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Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
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Experience:  Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
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Hiya. I am 33 weeks pregnant with 2nd child. I have been

Resolved Question:

Hiya. I am 33 weeks pregnant with 2nd child. I have been diagnosed with shingles, the rash has been present for 5 nights now. I have been on aciclovir for 48 hours now. The rash is following my L2 nerve line, pain from centre of small of my back around hip, into groin and down front of leg. rash began near bikini line, now spreading in patches over thigh and is now into groin and over my c-section scar (daughter is 19 months old).
-3 more patches have turned up over night - should this still be spreading and do I need to go to doctor again?
-I am taking 400mg magnesium for cramps but the cramps have been getting worse again over the last 3 nights... no fun!
-Is our baby at risk? I am concerned about the birth (I am very keen for a vaginal birth after being denied last time by a footling breech.) Will I be allowed to give birth if I still have shingles blisters on my labia?
-Is the father at risk of chickenpox (he never had it) and is this bad for him?
Thanx Merry xmas, Terene
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN replied 7 years ago.


Thank you for writing in today. In general, having shingles when pregnant poses minimal risk to the baby. Generally, babies suffer no ill effect. There are some very rare occurrences of negative effect; however, these usually occur before 30 weeks. As for the vaginal birth, since you on the Acyclovir, your shingles should be resolved by the time you give birth, and you may be able to have a vaginal delivery; however, if you do have shingles lesions at the time of birth, your provider will likely defer a vaginal birth, due to the risk of spreading the virus. As for your husband, since he has never had chicken pox and if he has never been vaccinated, then there is some risk of chicken pox. A person with shingles is not able to spread shingles; however, a person who has never had or been vaccinated for chicken pox can develop chicken pox if exposed to shingles. Chicken pox in adulthood can actually cause a more aggressive illness than that seen in childhood. Therefore, precautions should be taken not to spread the virus to your spouse. Finally, your cramping and increase in your shingles lesions should be reported to your provider. Even if you are taking the Acyclovir, you want to keep your Ob Gyn involved and up to date. I hope this helps to answer your questions. If you have additional questions or concerns, please let me know. Lisa

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