Well I at least had it the expected 6 weeks after the start of sexual relations with my (now) second husband, and not in the middle of a long term relationship. I can see how that could be a real surprise, and not a good one
I don't know that I feel so bad about getting it, but my dh felt so terrible- he had no idea he had it, and they don't usually test you for it unless you have an outbreak, so even a general round of STD tests won't catch it.
That first outbreak just left me feeling so terrible, achy, vaginal bleeding (most of my sores were on cervix), headaches, tired that I was glad to take any medicine. I think the only side effect I really have is an upset stomach if I don't eat with it.
But I just looked up the side effects online-Drug Digest
,The side effects you may notice from acyclovir depend upon the dose you are taking and the infection being treated; not all side effects occur in every patient.
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
•confusion or hallucinations (i.e., seeing things that are not there)
•redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
•reduced amount of urine passed
•skin rash or hives
•unusual weakness or tiredness
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
•increased sensitivity to the sun
•loss of appetite
Acyclovir is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that acyclovir is not likely to harm an unborn baby.
Stop taking acyclovir and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
· an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
· little or no urine production; or
· unusual bleeding or bruising.
• Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take acyclovir and talk to your doctor if you experience
· nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, or abdominal pain;
· a headache or lightheadedness; or
· joint pain.AskDocWeb
It's also used for treatment of severe first episodes of genital herpes infections, for herpes encephalitis; for neonatal herpes infections and for treatment of varicella-zoster infections.
Side effects, that may go away during treatment, include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or headache. If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. Some people have reported hair loss from prolonged use. Others have reported dizziness, fatigue, skin rash, anorexia, leg pain, medication taste and sore throat.
The digestive side effects are reduced if taken with meals. Some nausea can be avoided with eating strategies like eating dry salted crackers and not lying down after you eat.
I hate taking any drugs in pregnancy. I don't drink caffeine, I wouldn't dye my hair, ect. But I also think if I had a provider who would do a c-section at any sign of an out break that the risks of Acyclovir aren't any worse then all the drugs they would pump into my body for a c-section. And my risk of death is much less.
Here are some more sites about herpesHerpes Viruses Association
This one is very reassuring!Herpes.com
On the one hand, such concern is understandable, because herpes can have devastating consequences for a newborn. But on the other hand, the risk is extremely low, experts agree especially for women with known, long-standing infections.
Neonatal herpes is not a reportable disease in most states, so there are no hard statistics on the number of cases nationwide. However, most researchers estimate between 1,000 and 3,000 cases a year in the United States, out of a total of 4 million births. To put this in greater perspective, an estimated 20-25% of pregnant women have genital herpes, while less than 0.1% of babies contract an infection. "Neonatal herpes is a remarkably rare event", says Zane Brown, MD, an expert on neonatal herpes and a member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington. "Compared to all the other possible risks in a pregnancy, the risk of neonatal herpes is extremely small."
"I think it's perceived to be more of a problem than it is", says Scott Roberts, MD a researcher in the Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Kansas. "The rate of neonatal herpes is very low, even though the prevalence of genital herpes in our country is quite common."
Transmission rates are lowest for women who acquire herpes before pregnancy -- one study (Randolph, JAMA, 1993) placing the risk at about 0.04% for such women who have no signs or symptoms of an outbreak at delivery. The chances of transmission are highest when a woman acquires genital herpes late in pregnancy.
Maternal illness following a cesarean is approximately 28%, compared with 1.6% following a vaginal delivery. Cesareans require long recovery times, and in some instances can even be fatal. "If we were doing C-sections on every mother with genital herpes, we'd end up losing almost as many women as we were saving babies," says Zane Brown.
Furthermore, the protection offered by C-sections is not absolute. In various studies, between 16% and 30% of infants infected with neonatal herpes were born by cesarean (in most of these cases the cesarean was performed after the membranes had ruptured).
At the same time, babies delivered vaginally, even in the presence of active lesions have an infection rate of only 0.25%-5%."Every center that does research has cases where a lesion is identified after delivery," explains Brown. "The obstetrician will notice it while stitching the mother after an episiotomy, for example. In most cases, those babies don't get infected". This again shows the protective power of maternal antibodies.
In short, for mothers with recurrent genital herpes, even the practice of delivering by cesarean in the case of visible lesions is conservative in light of the very few actual cases of neonatal herpes.
"We're not operating on mathematical assumptions," says Scott. "We're operating on real-world observations of how few babies get neonatal herpes."
Acyclovir is occasionally prescribed for pregnant women who suffer from extremely frequent outbreaks, or those who acquire genital herpes during pregnancy. The use of acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir during pregnancy is not recommended by ACOG or approved for use during pregnancy by the Food and Drug Administration. Ongoing studies may clarify the role of antiviral medications.
I'll stop rambling on now, I hope some of this is useful!