You MUST ask for the blood test or you will NOT get it and then you will NOT find out that you are positive until you have an outbreak. The accepted reason that herpes is not part of a standard screening is that unless you have an outbreak, herpes is generally harmless and it doesn’t affect your quality of life. First, the bad news: Once you have herpes, it will be with you for the rest of your life. A discussion with your healthcare provider will help you decide which strategy is best for you. Many women living with herpes give birth to healthy babies. If you don’t have any symptoms, you can safely have a vaginal delivery. This virus remains dormant for the rest of our lives; in some people, however, it can leave the nerve ganglia, travel down the nerve fibres and cause shingles. You can get genital herpes by having sexual contact (vaginal, oral or anal sex) with someone who carries HSV.
HSV-2 can also infect the mouth, although it mainly causes genital herpes. I have been diagnosed with herpes simplex 2. I really don’t look forward to being alone, or sexless, for the rest of my life, but I am unwilling to convey the disease to someone that I care for enough to have sex with. Your obstetrician and midwife can monitor you during pregnancy and labor. Tell your midwife if you or your partner has genital herpes because in some situations, the virus can be harmful to babies (Pinninti 2014). Your newborn can catch herpes if you have an active outbreak in or around your vagina around the time of birth. The GUM clinic or your obstetrician will offer you treatment with the antiviral drug, Aciclovir, for the rest of your pregnancy. In a few, very rare cases, neonatal herpes can be severe enough to put a baby’s life at risk (RCOG 2014b).