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HSV Autoinoculation in Pregnancy Risk

I am currently 34 weeks pregnant. On Thursday morning, I noticed a small amount of blood on my underwear, so I washed my hands and inserted my finger into my vagina to make sure it was not vaginal bleeding (which was not).

The same evening, I felt tingling on my lower lip and realized that I was developing a cold sore. I have had cold sores multiple times previously before pregnancy. I have not touched my genitals for a couple of hours before the tingling sensation started and have not touched it after it started.

The following morning I called my OBGYN and was put on Acyclovir 400mg TID x 5 days for the cold sore

What is the chance that I could autoinoculate myself with hsv genitally by doing a vaginal exam couple of hours before cold sore symptoms occur if I touched my lip between washing hands and vaginal exam and didn’t realize it?

If autoinoculation occured, is it considered a primary infection or a recurrent infection outbreak?

Is there a risk for a baby?
Best Answer
207091 tn?1337709493
The chances that you'd autoinoculate after having antibodies are quite, quite low. You develop antibodies within a few months of getting the infection.

It's even lower since you didn't touch an active sore.

You also washed your hands, which would kill any virus you might have had on them.

Even if all the things come together and somehow you got genital herpes type 1, your antibodies cross the placenta, and your baby also have them. That would offer your baby significant protection, so the only danger would be if you had an outbreak during delivery.

Keep in mind, though, that the chances that you'd autoinoculate with an established infection is so, so low it might as well be zero.

This isn't anything I'd worry about at all.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. :)
Thank you so so much! You helped to lower my anxiety!
You're welcome! :)
I have and additional question. After getting this cold sore, I’ve read lot (maybe too much) about hsv. Hopefully it is just pregnancy anxiety and overthinking.

I have been in monogamous relationships with my husband for 15 years. He is the only sexual partner that I ever had. He had one sexual partner before me. We have never been tested for HSV. Neither of us ever had any genital symptoms. But we both have cold sores infrequently since teenage years. (So I’m assuming we’re both positive for hsv 1)

Is there a possibility that he could have gotten hsv 2 from his previous partner, passed it to me and we both stay asymptomatic for 15 years?

Is there a risk of the outbreak during delivery? Do we both need to get tested now, when I’m 35 weeks pregnant?

Thank you from overly anxious future mom!
I mean, is it possible? Sure.

Is it likely? No.

It would be really unusual for you both to not get symptoms, and for you to go through pregnancy, and all the changes that happen with that, and not get any symptoms.

Neither of you are what we consider risky, either.

I know that being pregnant with your first is an anxious time, but really, you're okay. Go worry about finishing the baby's room or what you're going to name the baby instead of herpes. :)
Thank you so so much!!!
You're welcome. :)
Thank you for taking time answering my questions. I have one more please.

I woke up today with a weird feeling in my nose, one of my nostrils feels kind of numb and sore a little. It looks like I may be developing a cold sore again but this time inside my nostril. The front tooth also feels kind of weird/numb.
Is it possible to develop a new cold sore now since I just finished Acyclovir on Tuesday?
I don’t remember ever getting cold sores in my nose, only on my lips. Does it mean it is a new infection?
Thank you!
No, it's not a new infection. Herpes infects nerve groups, and oral herpes infects the trigeminal nerve. This means that you can get outbreaks on the mouth, in the nose, and in the eyes.

That said, this may not be a cold sore. If it is, it might be pregnancy just doing a lot to your body right now. Ask your doctor about going on suppression (taking acyclovir daily) for the rest of your pregnancy if you want to help prevent outbreaks.

You could also get a prescription for acyclovir to have it on hand to take when you start noticing symptoms of an outbreak. The sooner you take it, the better.
Thank you so much! I’m waiting for a call back from my doctor
You're welcome! :)
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Also, can autoinoculation happen asymptotically and affect baby in the womb or during delivery?
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