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Very personal..

(39 Posts)
Veryshy240468 Sun 07-Sep-08 15:08:52

Well to cut straight to it, I was diagnosed with genital herpes 13 years ago when I was 19 years old.

I realise this isn't the most pleasent subject but please do not judge or be disgusted by me. I was not and have never been promiscious, I was simply unlucky.

Given that I have lived with this for so long, I am absolutely fine about this now and accept it for the minor (if annoying!) occassional nusicance that it is.

Anyway, I am now 15 weeks pregnant. I have done enough research to know that this is generally only a problem if you catch it during pregnancy and specifically if you have your first outbreak during labour. If you already have it te risk of passing it onto your baby is very small as your body will produces anti-bodies that are passed onto the baby.

For that reason and becasue I couldn't bear to be judged by the midwifes for something thatis not my fault, I didn't mention this at my booking in appointment, but now I am wondering if I made a mistake.

I know the risk is tiny but I would never forgive myself if anything happened to my baby and I had not said anything.

I suppose what I am asking is what you would do if you were me? I have my 16 week check soon - do I need to decide to mention it then or not at all?

And also if anyone has any experience of this - how did the midwifes react and what did the consultant recommend.

I realise some people may not feel confisent talking about this on here so please e-mail me at if you prefer.

Thank you

FabioBadAssCat Sun 07-Sep-08 15:12:07

Oh God, the midwives won't care how you've got it, but they do need to know.

Tell them asap.

Do it on the phone - it'll be easier.

islandlassie Sun 07-Sep-08 15:12:22

midwives are not there to judge you and even if you are unlucky enough to get a mw that does, you will only have to put up with it for the next nine months.

tell them next app.

FabioBadAssCat Sun 07-Sep-08 15:13:52

I find it hard to imagine a midwife would judge you for catching an std when unprotected sex is what's keeping her in business!

lulumama Sun 07-Sep-08 15:15:26

you must mention it, midwives won;t care. they will have seen and heard it all before.

tell them next time you go. it won;t even warrant a raised eyebrow,i;m sure, considering you will have been tested for HIV and syphillis at your booking in bloods.

ellideb Sun 07-Sep-08 15:23:50

You are not going to be the 1st person they have come across and you certainly won't be the last. They have seen and heard all sorts of things from many different people from all walks of life so stop worrying about being judged. There are a lot worse things they have seen/heard about and midwives are not there to judge you or think badly of you. It sounds like you are doing enough of that to yourself, so accept it happened in the past, it's a tiny part of you now so just tell them. As it happens there was something I didn't want to tell the midwives about when I became pregnant but I thought, why not? Nobody has a right to judge me or my past and if they do then they are not worth worrying over. As it happens, they were very sympathetic and not at all judgemental. Besides it was in my baby's interest for them to know, so it was important for me to tell them. Good luck.

RubyRioja Sun 07-Sep-08 15:28:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RubyRioja Sun 07-Sep-08 15:29:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Renaissancewoman Sun 07-Sep-08 15:31:55

Midwives deal with all sorts eg heroin addicts/alcoholics having babies. So you shouldn't get any crap judgmental stuff. If you did, challenge it because she would be in the wrong and am sure would feel unprofessional for having it pointed out to her.

Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 15:34:57

Agree with other posters - your MWs will have seen it all before (and much, much MUCH worse). They are there to ensure a healthy labour and the safe delivery of your baby - tell them everything, it is in your interest.

CrushWithEyeliner Sun 07-Sep-08 15:35:32

You have to tell your MW is really important to do so. She /He will not bat an eyelid I guarantee - my BF is a MW and believe me they will neither be shocked or judge you in ANY way.

Veryshy240468 Sun 07-Sep-08 15:39:37

Thank you all for taking the time to reply, I can't tell you how much better you have made me feel already. I think I have just been building this up in my mind over the last few days for some reason and have managed to get it completely out of proportion.

I have my 16 week appointment next week to review my bloods etc so I will mention it then and I have decided I will just be factual and unashamed when I do. They are there to look after me and my baby and not to judge. I'm sure you are right and they won't raise an eyebrow anyway... and if they do - as you said islandlassie, I only have to put up with them for another 6 month.

At least this way I will know I have done the best by my baby and that is all that matters.

The only thing is I am having shared care so my 16 week is with the local midwife at my GP's rather than the hospital. If this means I need to change my appointments (ie I need to see the consultant now rather than just midwifes) would she be able to arrange this with the hospital?

