Genital Herpes: What You Should Know About Sex And Pregnancy | TampaIndividuals diagnosed with genital herpes usually want to understand if they can have sex and produce healthy children. The answer to these questions is “yes,” but the patient will need to take some precautions. 

Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides advanced dermatology treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding communities. 


How to Prevent Spreading Herpes to Your Partner

If a person has genital herpes, but their partner does not, they can spread the virus that causes it to their partner during sex. Therefore, dermatologists recommend:

Informing your partner, you have genital herpes 

The patient should explain to their partner that there is a risk of passing the virus that causes genital herpes. They should ensure that their partner understands that the following can reduce this risk:

Avoiding sex when you have sores

It is recommended that the patient avoid all sexual contact while they have sores and for one or two days after the sores clear to avoid passing on genital herpes to their sexual partner. In case their partner’s skin or genitals touch a herpes sore, they can easily catch the virus. 

Using a condom when you are free of sores

Even when a patient does not have sores, it is possible to spread the virus to their partner. When the virus is inactive, it travels from the skin (or genitals) to neighboring nerve cells. 

A trigger can awaken this virus at any time. Stress, illness, and surgery are some common triggers. Once the virus wakes up, it travels back to the patient’s skin or genitals. 

At times, when the virus wakes up, the patient will not have any sores or symptoms. During these times, they will not even know that the virus is on their skin or genitals. During these times, it is possible to spread the virus to their sexual partner. This risk can be reduced by using condoms. 

The risk of spreading the virus can also be reduced by taking an antiviral drug daily. Research indicates that if one partner in a relationship has genital herpes and takes an antiviral medication daily, the medicine can reduce the risk of spreading the virus to the other partner. This research study included heterosexual couples with healthy immune systems. 

Despite taking an antiviral every day, the patient must use a condom each time that they engage in sex. In case taking a daily antiviral interest the patient, they should speak to their dermatologist or primary care physician. Women should consult their OB/GYN.


How Genital Herpes can Impact Your Pregnancy

If a woman has genital herpes, it is possible to spread the virus to her baby while:

  • Pregnant
  • Giving birth
  • Caring for her newborn

In case the baby gets the virus while in the womb, the mother may experience a miscarriage or deliver the baby prematurely. It can be deadly for the baby if it catches the virus during birth, or shortly thereafter. 


What to Tell Your OB/GYN

It’s paramount for the OB/GYN to understand if the patient:

  • Has genital herpes, even if you have not had sores or symptoms for a long period.
  • Does not have genital herpes but is having sex with an individual who does.

The transfer of the virus to the baby can be prevented by taking precautions. Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for dermatologic as well as medical spa procedures.

SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.