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Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: Control of herpes infection during pregnancy


 Charlie4 - Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:52 am

I have suffered from genital herpes for about 10 years, and as it was not diagnosed at the beginning, I transferred it to my lips and eyes. I now take 400mg of aciclovir twice daily to avoid outbreakes - before starting on the aciclovir I had an outbreak (in the genital area) once every month, about 1 week before having my period, so I assume it is triggered by hormones.

Now I am at a point in my life where I would like to try to get pregnant, but am worried about how to manage my herpes outbreaks during pregnancy - especially considering that the outbreaks seem to be related to my hormone levels, I am worried that it will get a lot worse during pregnancy. I am particularly worried about the herpes in my eyes, as I already have a few small spots blurring my vision - it is not much now, but I am obviously afraid that my vision could become impared if I have further outbreaks there.

The question is whether it would be safe for the fetus if I took aciclovir during pregnancy? If not, are there any other ways of managing my condition?

Thanks!
 Debbie Miller, RN - Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:54 pm

User avatar Hello,
The antiviral medications available to treat genital herpes are acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir. Acyclovir has the most data on the safety of use in pregnancy. A registry of over 1000 pregnant women who were exposed to acyclovir during early pregnancy suggests that acyclovir is probably safe as there were no increases in birth defects.

You should be able to manage your herpes infection throughout your pregnancy. Make sure your doctor is aware of your health history so you can get the best care possible. It is even possible to have a vaginal birth if you do not have an active outbreak at the time of delivery.

Otis pregnancy organization is a teratology service and they offer the following information in PDF format. http://www.otispregnancy.org/pdf/acyclovir.pdf

This should be encouraging to you. Good luck.

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