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Late pregnancy - husband has a coldsore

(16 Posts)
QueenOfThePumpkins Fri 24-Jan-20 19:29:28

I'm due to deliver twins in 2-3 weeks and today my husband developed a coldsore. I had a quick Google and it sounds like catching the herpes virus for the first time in late pregnancy can be very dangerous for unborn babies... I've never had a coldsore myself so am a bit worried sad
I don't have symptoms myself at the moment, but over the last couple of days have kissed my husband on the lips, shared food with him etc, so it's very possible that I might have got it...

I called 111 for advice but they weren't very helpful and said coldsores are not dangerous in pregnancy, even though the NHS website suggests otherwise in the case of first infection. When I pointed this out they said I may have got confused with genital herpes. I've tried to do some more googling and have only got more confused. Does anyone know?

OP’s posts: |
INeedNewShoes Fri 24-Jan-20 19:33:31

Coldsores can definitely be dangerous to newborns. I've not read that there's a danger if the mother catches it while pregnant though.

I'd phone your midwife today in case this is something they would want to be aware of. Then see your GP on Monday.

CodenameVillanelle Fri 24-Jan-20 19:35:49

First outbreak of genital herpes during pregnancy is risky if you have a vaginal birth whilst sores are present.
Don't let him give you oral sex and you should be fine!

sycamore54321 Fri 24-Jan-20 19:42:50

It’s definitely right that cold sores can be dangerous in an infant but I’m not aware specifically of the issue you raise about your first infection in pregnancy.

Clearly you can’t do much about previous exposure but you can both be really vigilant now about hygiene and taking precautions to avoid transmission. If he doesn’t already, I have found the Compeed cold sore plasters to be excellent, both in keeping the blister isolated and in helping it dry up and heel. Even if you don’t have the special ones, get him to stick on any kind of plaster for now. Be careful of shared pillowcases, towels etc.

And speak to a doctor directly for advice on your specific question.

It’s unusual you haven’t previously caught the virus from him so perhaps you have some resistance/immunity to it yourself.

dementedpixie Fri 24-Jan-20 19:47:23

You could already be a carrier as the majority of people have the oral herpes virus but don't get symptoms. My dh gets them and I have never had one and neither have my 2 kids. We've been together for over 25 years

3rdchristmaslucky Fri 24-Jan-20 19:52:34

Because your immune system is weaker during pregnancy being exposed to herpes of any variety can be a little more dramatic than normal.

My next door neighbour had an outbreak during end of pregnancy which meant she needed medical intervention as it reached her eyes. This is an extreme case, but it is possible.

Due to the fact sharing utensils and kissing your partner during an outbreak seems like normal practice, the chances are you have already been exposed to the virus. You can't catch it twice.

Don't panic. Just go about your business as normal. On the off chance that you haven't already got the virus, practice better hygiene going forward (just be cautious).

It's very important that your baby isn't exposed to herpes.

SnugStars Fri 24-Jan-20 21:46:35

You’re right about a first outbreak in pregnancy being a risk to the baby. I had my first (and only so far) cold sore when pregnant and had to have a blood test to check if it was the first exposure, then had to take antivirals 4 times a day for a week or so I think it was.

QueenOfThePumpkins Sat 25-Jan-20 04:50:31

Thanks everyone. I know we are lucky to have the 111 service but I'm annoyed that they were so dismissive, and technically not correct in their advice.

Luckily I am seeing my consultant on Monday so I will ask her. Unfortunately I have an anxiety problem so medical professionals always think it's just the health anxiety talking, I often dont get taken seriously with stuff like this sad

I personally think i should have a course of antivirals just to be safe, as i may not even develop a cold sore if I have caught the virus... So would never know sad Argh what a worry!!

OP’s posts: |
Courtney10891 Sat 25-Jan-20 05:32:21

Hi, I suffer from cold sores but on my vagina not mouth. I would suggest asking the midwife for a few weeks worth on acyclovir which should keep any outbreaks at bay. It is dangerous to get cold sores in late pregnancy because you don't have the time to build up the antibodies to protect your baby. Like a previous comment said do no let your husband perform oral sex! Cold sores can be fatal to babies ( although this is rare)! I've delivered two babies, one vaginally and one c section. It's best to let your midwife know that what they know what to look out for and what next steps you should take. Good luck you will be fine x xx

SnugStars Sat 25-Jan-20 10:38:40

If you can get them to agree to a blood test that’ll show if you’ve been infected and whether it’s a first infection, then you’re not taking them unnecessarily if you’ve not been infected.

CodenameVillanelle Sat 25-Jan-20 11:00:35

aciclovir is safe during pregnancy so ask your consultant for a prescription to be safe. They will explain the risks. Don't worry!

fellyjish Sat 25-Jan-20 11:01:34

My DH used to get them a lot but went to the GP and got some anti virals and hasn't had one since.

Get him to the GP on Monday and get him to explain the situation. DH mentioned our baby and got a prescription straight away.

QueenOfThePumpkins Sat 25-Jan-20 16:20:37

Thanks everyone, really appreciate your replies.

I managed to get hold of one of the duty doctors and a midwife today, but both of them said it was nothing to worry about. They said coldsores are a big risk to newborns but not unborn babies, and that it's genital herpes which can cause problems during delivery. I am seeing my actual consultant in a few days (who is very cautious with everything), so will see if I can persuade her that antivirals may at least mean we can be sure. It seems there is definitely some risk of new infections being transmitted via the placenta. I don't care if it's rare for that to happen, it still sounds possible from what I've read sad

Good shout regarding DH getting them for himself too @fellyjish, as of course he will be around the babies all the time too. I will send him off to the GP next week.

OP’s posts: |
SnugStars Sat 25-Jan-20 18:21:48

I was abroad when I got my first cold sore when pregnant. I spoke to the senior partner at my GP’s by Skype, and he said it couldn’t be my first cold sore at my age, and the only way to know was a blood test anyway and that was that. So I went to a private clinic and for the test, which showed it was my first, and then rung back and spoke to a different GP who said I would definitely need antivirals as it was proven to be a first infection. I don’t know if they’d have agreed to a blood test had I been in the UK at the time. I wasn’t willing to take the risk though, why would you?

QueenOfThePumpkins Sat 25-Jan-20 23:38:54

So lucky that you did that @SnugStars, and proves you can't always just trust what the professionals say sad
Given that my section is booked for just over 2 weeks I don't think there will be time to arrange and get results of a blood test, then start antivirals. I will try and talk the consultant into just prescribing the tablets as a precaution, though am not optimistic sad

OP’s posts: |
SnugStars Sun 26-Jan-20 09:41:55

I hope they sort it for you, it’s horrid being worried and not been able to do anything about it.

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