Shingles and Pregnancy

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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Quick GuideShingles Pictures Slideshow: A Collection of Photos on Shingles

Shingles Pictures Slideshow: A Collection of Photos on Shingles

Shingles in pregnancy facts

What is shingles?

Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by reactivation of prior infection with the same virus that previously caused chickenpox, known as varicella zoster virus (VZV). VZV belongs to the herpes family of viruses, but it is not the same virus that causes genital herpes or cold sores on the mouth. When a person is infected with VZV in childhood, they typically develop chickenpox, but after the illness resolves the VZV remains in a dormant state in the nervous system and is never fully cleared from the body. Under certain circumstances, such as emotional stress, immune deficiency (from AIDS or chemotherapy), or with cancer, the virus reactivates and causes the skin and nerve inflammation known as shingles.

Shingles occurs most commonly in people over the age of 60, but anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk, including pregnant women. It has been estimated that up to 1,000,000 cases of shingles occur each year in the U.S.

What do shingles look like?

Picture of Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Picture of Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/4/2015
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  • Shingles and Pregnancy - Symptoms and Diagnosis

    Please describe the symptoms that led to a diagnosis of shingles while you were pregnant.

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  • Shingles and Pregnancy - Treatment

    How did you treat shingles pain and itching during your pregnancy?

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  • Shingles and Pregnancy - Prevention

    How did you prevent the risk of shingles during your pregnancy?

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  • Shingles and Pregnancy - Experience

    Please describe your experience with shingles during pregnancy.

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  • Shingles and Pregnancy - Antiviral Medication

    If you were prescribed antiviral medication for shingles during pregnancy, what was prescribed and how effective were they?

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  • Shingles and Pregnancy - Pain Medication

    If you were prescribed pain medication for shingles during pregnancy, what was prescribed and how effective were they?

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  • Shingles and Pregnancy - Antihistamines

    If you were prescribed antihistamines for shingles during pregnancy, what was prescribed and how effective were they?

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  • Shingles and Pregnancy - Complications

    What complications did you experience with shingles during pregnancy?

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