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Pregnancy and HSV positive partner
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Pregnancy and HSV positive partner

Hi,
I and my bf were tested  for STDs a few years ago when we decided to move in together . My results came back negative and my bf's HSV 2 was positive. I was not worried at that time as I had HSV 1(cold sores) since I was a kid.But I never had any outbreaks on my face ever since.  But my bf constantly has outbreaks around his lips during winter time, but i never seen him having outbreaks in his genital area and he doesn't  recall if he had them before.

Now I got pregnant . I was tested for HSV 2 and I was  negative. I was spotting during early pregnancy and my OB/GYN told me not to have sex untill I stop spotting . I stopped spotting a couple weeks ago and I had sex with my bf 3 days ago  when I was  around 10 weeks along . We used condom.

I started reading about pregnancy and got some scary info on HSV 2 and I am  freaking out now how  dangerous it can be if a woman contracts it during pregnancy. I regret that I had sex with him . I am very upset and stressed . I feel sometimes pain in my buttocks,legs  and labia area  and I've read it could be a sign of genital herpes. I am terrified. I don't have any bumps or blisters.

So I 've got rather a few questions:

1. Is it very common to get HSV2 when there is no symptoms of outbreak present ? My bf didn't have any blisters or painful bumps that I could notice for three years we are together.

2. Will condom protect me if there are no symptoms present?

3. I am thinking that I should abstain from sex for the pregnancy to avoid the risk of contracting the virus. Does it sound wise?

4. Is it easier to contract HSV2 during pregnancy? What should I watch for after having sex a few days ago? And when should I be tested again to make sure I am still negative for HSV2?  My OB/GYN appointment is in 2,5 weeks when I am 12 weeks. Should I ask for another HSV 2 blood test ? Last time I had herpesselect type specific AB IGG. Should I do IGM  now to see if i was recently exposed?  Please advice!!!

Thank you.


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101028_tn?1348750963
your bf needs the WB, not you. he needs to confirm his infection at this point before you two can determine what to do next.  his low positive could be a false positive so he needs to confirm his status to see if you even need to be taking further precautions for herpes at this point.

no more testing for you at this point unless you develop obvious genital symptoms.   we do recommend repeating your herpes igg at the very start of the 3rd trimester though to err on the side of caution.

I'm sorry if you are receiving conflicting answers, I can speak for my own expertise and it's backed by Terri Warren, our herpes expert on medhelp as well as the std experts, dr hook and dr handsfield.  
15 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Just wanted to add that I  checked my bf 's numerical value for HSV2 igg 3.29
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101028_tn?1348750963
your bf's igg is a low positive so at this point, he needs to confirm if he indeed has hsv2 or not. His provider can order a herpes WB blood test for this if you are in the US.  Knowing his status for sure at this point is a priority.

if indeed he does have hsv2, he should start on daily suppressive therapy to reduce your risk of contracting hsv2 since you are pregnant. If he's on suppressive therapy, you use condoms and avoid sex anytime he has anything going on - you are 97-98% likely not to contract hsv2 from him. no reason to avoid sex with him until your last trimester if you are taking those precautions.  

no, herpes igm testing isn't a good idea. The igm herpes test is a greatly flawed test and the CDC recommends it not be drawn. it has a very high false positive rate and there's no reason to potentially upset yourself needlessly over this!!

grace
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks a lot for your quick reply!
We are in US.
I'll try to retest my bf by Western Blot .

Are there any other test for me to check if I contracted HSV2 when having sex a few days ago? Should I wait weeks or  months and then test IGG again, if i don't get visible symptoms in my genital area?  

I've been reading that condom doesn't really protect from HSV2.  I couldn't find more specific info though .I do understand why  It doesn't protect during outbreak because blisters could be not only on penis  but on the area around. But what  if there is no visible outbreak ? Is the virus shedding from the entire "boxers" area ?





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101028_tn?1348750963
really no reason to think you contracted hsv2 when you last had sex dear.

the virus sheds from the anal and genital area, not the entire boxer short area. a condom helps but it isn't 100%. combined together, all the precautions I mention really work well to lower your risk. Seems odd to use a condom during pregnancy but it is helpful :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again. I'll try not to think, but it's tough. I 'm so worried about baby now, especially when the baby is growing every day  and I'm starting physically feeling my pregnancy.

I am trying to find out if there is a way to order WB test  through lab, without going to the provider? If you know anything about it, I'll appreciate it a lot.
My bf is changing his job and health insurance. So I am not sure how long will it take him to get to the PCP. I think if it's possible  to order  the test by himself  , it will be faster to get the results. Anyway it looks like most health insurance companies don't cover WB. But I am not sure.
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101028_tn?1348750963
you need a provider to order it for you. you can order the WB kit from the U of washington but you still have to have your provider order it to be drawn and sent off for you from your local lab.  
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Avatar_m_tn
i am havng herper virus it came postive my husband has itching near penis can we wil be pregant or not
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1998092_tn?1391246445
Hi Olliesa - your fears are understandable, but it's good that you're taking steps to learn more about the virus. If you had cold sores as a kid, by the way, you have herpes - probably HSV-1, which gives you about 40% protection against HSV-2.

