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Valtrex/Acyclovir and trying to get pregnant
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An_210266 posted:
Hi there - I have recently been diagnosed with HSV-2. I've been in a monogamous relationship for 2 years and am just now finding out that I have it. He is negative. Amazingly, he hasn't become infected. We would now like to stop using condoms and try to get pregnant, but I'd like to do whatever I can to avoid infecting my partner. I understand that suppressive therapy decreases the incidence of asymptomatic shedding. My ob-gyn seems to think it's ok to take these meds when trying to conceive and whilst pregnant. I have searched these discussions and I see that some women are on suppressive therapy in the last month of their pregnancy. What about while trying to conceive? Will having this drug in my system hinder fertility and/or do harm to the embryo/fetus/child? I don't like the idea of taking meds, as far as keeping my body healthy and clean, but I also don't like the idea of infecting my partner. As an aside, I've only had 2 outbreaks and have no prodrome symptoms so I can never tell when I'm having one. Thanks so much for any guidance.
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betsyo1967 responded:
what testing did you have done to diagnose you as having hsv2? did you have your lesion cultured that led to diagnosis or was this a blood test?

yes you can be on daily suppressive therapy while trying to conceive. once you confirm your pregnancy you and your partner can discuss if you think it's worthwhile to stay on suppressive therapy, use condoms or just avoid sex anytime you have anything going on genitally - totally up to the 2 of you. his risk is overall low even if you don't take any precaution other than avoiding sex during obvious symptoms.

keep asking questions!
Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
 
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nan654 replied to betsyo1967's response:
Thanks so much for the reply! Yes, I had a lesion cultured. Do you know what the main/specific risks are to being on suppressive therapy while pregnant? I can't seem to find any info on that and my ob-gyn said she's have to research it more. You mention his risk is overall low even if the only precaution is no sex during symptoms. Is that because it's harder for a man to get it from a woman? From what I understand, hsv2 sheds quite often, and that's the part that makes me the most nervous. Thanks again.
 
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betsyo1967 replied to nan654's response:
there aren't any risks that we know of of being on suppressive therapy while pregnant. Most drugs don't do testing during pregnancy for obvious reasons - law suits! What info we do have though from the valtrex and acyclovir pregnancy registries is that there aren't any issues in over 10 years of pregnant women taking herpes antivirals during pregnancy. we do have a study on valtrex in the last month of pregnancy that followed up and found no issues in mom or baby. the current recommendations are for mom and doc to discuss if worthwhile taking suppressive therapy during pregnancy or just treating ob's as they occur.

your male partner only has a 4% risk/year of contracting hsv2 from you if you do nothing but avoid sex anytime you have anything going on genitally. If you take daily suppressive therapy it's cut to a 2% risk/year. Throwing in condoms too is a 1% risk/year which really there isn't a big significance to that 1% difference in risk. you've already been sexually active with him for 2 years, took no precautions and he's negative - you already know how low the risk is in general
Talking about std testing is NORMAL and something we all should be doing EVERY TIME before we have sex with a new partner :)
 
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An_210267 replied to betsyo1967's response:
got it. makes sense. thanks a lot for the information!
 
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Juswena replied to An_210267's response:
Hi there. I noticed your post was a year ago and wandering if you were successful in having a baby. My partner and I are in a similar situation, trying to concieve while I am taking Zovirax. It's been a rocky road to get to this stage, wanting desperately to start a family but dealing with the guilt of possibly giving my partner a life long sti
 
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nan654 replied to Juswena's response:
Hi - yes, I definitely know how that feels. The responses I got from betsyo 1967 gave me some comfort, as well as the research I did and talking to my doctors. There is obviously a chance of passing it on to your partner, but it is much less if you're on meds and are careful not to have sex during an outbreak (or right before if you can help it). I personally have never had prodrome symptoms so I can never tell if it's coming on or not.
Anyway, I actually did get pregnant! When I found out, I stopped taking acyclovir, but I will take it again closer to delivery date in hopes that I can have a vaginal delivery (although I of course worry about passing it on to baby, etc, but all in all, this seems to be a pretty low chance if you're not having a visible outbreak). Any signs of it and I will go straight for a c-section.
I will say, however, that I have had a couple of (so far) pretty major outbreaks whilst pregnant. Apparently, your immune system is suppressed and/or busy doing other things so it's not paying any kind of attention to keeping outbreaks at bay.
So I'm trying to be extra diligent in regards to having sex with my partner. He's still negative thank goodness.
It is a difficult situation and it's a real shame we have to deal with it.There are a lot of us in the same boat, getting pregnant, having babies, having sex. I have to believe that we can have as normal of a life as possible despite having hsv.
Best of luck to you!!!
 