RubyRioja - thanks for making me giggle

Thank you all once again x

Anna8888 Sun 07-Sep-08 15:40:59

Your MW will put in your notes and be able to arrange any other appointments you need. That is her job.

backintheUK Sun 07-Sep-08 15:51:15

I too worried about this as I have it - and didnt mention it at my booking in appt but did at my 20 week appt.
Please don't be worried it really isnt anything to be worried about. My 2nd pg i mentioned it at looked really anxious and my midwife laughed and said don't worry I have it too....

So please really don't worry -

backintheUK Sun 07-Sep-08 15:51:51

Oh and I didnt need to see anyone else special consultant etc because of it either

Veryshy240468 Sun 07-Sep-08 15:59:54

Thank Anna8888 - that is one less thing to worry about then!

BackintheUK - thanks so much for your reassurance. I'm really gald things were okay for you. Do you mind me asking what they did say? Did they discuss what would happen if you had an outbreak during labour? Did they suggest oral aciclovir from weeks 36 or anything?

I really hesitated about posting this but I am so glad I did now, you have all really reassured me.

Having just re-read my posts I've just realised I sound quite negative about the midwifes, when rest assured that is far from the case. I think they do a fab job, and those I have seen so far have been lovely - I guess I was just thinking worse case senario that I would get one who was less than understanding.

Thank you all

Elasticwoman Sun 07-Sep-08 18:34:42

Remember that they have a duty of confidentiality too. And no doubt it is on your notes, so the GP already knows? Do you see the GP for antenatal appts too? Maybe you could raise it with her.

backintheUK Sun 07-Sep-08 19:30:53

Sorry had to do bath time etc:
Quite honestly, they barely discussed. I have only ever had very very infrequent occurances so that might have been a factor but there was no mention of taking acyclovir as a caution - I only intended to let them know should I have an attack ( which didnt happen) my understanding was that there was only a slim risk if I had an attack DURING the actual birth.

So they treated it as a real non-event and as I say in my 2nd pg (which was in the US so are far more cautionary than here) didnt even mention anything negative at all....

Its a really horrible thing to worry about as it is embarrassing and somehow a really grim thing to be carrying round with you ...well.. forever but chances of there being a negative complication are very very slim...I would though perhaps raise some of your anxieties with your midwife as I am sure they will be able to reassure you


ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sun 07-Sep-08 22:25:20

Hon - I have it too, caught from husband who has cold sores, passed it on to me during some oral sex wink
I told the midwife at booking in and she didn't bat an eyelid. Doc noticed it in notes when I was in to be monitored and she very discreetly asked me to call back to discuss it (in case my DH didn't know).
Called back to discuss - general consensus is that it's not a bother. You can have viral shedding at any time so it's not as if an actual outbreak is particularly risky to the baby (typically I have had 2 this week at 39 weeks preg after none since the very early stages!) As you say, the baby has your antibodies for a while, and if you BF will be even longer.
please don't feel ashamed of it - 75% of british people carry the herpes virus and half of them never even get symptoms so they wouldn't know. Nobody is ashamed of having cold sores and herpes is just cold sores in a less visible place! Personally I'd rather have them on my fanny than my mouth - they ain't pretty.

greenlawn Mon 08-Sep-08 12:10:31

Hi, just wanted to second what has been said here about confidentiality and the kind of things mws have to deal with - a friend of mine who is a mw told me some time ago that they have to deal with all sorts of incredibly personal issues, domestic violence, rape, stds, sexual abuse, HIV, terminations (even in some rare cases for pre-teens) - and they take great care even referring to personal issues between themselves or with the patient (in case for eg - as someone else said - husband or partner may not be aware of issues). She herself had a termination some years ago, and is very sensitive to confidentiality issues.

Please be honest - I think nowadays people are much more aware of stds and we've come a long way from the days when people were judgmental about your personal life!

greenlawn Mon 08-Sep-08 12:17:14

RubyRioja - my mw friend told me similar story about a chap who insisted on having sex with his wife a few days after delivery - and then had the gall to complain that he had found it painful due to her stitches lacerating his penis ... nice guy!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 08-Sep-08 12:25:30

Message withdrawn

foxytocin Mon 08-Sep-08 12:26:36

Yes, it is vital to mention it to your midwife. As I understand it, if you have a blister when giving birth it can have very serious consequences.

This is hardly the most astonishing thing a midwife will have experienced in her career and no you will not be judged.

foxytocin Mon 08-Sep-08 12:30:39

"if you are unlucky enough to get a mw that does, you will only have to put up with it for the next nine months."

Gosh no. If you feel uncomfortable with a midwife looking after you, you can request a change of midwife through her team manager if she is a community midwife of through the Supervisor of Midwives at the hospital. You don't even have to say why you are uncomfortable with a mw.

becaroo Mon 08-Sep-08 12:54:56

Tell her. You have nothing to feel ashamed of and yours and your babys health could be at risk if you dont.

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