I have to disagree with grace a bit here: anywhere that the virus can be present, including the boxer short area, is a place that HSV can be contracted from. This is difficult, however, because the receiving partner has to have a portal in the skin (cut, wound, tear). This is partly why the statistics exist that condoms only officially protect us 30% of the time.

The Western Blot is considered the "gold standard" because it's been around the longest, and was the first of the blood tests to be deemed reliable. The IgG type-specific blood tests are known to be the most accurate, however, by most modern herpes experts. So you can probably trust your tests.

It's possible to spread herpes even when there are no symptoms present, yes. This phenomenon is called "asymptomatic shedding." It means we could be contagious at any moment and not know it.

However, I don't mean to scare you - from what you describe, I doubt you contracted HSV-2 from your guy. But if you want to be sure, in about 4 months, get tested with another IgG test (by the way, the IgM is pretty useless - don't bother with that). Any sooner could result in a false negative.

Two things you can do right away: ask your boyfriend to get on suppressive therapy immediately (daily antiviral medication), and yes, during the last four months of your pregnancy, don't have sex. This is when the baby can be most susceptible to being impacted by a new HSV infection, because any antibodies that result from a new infection in you will not have had time to generate enough to pass on to your baby.

Also, tell your doctor your concerns, and ask him/her to monitor you for symptoms of HSV especially when you go into labor. He/she should know what to do.

Please don't worry too much. Lots of HSV+ women have healthy babies. Since you're very aware and monitoring yourself, I'm confident you will too.
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1998092_tn?1391246445
Hi Beauty - yes, many women have healthy babies even with HSV. You and your husband need to get tested with an IgG type-specific blood test to make sure of what you each have. If only one of you has HSV-2, that person should protect the other from getting it, by getting on a daily dose of antiviral medication, using condoms every time you have sex, and not having sex when symptoms are present.

I hope this is clear and somewhat helpful!
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101028_tn?1348750963
please start your own post and we'll gladly take the time to answer your questions - thanks!

our read before posting post is located under the important announcements tab on the forum with the guidelines for posting here.

grace
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101028_tn?1348750963
the virus sheds from the anal and genital area, not the entire boxer short area. If you have an active lesion in the boxer short area, then indeed it is also shedding from there but in general, the skin on the non-genital /anal area in the boxer short area is too thick for the virus to penetrate to the skin's surface to shed in between obvious lesions to be an issue.

hope that clarifies it for you and catinbarefeet both :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you , Grace and catinbarefeet  for the clarification!

I am trying to stay positive and protect my baby.

But I am a bit confused about getting WB now. Does igg value 3.29 seems to be pretty high (even being low positive) for having HSV2? Oouch, I had so many hopes that it could be false positive. But now  one of you is telling to retest with the WB and the other one that I can trust IGG.  

Anyway we will test WB , but it will happen not  soon . Should we double check my bf's IGG level again? Because he had this test done around 3 years ago. Is there a possibility that the igg numbers can go up or down with the time?  



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Avatar_f_tn
I am positive for HSV1 and  was negative for HSV2.

My bf was only checked for HSV2, when he had STD testing. I didn't see any outbreaks on his genital area but  he has outbreaks on his lips like 6 times a year. So I guess he has HSV1 as well.

I am wondering if HSV2 symptoms can be very mild that I could never notice them? I've been reading a lot now and it seems HSV2 causes lots of outbreaks , even more than HSV1. But how come we never noticed them?. I asked my bf if he had any weird feelings in his genital area and he couldn't remember. But he can  definitely  tell before he has one on his mouth: numming , tingling feeling  inside his lip. That's how he is describing it.

I wish I had contracted this annoying herpes before I got pregnant. I think I'll  be more calm now. Because it is just crazy, I am looking for symptoms in my genital area every time I  take shower or go to the bathroom. I've noticed a little red bump on my butt. It doesn't really hurt, when I don't touch it. It 's not filled with liquid . So maybe it is just a pimple. But I am very afraid that even if I contract herpes , I can miss it and it will go unnoticed and i won't have symptoms. And the baby will be hurt.

If it's possible to contract HSV2 for the first time and never develop initial outbreak with real blisters , pain and etc?

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101028_tn?1348750963
your bf needs the WB, not you. he needs to confirm his infection at this point before you two can determine what to do next.  his low positive could be a false positive so he needs to confirm his status to see if you even need to be taking further precautions for herpes at this point.

no more testing for you at this point unless you develop obvious genital symptoms.   we do recommend repeating your herpes igg at the very start of the 3rd trimester though to err on the side of caution.

I'm sorry if you are receiving conflicting answers, I can speak for my own expertise and it's backed by Terri Warren, our herpes expert on medhelp as well as the std experts, dr hook and dr handsfield.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you , Grace.
Everything is clear now.
Our next step will be WB and I'll post here when we happen to receive the results from U of Washington.
Thanks again , your answers were very helpful!
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