Genital herpes before childbirth

Genital herpes before birth - symptoms and possible consequences

The disease can manifest as painful symptoms or have an asymptomatic course. That is why women are compulsorily forced to undergo numerous examinations and to take many tests, even if there are no complaints about their health.

What is the danger of the disease in the last weeks of pregnancy?

Primary herpes before delivery can develop in two scenarios: has severe signs of infection or is asymptomatic.

Infection in the last weeks of pregnancy is extremely dangerous for the baby. Because of the lack of immune protection in a future mother, the infection has all chances to get into the child's body and provoke intrauterine infection, and this is already a direct threat to his life. After all, in most cases, such a complication leads to the death of crumbs. If even a child survives, disability can not be avoided, because the infection affects all internal organs and the central nervous system of a small organism.

But even in the case when intrauterine infection does not occur, there is a risk of infection of the child directly in the process of labor activity. This outcome is extremely difficult to prevent, because infected mucous membranes of the genital organs of the future mother, namely they will soon become generic pathways.

When a baby is infected directly during childbirth, there is a risk of neonatal (congenital) herpes. The disease can develop in different ways, but in most cases it proceeds quite hard. After a newborn baby has still unformed immunity, so his body can not resist a virus attack, and the disease becomes generalized. The virus spreads throughout the body, affecting primarily the umbilical wound, skin, mucous membranes of a newborn, gradually spreading to internal organs and the nervous system.

Certainly, congenital herpes is less dangerous than intrauterine infection. However, the probability of a lethal outcome is quite real.

Recurrent herpes in the last weeks of pregnancy

The insidiousness of herpetic infection is that, getting into the human body, it stays there for life. The virus is at rest, but under favorable conditions (for example, a decrease in immunity), it tends to activate. However, this form of the disease is less dangerous in pregnancy, and this is due to the fact that with relapse, intrauterine infection occurs extremely rarely, because the body of the future mother has already developed protective antibodies to the virus, which protect the fetus from infection. Nevertheless, it is impossible to exclude the fact of infection, because during pregnancy, the woman's immunity is significantly reduced, and, accordingly, the probability of developing various infections increases.

The most important threat in relapse is the infection of the baby in the process of delivery and development of neonatal disease.

What are the symptoms that indicate the presence of the virus before delivery?

As already noted, a viral illness can have an asymptomatic course. But this does not mean that the consequences are less destructive than when there are characteristic features. That is why it is important to detect the presence of the virus in a timely manner, especially when it comes to the period of pregnancy and the onset of the long-awaited hour "X", that is, the birth of a baby.

From the moment of infection to the appearance of the first clearly expressed symptoms, it can take from 3 to 14 days. Primary genital herpes is different from relapsing symptomatology. In the first case, the following signs are observed:

  • temperature increase;
  • enlarged lymph nodes in the groin;
  • increased frequency of urination;
  • the occurrence of pain, itching and burning in the intimate zone;
  • the appearance on the genitalia of the vesicles;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • pain in the muscles.

Recurrent herpes is less painful. The stronger the immune system of the patient, the easier the disease goes, up to the absence of symptoms. As a rule, with relapses there is no general malaise, and the disease lasts no more than 5 days.

Diagnosis of a viral disease before childbirth

When the first signs of anxiety occur, the expectant mother should immediately consult a doctor. The specialist will assign a laboratory diagnosis, which will identify the type of virus and the presence of antibodies to it.

The last study is especially important in pregnancy, as the probability of infection of the baby depends on its results.

Diagnosis of the viral agent is carried out in three ways:

  1. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) It allows to identify the virus and its type even before the onset of its manifestations. Laboratory diagnostics is performed on various liquids: urine, blood, amniotic fluid, saliva, vaginal discharge.
  2. Cultural analysis is the most accurate method of diagnosis. The contents of the vesicles are placed in a special medium, and for a two-week period the physicians are studying the extent of damage to living cells.
  3. Immunoenzymatic examination of the blood can determine the form of the disease: recurrent or primary herpes.

How to treat genital herpes before childbirth?

If it is a primary infection, then the pregnant woman must prescribe antiviral treatment, including the use of Acyclovir, and also local therapy with the help of special creams and ointments. To avoid infection of the child, the delivery is performed by the method of cesarean section. For the same "scenario" solve the problem with long-term herpes before childbirth. However, how to conduct the process of birth, only the doctor decides in each case individually. This can be both a natural delivery and a cesarean section.

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