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Old 05-18-2002, 08:56 AM   #1
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LouisaT HB User
Post Pregnant w/Herpes HELP! I'm so scared.

OK I need some opinions - in fact as many as I can get because I am at a loss to make up my mind.

I am 5 months pregnant and I have herpes. I know that there is a risk of passing this to my baby during delivery causing deafness blindness or sometimes death and it scares me more than words can say.

My options are to wait until my 35th week and take Valtrex - a drug that they have not done enough research about, as far as what it does to an unborn child. My doctor said that even on Valtrex you can still break out so we will have to watch me closely and if I do break out do a c-section.

My other option is to NOT take the Valtrex and hope for the best, watching for breakouts and if I have one I will have to get a c-section anyway.

What is the point of taking Valtrex if both options end up with me possible having a c-section? I would be willing to have the c-section for my child and I have told the doctor this.

I need to know answers to a few questions...

Is there a possibility if I have an outbreak in my 35th to 40th week that the baby can cath it in my womb?

Is there a possibility that I could take the Valtrex and break out because of taking it (Valtrex making it worse)?

What would/did you do? If you have been pregnant and have taken Valtrex please let me know the outcome.

Thanks.

 
Old 05-20-2002, 07:46 AM   #2
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creekwalker HB User
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Hi LouisaT, I had my last baby in 1985 and had aquired herpes from my then, husband. We took the route of waiting to see if I had an outbreak before delivery and if so, C-section. I delivered naturally and my baby was fine. I would be cautious about taking a drug that hasn't even been tested for unborn babies. I do not believe that the baby can get the infection even if you have an outbreak that late in pregnancy, due to the protective lining that the baby is in, and the closed off cervix. Good luck, everything will be ok.

 
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:28 AM   #3
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Hi Louisa, I have herpes and have 3 wonderful children. My first daughter was by c-section, because I had a break out when she was born. My next two children were delivered vaginally, also known as a VBAC. I understand that you are scared, I was too with my first child.

Your unborn child cannot get herpes from you if you have a break out during your pregnancy. Personally, I would not take any medication that I had no idea what it would do to my child.

When I went into labor with all 3 of my children, the doctor made sure I was not broken out with herpes at the time and then we made the decision together.

Louisa, have you sat down with your doctor and asked him these questions? Personally, I would have to question a doctor who would suggest you take any medication, not knowing the results it will have on your child.



[This message has been edited by christie s (edited 05-20-2002).]

 
Old 05-26-2002, 08:53 PM   #4
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Wanted to respond to some of your questions. First I want to say that I have a very rare and high rate of herpes recurrences. I have had two children and neither one contracted herpes. I had both vaginally. During my first pregnancy I broke out constantly (I mean multiple times a month) Most of my outbreaks are on my rear. About a month before I delivered I stopped having outbreaks (don't know why-guess my body was able to kick in as it usually isn't). Second pregnancy (two years ago) I decided to take acyclovir at end of pregnancy. My understanding is that this is becoming STANDARD PROCEDURE even though it is not FDA approved. I was told this by a reproductive endocrinologist at a teaching hospital. I was also told this by my own doc. I feel my child was not harmed in anyway by this, and she would have suffered much worse by being exposed to this virus that can cause death in infants. You obviously must make this decision yourself. Many, many excellent doctors on the cutting edge of current practice recommend taking medication these days.

I can't remember all of your questions but want to say that looking for an outbreak and not seeing one does not mean you are not shedding the virus-remember asymptomatic shedding?

Women who are most at risk for passing this virus on to there babies are women who contract it late in their pregnancy because they have not made the antibodies to protect baby.

Whatever you decide to do, the chances of passing it on to your baby are small because you know you have the virus and have had it for a while. One last thing, I have read and recently heard of a woman whose baby contracted herpes from a fetal scalp monitor. Don't let them use one on your baby. I always kept that in mind, and told my husband not to let them use one in case I became unable to object due to any unforseen circumstance. Try to relax many women with herpes have babies, and most of them don't get the virus. Best wishes, Susan.

 
Old 05-28-2002, 05:36 AM   #5
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First of all, if I were you, I would have a c-section no matter what as you know you can transmit by shedding and not even have it known to you or your doctor. Yes there are complications that can occur. Don't want to scare you, but children can end up needing liver transplants or get herpes encephalitis (brain damage) so if I were you I would take no chances and have the c-section. That is 100% guarantee that you will not transmit it to your baby. Lots of women don't have outbreaks at the time of delivery and they still transmit it to their babies through vaginal births. If your OB says no to the c-section, find one who will say yes. trust me, the risk of a vaginal birth is not worth it.

[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 07-28-2002).]

 
Old 05-28-2002, 12:20 PM   #6
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I just wanted to say that I once had an outbreak on my stomach! So much for the 100% guarantee of a c-section. I would really think this through if I were you. I doubt there are many (any?) doctors out there who would just give you a c-section because you have herpes. I think that would be considered unnecessary. By the way I have worked in a hospital too, and I have seen babies born to mom's who have herpes. That's partly why I took the meds. Good luck no matter what you choose.

