One of the most dangerous viral diseases is genital herpes during pregnancy. The virus infects the mucous membranes and skin. It complicates the course of pregnancy and prevents the normal development of the fetus. The main symptom of the disease – painful rash.
Cause of infection during pregnancy
Genital herpes occurs as a result of infection of a pregnant with herpes simplex. This can happen while communicating with a sick person. The most frequent infection occurs through sexual intercourse. Typically, genital herpes is accompanied by common sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia, gonorrhea, mycoplasmosis, etc.). Having become infected with the herpes simplex virus, a woman remains its carrier for the rest of her life. The virus is present in her body in a “sleeping” state. However, during infection, it can be activated and appear rash. During pregnancy, a woman may become infected with herpes for the first time or find recurrent herpes in her.
Statistics show that the number of pregnant women infected with the herpes virus is steadily increasing. If the disease in a pregnant woman is primary (before conception, the woman did not have herpes), then the risk of premature birth increases. The consequences of the disease depend on the time when the virus has been infected. It is proved that infection with herpes in the early stages has more severe consequences. In the first trimester, an infection can cause a spontaneous abortion. The virus sometimes provokes abnormalities in the development of the fetus, causing various deformities. In the third trimester, the infection leads to the appearance of herpes newborns.
Genital primary herpes during pregnancy
In the acute form, its symptoms are the same as in primary herpes. However, they may not be so pronounced. Recurrent herpes is considered the least negative option among others.
If before the pregnancy, the woman already had relapses of the disease, then the fetus receives protection from infection, since the maternal antibodies act. In this case, the child is 99% not infected with the virus. If the mother suffers from genital recurrent herpes, the risk of infection of the baby during childbirth is no more than 1%.
How to prevent genital herpes
Before pregnancy, it is necessary to eliminate bad habits, to cure chronic diseases and to undergo a course of general strengthening therapy. All foci of chronic infection must be eliminated (sinusitis, caries, gastritis, etc.). Some women do not even know that they have genital herpes. This happens with an atypical course of the disease or with herpes, which proceeds without obvious symptoms. To detect the virus, it is necessary to pass a serological analysis (blood is tested for antibodies). If your blood has an Ig G indicator, then herpes is recurrent – it does not pose a particular threat to pregnancy.
Pregnant women should use a condom during contact. In the waiting period for the baby, the future mom may have herpes on her lips. Then she needs to refrain from oral sex. Otherwise, the virus can be transferred from the lips to the penis, and then the herpes will fall into the genital tract of a pregnant woman. This will lead to dangerous consequences for the baby. If herpes is on the lips of a partner, then he may carry the infection by performing oral sex. Therefore, from such intimate communication pregnant should refrain. In the name of the well-being of the unborn child, you can endure nine months.
Prevention of genital herpes
If the gestation period is 36 weeks, the doctor may prescribe a course of preventive treatment. For this, the drugs acyclovir and valacyclovir are used. Pregnant women are recommended to use acyclovir, which is sold in pharmacies under the name “Zovirax” from the manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline. This drug is considered the most effective and safe. His excellent qualities are proven in practice. In addition, you must take a special multivitamin for pregnant women.
Treatment of genital herpes in pregnant women
The course of treatment is carried out under the supervision of a physician. Outwardly used ointments, which are based on acyclovir. They can be bought at any pharmacy without a prescription. Ointments of this type do not have any effect on the fetus, as they do not enter the blood. To prevent a rash, the doctor prescribes an oral acyclovir 2 weeks before the expected birth.
Prophylactic measures during labor
The soft birth canal is treated with polyvidone with iodine or another antiseptic. This allows you to avoid infecting your baby with a neonatal form of herpes.
If the future mother had cases of genital herpes in the past and had a rash during childbirth, she was offered two options: cesarean section or childbirth in the usual way with the baby’s skin treatment with antiseptics. However, caesarean section does not eliminate the likelihood of infection of the newborn. He may have herpes simplex virus.
If, before giving birth, a pregnant woman does not have an exacerbation, then you can give birth in the obstetric department of any maternity hospital. If 36 weeks have passed and there was a relapse, then it is better to give birth in a specialized clinic. There specialists will observe the woman in labor and the baby.