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November 3, 2007

Avoid Herpes

I was reading a list of things not to do while you're pregnant. (Don't worry! I'm not knocked up... a pregnant friend asked me a question and I wanted to double-check my answer). It had all the usual stuff like x-rays, raw meat, and smoking... but at the very bottom of the list it says:

"you should avoid herpes"

I mean, some things you have to avoid just when pregnant, like hot baths or alcohol... but doesn't everyone know to avoid herpes by now? Did that really have to make the list? When do you not avoid herpes? As if she'd have been like, "oh man, I can't smoke or get herpes? Pregnancy sucks!"

Although the site does mention getting medical exams and discussing "preexisting conditions" such as sexually transmitted diseases, herpes is the only STD specifically named. I can just see pregnant women across the world, sighing in relief: "It says I have to avoid herpes... but awesome, I can totally go get Chlamydia tonight if I want to!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you are infected with herpes *during* pregnancy, or if you have an outbreak around the time you're supposed to deliver, it can harm the fetus and create complications. The point is, if you have a partner you know has herpes already and you don't (yet), you should probably not be sleeping with them while pregnant. Since 1 in 5 (some estimate 1 in 4) adults in the US are HSV positive, this isn't random, useless advice. Unless, of course, your partner doesn't know or isn't honest about their infection (unbearably common.)