.
Ravenmoon's Avatar Ravenmoon 02:57 PM 06-27-2004
My best friend delivered vaginally with Herpes.Her midwifes gave her a prescription that cleared them up just in time before the delivery.It is possible to deliver vaginally!I recommend taking any immune boosting supplements and cutting out sugar.Herpes outbreaks come from the immune system being down(pregnancy suppreses are system)and the horomones that come from being pregnant.I would suggest vitamin c and zinc and taking echinacea for a week at a time(one week on one week off)until they are cleared should really help.Let me look in my book for some more info.
Lousli's Avatar Lousli 03:31 PM 06-27-2004
Thanks for the support ladies. There is a pretty good chance (90% or more) of having a vaginal delivery. Only 10-14% of women with herpes have active lesions near delivery. Most likely less if you are willing to take the antiviral medication Acyclovir and make changes to your diet for a month or two prior to your due date. So I know my chances of delivering vaginally are probably about the same as if I didn't have herpes.

I just worry about explaining to my mom (who is a midwife) if I do have to have a section. She's really against doing them unneccesarily. I may avoid the issue by asking her to be with my daughter while I'm in labor. But I'm not sure how I feel about this, I'd kind of like her to be there (kind of not, I'm not sure yet). I know she'd like to be there.

For more information, I went to the I'm pregnant board, did a search with the key word herpes, and came up with a lot of stories, advice, and suggestions, plus good informational websites.

ladyluna, I'm sorry that you have this problem, but it is good to know I'm not the only one, if you know what I mean. There is such a stigma attached to herpes, which is ridiculous, but true. We can compare notes as we continue throughout this process. Are you also due in Feb?
mehndi mama's Avatar mehndi mama 11:17 AM 06-28-2004
I'm right there with ya, but I've only ever had one visible outbreak. So far, I haven't had to worry about active lesions during birth - thank goodness! But is sounds like you're educating yourself well on the subject, so I don't have much to say
I got mine from the first creep I slept with....and they didn't show up until 9 years later! .....just in time to pass 'em on to DH unknowingly. It sucks, but at least I know what's going on, and that's half the battle.
ladyluna's Avatar ladyluna 10:47 AM 06-29-2004
Hello, no, not due in Feb. I wish. Your post just came up when I clicked on new posts. Yes there is a huge stigma about them but it seems like whenever I tell anyone my deep dark secret they always know tons of people with them as well.

I am going to try not to worry too much about this, as someone else said, there are plenty of other things. It seems like there are lots of ways to have everything turn out OK. Thanks so much for the information and for being brave enough to start this thread! Its so nice to have some support and to know that other 'smart' ladies deal with this as well.
Lousli's Avatar Lousli 11:12 AM 06-29-2004
Just a short update. The doctor did a culture yesterday (which hurt a bit) and will be telling me the results soon. A positive is a positive, but false negatives are fairly common. As a result, he will probably just start me on suppresive medication at 30 weeks into my pregnancy (usually starts women at 34 weeks, but my daughter was 4 weeks early, so no chances). He told me he hasn't done a c-section for herpes in about 15 years! Not even one! This is because it is rare that women are unfortunate enough to get a breakout near delivery, and with suppresive medication, it becomes even more unlikely. So my chances are really good of having a vaginal delivery. I found that very reassuring.
ladyluna's Avatar ladyluna 01:08 PM 06-29-2004
Great! Thank you for the update! I will quit worrying!