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Forum Name: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Question: Herpes & getting pregnant


 kbak75 - Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:19 pm

When I met my fiance, she had found out she had contracted Herpes from a past relationship. Fortunately she found out before her and I had any sexual contact. I have always used condoms from the beginning with her, knowing it can still be passed along to me even when there is not an outbreak. We have been together for over 2 years now and she has not had an outbreak since the first one or two. She seems to think she was mis-diagnosed, but I have been causious regardless always using condoms. We are getting married in a week or so and I am curious about the best way to handle this issue with my soon-to-be wife. Even though I will be managomous with her, I still do not like the idea of risking getting Herpes by not using condoms. It's a major kink in our relationship having to use them with "my wife" if you catch my drift. Is there anything out there that would alow me to not use condoms and still keep me out of risk? And how do we handle getting pregnant? Do I just have to risk it? Thanks!
 Debbie Miller, RN - Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:56 pm

User avatar Hello,
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. I can understand your concern and I'm sorry this has to put a damper on your happiness in any way. This is one of the hardest issues a couple may face that is more psychologically damaging than physically.

I would like to refer you to a US FDA site that handles this topic very well. http://www.fda.gov/Fdac/features/2002/202_herp.html
There are some decisions you need to make but it is possible you may be able to take some cautious risks with your wife taking antiviral medications and avoiding sexual relations when she has outbreaks. Latex condoms will reduce your risk but you may opt to do without them and take your chances because of the relationship. Nobody can tell you what risks you should take. Having sex outside a monogamous relationship with a non-infected person is the only sure way to avoid these diseases.

Herpes is extremely common, not life-threatening and manageable. But I won't deny the distress it causes people. Support group participation can sometimes help people to learn to cope and adapt. As others discuss how they have managed their disease, you may get ideas for your own marriage.

If you decide you just can't risk doing without a condom, and pregnancy is desired, your only real option would be an artificial reproductive technology such as artificial insemination, using your sperm. If you do choose to have sexual intercourse without a barrier, be sure she is not having an outbreak at that time. This will reduce your risk. Often the frequency of outbreaks diminish quite a bit over time - frequent at the beginning, less later one. We don't actually know the reason for this.

Good luck to you both. I hope you find great joy and happiness in spite of this hurdle. There is much to be gained from a good marriage.

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