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flylady replied to nan654's response:
Hi - i've just been diagnosed with HSV1 occurring in genital region, a shock to us both as partner (negative) and I have been together ten years and both extremely careful sexually before then apparently it can just sit dormant for years, through two pregnancies and just showed up after pregnancy no.3. We are now in the same situation of deciding whether to keep taking Aciclovir if I get pregnant again, and the risk of pregnancy's immune-suppressing issues like outbreaks etc. and birth situation, although HSV1 is supposed to be significantly less virulent. I was encouraged by and deeply related to comment above re. many of us living with this nasty virus and its emotional and physical load - I was initially so shocked at its brutality and then gutted that it would be a permanent bed-partner so to speak having impact on our sex-life - such an intimate important part of a relationship - and on our choices re. children and pregnancies. Interested to hear how things went?
 
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nan654 replied to flylady's response:
Hi flylady - sorry I haven't gotten back to this reply sooner. Everything went really well. I took acyclovir at the end of my pregnancy and had no outbreak. I actually ended up with a c-section unfortunately because my little one just didn't want to come out (I pushed for 3 1/2 hours) and then vitals started going down, etc. Anyway, point being, it was fine. I could've easily had a vaginal birth if LO cooperated! My ob-gyn told me that in all of the years he's been practicing (he's older, so a lot), he's only had one patient that had an outbreak at delivery and had to have a c. And that was because she was trying to go totally natural, ie didn't want to take acyclovir/valtrex. To each their own of course, but it was important to me to not have drugs, epidural, etc, also, which I was able to do (until surgery), but I was JUST FINE with taking acyclovir. The benefit outweighed the risk in my opinion. And my baby is as perfect as can be.
I haven't started taking meds again yet because i'm still breastfeeding (although they say it's fine). So back to being extra careful with sex. I have had a couple of outbreaks which then means LOTS of hand washing and being ultra careful around baby.
It is very unfortunately a permanent bed partner as you say, but to be honest, the best we can do is deal with it emotionally, learn as much as we can, take the normal precautions, and then try not to always have it in your mind. It's enough to drive you insane. I do still think about it too much, so I understand what you mean. Another thing to keep in mind is the older you get, the less outbreaks that you tend to have. I'm not sure if that holds true with asymptomatic shedding, but not having full outbreaks does wonders for the emotional part of dealing with it.
I wish we didn't have to go through this, but like I said before, there are so many of us that are going through it. So I know we will be ok. At least we know we have it. There are loads of people that have it and don't know and could be spreading it without knowing. And remember, we both had it without knowing for who knows how long so we were doing nothing about it, and our partners are still negative. Now we know and hopefully that will help us not spread it even more.And you've already had kids and you've been fine!
Anyway, best of luck to you! Take good care.
 
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abe648 replied to flylady's response:
With HSV 1 genitally it does not give that much problem with ob's. On avearage you will have one initial ob and then one more in the first year and then on avarage you will only have one ob every other year.

You can use a suppressive therapy if you want but you really do not have to. The risk to him is the same as i outlined above.

If you do decide to use some type of suppressive therapy then as soon as you know you are pregnant then stop the suppressive therapy and your Gyn can R/x something to take only when you have an ob if you ever would get an ob during pregnancy.

Now hope you get pregnant soon!!! God Bless the two of you.

Read the Herpes Handbook located in my signture line it covers pregnancy..
Abe ... Read more in the Herpes Handbook. Watch the Herpes Video and Terri Warren's book The Good News about the Bad News. All located under the heading Herpes at http://www.westoverheights.com/


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