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Pregnant with sex shame

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I am currently 21 weeks pregnant. At 17 weeks I was diagnosed with a first outbreak of herpes that I contracted from my husband. It was absolutely miserable. At first I thought it must have been something that I picked up a long time ago, because my husband and I have been together for 6 years. Then I found out that it was a new outbreak. I got over the initial shock and luckily my first outbreak, and am now on maintenance anti vitals. I have never gone through anything so painful and uncomfortable (Insert "well good luck going through labor" jokes here). The problem is now that because my husband is an asymptomatic carrier, he doesn't understand how uncomfortable it is.

I am associating the pleasure of sex with the pain of my outbreak and am terrified that if I have too rough of sex or even too messy that I will spread the virus and infection to other areas of my genitals or body! I don't know how to overcome this, or get over the fact that I got this from him. I had his blood tests done and he has an old infection of herpes simplex 1, which I can only assume is the same kind of virus I have. That being said, how can I ever have oral sex again? The last thing I want is to get this anywhere else on my body. I am so mad at my husband, because he has never even bothered to get an std test (I think it is a generational thing). How am I supposed to get over this and enjoy my sex life again? I'm so confused, mad, and scared. I feel like I should put my own vagina on quarantine.

Has anyone tried sex therapy, did it help? I am trying to be as open and talk about the disease with as many people close to me as I can so that I don't feel so isolated. I don't think it is fair that even my husband who I got this from doesn't understand what it feels like. Anyways, just trying not to feel so alone.

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you are not alone.

auto inoculation ( self spreading) is mainly only happening in the first few months of having the virus, then your body has the ability to fight it pretty good.

lots of people have sex who have herpes, it just requires a little more thought. after a while OBs become less frequent and with suppressive , though if you both have the same kind that seems unnecessary.


I would recommend a blood test just to type it, and yes for both of you.


congrats on the wee one, in about 19 weeks your going to be more concerned with poopy diapers than herpes.

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Hi and welcome.


Have you been tested? I'm assuming so since you are pregnant and said you are on the antivirals?


Regarding your words "I am so mad at my husband, because he has never even bothered to get an std test (I think it is a generational thing). "


Save the anger for the herpes not your husband. Did he know he had herpes and just didn't tell you? Have you had an STD test done before this? You can carry this with you for years before you have an OB. Or, you could never even get one. Or, you can get an OB right away. Just depends. And, for those like me, you may THINK you are being tested but are in fact not. HSV and HIV are NOT included in the standard tests. Even if you tell your doctor "I want to be tested for everything", that does not cover those two things, because the tests cost more money.


Focus more on learning about this and what needs to be done to ensure you stay healthy and your baby stays healthy during the pregnancy.

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@seeker i went to my OB/GYN and used my insurance. When you go that route, only the cheap tests are included in their "standard package" chlamydia, gonorrhea and something else. they will not include HIV or HSV unless specifically asked (or if you are having an OB). When I went in a few weeks ago b/c of issues, that is when the NP told me I had lesions and she recommended the HSV, HIV test AND the standard tests ... which then started the conversation of what is included and what isn't. I told her I have asked to "be tested for everything" before. She looked at my past results and confirmed I had not had HIV or HSV tested for in the past. So, note to self - always ask.

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@ Katie


If you husband is positive for HSV 1, then in all likelihood it is an oral infection and you contracted it genitally by receiving oral sex from him. He can not catch the virus again, so you can receive all the oral sex you want without fear of transmitting it back to him. As far spreading it to different parts of your body, just practice normal sanitation practices during an outbreak (washing hands, etc). After a few months your body will have good antibodies and auto inoculation becomes difficult. The first outbreak is the worst, especially with genital HSV 1. You may never have another outbreak again. Head up and congrats on the baby.

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@FL: I was diagnosed with a new herpes infection per my blood work after I had an outbreak during my pregnancy. My husband who is a couple generations older than me, has never been tested for STDs ever. He's never had an OB before, so I don't know if it's oral or genital. My doc ordered blood draws on him and he tested positive for an old infection of HSV1. My problem is that I don't want to contract an oral herpes infection. He can't understand that I am associating sex with the pain of my herpes outbreak I think. I know that it's not fair and I love my husband a lot, but it's only been a month and I still don't know how to feel about my new sexual life. I don't think it is fair to feel responsible for his sexual satisfaction when he is the reason I am on this mess in the first place. We are both nurses and I have done everything I can to learn about this virus, but something inside of me feels less than adequate as a woman. I never realized the amount of value that society puts in a woman being sexually healthy. I told my husband he needs to educate himself about herpes and try to comprehend at least a little bit of what I am going through. It also probably doesn't Help that I can't drink, or really do any I the things that I usually would do to get my mind off things. Sex just makes it worse.

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Correction: @FLNewH


HSV and HIV are NOT included in the standard tests.


You mean HSV and HPV??? ;) HIV is pretty much standard test now because it can be fatal and they can do a cheek swab which is pretty inexpensive and immediate result. I can't imagine ANY responsible Dr not testing for it.


Who the hell thought it was a good idea to have all the names end up with very similar acronyms? :p


I would be willing to bet that your hubby has had HSV1 orally from childhood ... and it's only relatively recently that the connection was made that you could get HSV1 genitally from oral sex and the vast majority of the population has no idea about this. Combined with that AND the fact that if he HAD gone for an STD test, odds are he would not have been tested for Herpes and I would put a bet out there that you would still be in this situation. Also, just a question, but did YOU ever ask him to get tested when you first got together? And do you know for sure that you were tested for herpes back then? Because the vast majority of people *believe* they have been tested when in fact they were not ... and sadly the CDC doesn't seem to be in a hurry to change this policy :(


Once you are about 4-5 weeks into having H you should be ok orally... in fact, if you think of it, odds are you've kissed him plenty of times and didn't get it orally so it's *possible* you had some low exposure from childhood yourself there that may have protected you there ...


And the reason he can't understand your pain is that HE hasn't experienced the pain of a Herpes OB, so of course he can't understand it ... AND, he's a MAN ... they generally process this stuff differently. I bet he just plain doesn't know what to do because he can't "fix" this.


I never realized the amount of value that society puts in a woman being sexually healthy.


Well, how much of that has come from what someone has "told" you, and how much of it is what you have bought into as soon as you were diagnosed? Have you had anyone tell you that you are "less than" you were before you were diagnosed, or is it just something that you chose to believe? I tell people all the time, "Don't believe everything you think" ;)


I want to give you something to think on. You and your hubby are both RN's. Perhaps once you adjust to all this, you could find some way to help people in your area with Herpes? Or to educate the general public? You are in a perfect place to do that and I can tell you that when you help others who are not as far along as you, it helps with your healing ;) Just a thought!





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Absolutely. You make a lot of good points!! I have already done a lot of education to everyone I can and feel comfortable with about herpes. I would love to make a difference. I know that some of this coping problem is also coming from my pregnancy hormone imbalance too. It is really nice to have the support of other people in my shoes. Thanks you guys!! ❤️

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