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Self-Assessment Questions

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Answer 5
  1. She is always at risk for shedding the virus. HSV infections can psychologically affect women, whether they are pregnant or not. For some, HSV infection is a significant social issue; therefore, physicians should counsel patients appropriately. Women with HSV infection are at risk for symptomatic or asymptomatic viral shedding at any given time. It is difficult to predict which women will shed more at any given moment. Use of barrier contraceptive methods during intercourse may decrease the risk for transmission to a sexual partner substantially and should be considered. Vitamin supplementation and use of oral contraceptives do not decrease viral shedding and transmission. HSV infection has not been associated with uterine cancer.

     Langenberg AG, Corey L, Ashley RL, et al. A prospective study of new infections with herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2. Chiron HSV Vaccine Study Group. New Engl J Med 1999;341:1432-8.
    2. Scott LL, Sanchez PJ, Jackson GL, et al. Acyclovir suppression to prevent cesarean delivery after first-episode genital herpes. Obstet Gynecol 1996;87:69-73.

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