[This message has been edited by SusanM (edited 05-28-2002).]

[This message has been edited by SusanM (edited 05-28-2002).]

 
Old 05-28-2002, 05:01 PM   #7
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First of all, YES. MANY doctors will do Csections on Herpes positive women, trust me, I know. And any risk of exposure is too much of a risk. And as for the out break on your stomach, the stomach is swabbed with betadine and it is covered by a sterile sheet. Obviously the incision would not be on top of the sore, therefore, the baby would not contract it this way. C sections are not thought of the way they were before. Many OBs actually think they are safer than a vaginal birth. There are many complications that can occur during vaginal births that would never happen with a c section.
Marie

 
Old 05-29-2002, 01:07 PM   #8
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I have read a lot about herpes, and I have never, ever heard any expert (or doctor) suggest that it is safer or necessary for all women who have herpes to have a c-section. If c-sections were so much better and more risk free than vaginal births why doesn't everyone opt for one??? Bye Bye Marie

[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 07-28-2002).]

 
Old 05-29-2002, 01:29 PM   #9
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siobhan HB User
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I have to say that I've done ALOT of reading and researching into this, since I was diagnosed about six months ago, and I have to concur with Suzanne. I've never heard of doctors, immedidately skipping over the VBAC and going to a C-section, just because of herpes.

I've just never heard of anything remotely like that. I'd be open to reading sourced that back it up.

I'm going to be a mother, sooner than later in my life, and I'm not going to let something like herpes, plan it for me.

[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 07-28-2002).]

 
Old 05-29-2002, 01:57 PM   #10
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SweetMarie HB User
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Please let us know how everything goes.

 
Old 05-29-2002, 02:01 PM   #11
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SweetMarie HB User
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I am only telling what my opinion from what I see is. Read up on it, instead of assuming, and you will find that many OBs perform Csections on herpes postitive women. Remember that asymptomatic shedding? A lot of the women whos babies need liver transplants, or suffer brain damage had no sores or visible lesions at the time of delivery. And I only know one thing. I would do whatever was necessary to protect my child. And if that meant undergoing a c section and having a few more days of recovery to ensure that my child was not transmitted a disease, then by God I would do it. ANY risk of transmission is too much.
Susan

[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 07-28-2002).]

 
Old 06-05-2002, 08:51 PM   #12
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I am 5 months pregnant with my second child and married to an OB/GYN. It was recommended by my doctor and by my husband that I take Valtrex beginning at 37 or 38 weeks during my first pregnancy. This is also recommended by the American College of OB/GYNs, a highly respected professional organization which makes recommendations on suggested treatments for various issues.

As noted in several of the posts, herpes can have deadly consequences in newborns and is simply not worth the risk. If they do contract it (and they may even if you do not think you are having an outbreak because you have sores on your cervix, in your vagina, or are shedding the virus asymptomatically), the baby will be given Valtrex anyway. What does two weeks matter? In fact, part of the reason you take it while pregnant is so the baby will get the Valtrex into its system and will not contract HSV if exposed.

I respect my husband's medical opinion implicitly as he was in the very top of his medical class, went to a very competitive residency, and has scored in the 99th percentile in the country on the standardized tests given to residents . . . not to brag about his credentials, but just to let you know he knows what he is talking about. More importantly, I know my husband would never recommend I do anything that would be harmful to his son, and he absolutely firmly believes I should take Valtrex again this time, so I will.

I hope this helps.

 
Old 06-11-2002, 10:13 AM   #13
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siobhan HB User
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GAmomof two-

I hope you don't mind, I just had a question for you. I can't take Valtrex, I have horrible side effects of incapacitating stomach cramps. I suppose the Acycolvir would be recommended the same way in early pregnancy?

 
Old 07-14-2002, 07:12 AM   #14
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LouisaT HB User
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Thank you so much for all of the responses!!!! The different opinions have TRULY helped.

I am now 7 months pregnant and still torn. I want to have a c-section so bad. I am seriously scared to death. I am going to talk to my doctor at my next appt. to see if we can schedule one. I have read many places that if you are having an outbreak they give you a c-section SO what I was thinking was if I am having asymptomatic shedding or a breakout or not sure I want a c-section anyway to be safe. Or maybe even take Valtrex and get a c-section just in case I go into labor before the c-section is scheduled.

I hope my doctor will schedule one for this reason and not tell me that I will only get a c-section with an outbreak. I hate to sound sneaky but if I was told that I would probably fake an outbreak by saying that I could feel one coming on - like the tingling etc. just so they would do it.

 
Old 07-14-2002, 10:09 AM   #15
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metaldiffusion HB User
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If you are that scared, I don't think natural labor will work well for you anyway. I did have natural home births with my children (though I didn't know yet that what I had was herpes, had been tested negative but was still concerned, there was no outbreak present and everything was fine) but just having done childbirth 2 times, I believe that if a person is so set on having a c-section it makes natural labor become dangerous. I can't imagine that a dr would refuse to do a c-section for the reason of possible herpes transmission coupled with fear. Perhaps a different dr would be better for you if this one doesn't understand. Good luck!

 
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