LAST EDITED ON Sep-29-11 AT 06:39 PM (CDST)
I wonder if anyone can help me. I'm currently 24 weeks pregnant and have had recurrent herpes for 11 years. I have been with a very supportive partner for 5 years, and although outbreaks are on average every 6-8 weeks, it no longer bothers me. I have had courses of Acyclovir from time to time in the past, which is always effective as long as the treatment lasts, but have decided just to live with it.
I really want a natural birth, and would like to avoid a caesarian section at all costs. Despite the theory that pregnant women have a suppressed immune system, I have been lucky, and bizarrely, I have had fewer outbreaks during pregnancy than ever before (only one definite OB since I conceived). However, I would like to minimise the risk of active sores when I go into labour as I would like to have a natural birth without fear of passing herpes on to my baby (I know there is always a minimal risk, but I have read the statistics and the chances are very small).
I've read conflicting advice online. Some sources imply that if there is an active sore, a C-section will always be recommended. Others say that there is minimal risk of passing on to the child, even with an active sore and that a natural birth is still fine. I am from the UK and would like to know which is accurate? My midwife has implied that if there is an active sore at the time of labour, a C-section would be recommended, and I really want to avoid this.
Even if I am allowed to go ahead with a natural birth, regardless of symptomatic herpes, I would obviously rather avoid having an outbreak at the time of labour. Again I have read conflicting information on the recommendation of Acyclovir for the last few weeks of pregnancy.
I can find no contraindications of taking Acyclovir in the last trimester, and although no major study has been completed, according to my own research it has been found to be beneficial.
I would like to take Acyclovir as a preventative measure against outbreaks from week 36 onwards, as this course of action makes a lot of sense to me. I have an appointment with a consultant next week, and have been told that prescribing Acyclovir is not 'standard' in the UK. Can anyone point me in the direction of medical papers that will support my wishes to take suppressive therapy for the last few weeks of pregnancy? I would like to be armed with information when I meet the consultant to support my wishes. I would also like to know if anyone has any experience of whether it is possible or likely to be prescribed Acyclovir from week 36 onwards. Is there anyone from the UK with experience of this?
If I have any say in the matter, I would prefer to take the course and not worry about active lesions while giving birth, giving myself the best possible chance of a natural birth. It seems illogical that such a simple preventative measure with no known adverse effects is not recommended as standard.