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HSV 1 genital and pregnancy/childbirth
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HSV 1 genital and pregnancy/childbirth

Hello.

I'm hoping that you may be able to answer a few questions about HSV 1 and preganancy and HSV 1 and childbirth as I seem to be reading conflicting information on other health advise sites (or none at all for this particular kind of query)

I contracted HSV 1 two years ago from my ex partner after oral sex when he had a cold sore. I had a painful intitial outbreak in the genital area which cleared up within 7 days. I have since had no further outbreaks (although I admit that for the first few months I took Acyclovir at the drop of a hat as I was so paranoid about another outbreak). Even so, once I'd relaxed about the diagnosis ad stopped taking the drugs, I still have been fortunate to not have another bout.

My partner and I have recently been discussing having a baby and I am concerned about the possibility of transmitting an infection to the baby. I'd really welcome your answers to the following questions to help me make a balanced decision about what may be best for me, my partner and the baby that we hope we'll have.

- Can HSV 1 in the genital area be transmitted either during pregnancy or during childbirth?

- If the anser is yes to the above then can you give me any inidcation for how likely this might be to happen?

- What exactly are the risks and effects if HSV 1 was to be contracted during pregnancy or birth?

- Does vaginal delivery carry more risks of infection than a C-Section?

- Will I need to take Acyclovir (even though I have not had recurrent outbreaks) as a precaution during pregnancy in order to either reduce the risk of an outbreak or of transmitting the virus?

- Could childbirth and any damage to the vaginal area that it may cause result in an outbreak or increase the likelihood of me having an outbreak (I have to ask as I needed several stitches after I had my little girl and worry that this may happen again - I did not have HSV 1 then so this was not a concern at that time)?

I hope that you will be able to shed some light on this whole issue for me as I just want to be as informed as possible for the sake of my baby if I am lucky enough to become pregnant again.

Many thanks,

Sally
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since you have had hsv1 genitally since before you were pregnant, transmission is only an issue during delivery.  It's overall a less than 1% risk of transmitting hsv1 to the baby during delivery as long as no obvious lesions are present at the time of delivery . should you have obvious lesions the week before you are due or when you are in labor, a C section will be performed. You can take acyclovir or valtrex for the last month of pregnancy in the pregnancy doses if you are interested in order to increase the odds of not having an obvious lesion present close to delivery.

if the "trauma" of a traumatic birthing or an episiotomy triggered a recurrence, it would happen after the baby was born so it wouldn't be an issue.

keep asking questions and best of luck with getting pregnant again :)

grace
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Thanks so much for the advice Grace. It's really reassured me and even better than that, it's made me excited about another baby instead of anxious! Thank you, you've really been a help.

Dawn
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