Consequences of genital herpes during pregnancy and its treatment regimen

When a woman worries that she might develop genital herpes during pregnancy, she usually takes care of the fetus. Therefore, if you want to familiarize yourself with the consequences of herpes infection in the genital area during pregnancy, which can harm an unborn child, this is written at the very end of this article. But the article also reveals questions about the causes of the manifestation, symptoms and treatment of genital herpes in women during pregnancy.


The main key of genital herpes during pregnancy is a virus carrier during the acute stage or during an exacerbation of the disease. In this connection, a woman becomes infected from a partner through sexual intercourse. A record high infection occurs among people between the ages of 20 and 35. People with a fairly large number of sexual partners or those who have sex at an excessively early age are usually at the highest risk.

The causative agent and its development in the body

Genital herpes in a pregnant woman, in most cases, is caused by the causative agent of the herpes simplex virus type 2. This is the clinical version of herpes simplex. The incubation phase lasts from two days to almost two weeks. The virus penetrates the skin of the outer surface of the genital organs, as well as through the mucous membrane of the genitourinary system. Then it is introduced into the circulatory system, as well as into the lymph nodes.

At the initial stage, genital herpes during pregnancy goes deep into the nerve endings. Further, the virus penetrates the cytoplasm of especially sensitive processes of nerve cells to:

segmental nerve nodes – where the innervation of the skin reflects genetic connections;

peripheral nerve nodes – part of the nervous system outside the brain, spinal cord;

regional nerve nodes – a specific area of ​​the human body with an independent nervous area.

In these nerve cells, the virus is stored in a dormant mode, that is, in a latent form. The lumbosacral region of the nerve nodes of the spinal cord is designed to store the virus and serves as a key for sexual transmission in the acute stage.

Recurrent genital herpes has long been one of the most common viral infections transmitted during sexual intercourse between partners. Its causative agent differs significantly from other viruses in that it lives in the human body forever, being in a latent form (dormant mode) until a certain time and is not easily amenable to specific therapy.

Recurrent genital herpes occurs both due to damage to nerve and epithelial cells, as well as cells that belong to the immune system. This is clearly expressed by a huge number of changes in the clinical direction and secondary immunity deficiency. In this regard, frequent relapses of the disease occur, occurring with subfebrile body temperature, enlarged lymph nodes, sometimes with mental disorders.

Reasons for virus activation and transmission routes

Genital herpes, both in early pregnancy and subsequently, can be easily triggered by:

sexual contact with a virus carrier;

directly by the pregnancy itself;

significant hormonal modifications;

serious mental trauma;

nervous overwork;

frequent lack of sleep or poor sleep;

overheating and hypothermia;

diseases of the internal organs of a chronic nature.

A significant level of infection, exacerbation, density and different saturation of clinical manifestations significantly depends on the number and vigor of microorganisms. The total duration of their exposure depends on the barrier state of the placenta and mucous membranes. And also the level of infection is observed at a time when the protective functions of a pregnant woman or fetus are subject to the least resistance to viruses.


Genital herpes and pregnancy are extremely disparate phenomena, but nevertheless, it is quite possible to contract an infection sexually in the early stages of pregnancy. This problem is very dangerous for the expectant mother as well as for the fetus. Morphological elements are expressed immediately after the incubation stage on the third, sometimes on the fifth day of the actual lesion. At the moment of extreme stressful conditions, the first symptoms and signs of genital herpes, both external on the labia and general, begin immediately.

On the labia during pregnancy, genital herpes is expressed by such somatic signs as:

rapid development of severe general weakness;

a state of apathy;

fever, chills;

severe headaches, nausea and vomiting;

frequent urination;

enlarged inguinal lymph nodes with severe pain;

vaginal herpes leads to extra vaginal discharge;

the appearance of watery blisters on the surface of the labia;

itching and burning in the genital area;

severe pain and discomfort in the genitals and on the surface of the labia.

A skin rash with genital herpes in pregnant women manifests itself in the form of small transparent watery blisters that tend to pool. Around the blisters, the skin reddens and hurts.

From the minute of the possible appearance of bubbles to the moment of their bursting, as a rule, it takes from two to four days. Initially, weeping ulcers begin to form, which, when healed, form crusts. With timely treatment, after about a week, the crusts will begin to fall off, and the mucous membranes and skin will begin to heal. If the treatment of genital herpes in pregnant women is not carried out, then the disease can last almost a month.

Exacerbations of chronic genital herpes during pregnancy are not as painful as the primary infection. The clinical picture of the chronic course of the disease is very diverse. The stronger the immune system of the human body works, the faster and easier the disease goes away. Up to the complete absence of certain signs. Even if a rash has formed in the genital area, as a rule, the maximum duration of the disease does not exceed one week. In some cases, only swelling appears in the area of ​​mucous membranes and skin, sometimes with redness.

With the formation of shingles in pregnant women, pain occurs along the nerve, the rash spreads widely throughout the perineum. 


It is not recommended to treat genital herpes while in position, without a medical examination by a specialist in a gynecological clinic. Many drugs are contraindicated for use by expectant mothers. Flawless treatment variation is a linear combination of methods such as:

drug therapy to suppress the active virus;

symptomatic therapy to accelerate the healing of rashes;

correction of the immune system to enhance immunity.

Specialists such as a dermatologist, gynecologist and venereologist, after a medical examination and with correct differential diagnosis, know exactly how and how to treat genital herpes in a woman during pregnancy. First of all, external treatment of the affected genital area with antiseptics and antiviral ointments is prescribed.

Drug therapy

Acyclovir – tablets, ointment. As a rule, in this setting, women are prescribed Acyclovir. the drug is quite effective in terms of targeted exposure. In a short time, it relieves the symptoms of the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), significantly reducing the duration of its activity.

Panavir is a gel. For external use. A highly effective agent that prevents the virus from developing and multiplying. Leads to their rapid destruction of herpes.


B vitamins.

Medicines based on herbs such as Echinacea, Ginseng, Eleutherococcus.

Tea with honey. A decoction of black currant leaves and raspberries.

Tea with lemon.

Some medicines for the treatment of genital herpes during pregnancy are prescribed only if the perceived benefit to the woman outweighs the possible risk to the fetus.


Potential negative outcomes of fetal development vary. It depends on the period of infection of the pregnant woman.

1 trimester. Miscarriage, threat of miscarriage, frozen pregnancy, congenital malformation, complete or partial damage to organs at the developmental stage;

2nd and 3rd trimesters. Early untimely labor, heart disease, pneumonia, serious disruptions in the liver, disruption of the spleen.

Treatment of newborns who become infected intrauterinely, in rare cases, gives a positive result. The baby either dies or is born disabled. Due to infection of the fetus, the results can be as follows:

Cerebral palsy;



epilepsy and other consequences.

The neonatal virus is expressed in a variety of levels of manifestation. As a rule, a baby is born with symptoms of herpes on the skin, rarely on the genitals. A virus that attacks the nervous system is fatal in 50% of cases.

With the development of the herpes simplex virus at any time, before childbirth, herpes is transmitted to the child. Only 6% of babies are born with symptoms of focal lesions with a relapse of the disease.

Summing up, it is worth recalling that during pregnancy it is most dangerous to become infected with genital herpes for the first time. Since the primary infection will be more dangerous for the fetus, because there are no antibodies to herpes in the blood of a pregnant woman, which means that herpes can penetrate the fetus and disrupt proper development. If during pregnancy there is a relapse of herpes, then it is necessary to urgently start treatment, while it is better to contact a venereologist, and not a gynecologist, since genital herpes is much easier to diagnose by a venereologist.

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