I had several outbreaks during pregnancy and was terrified I would pass the infection to my baby, Maria wrote to the Herpes Resource Center. Unfortunately, when infants do contract neonatal herpes, the results can be tragic. That’s the major reason that mothers with recurrent genital herpes rarely transmit herpes to their babies during delivery. WebMD explains how to avoid getting genital herpes during pregnancy, and what to do to keep yourself and baby healthy if you already have it. Pregnant women with genital herpes should be careful — but not overly worried — about passing the virus on to the baby. A mother can infect her baby during delivery, often fatally. Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection, caused by the herpes simplex virus (NHS Choices 2014a). So your baby can catch herpes during the birth, from contact with the virus in or around your vagina.
Genital Herpes doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t give birth vaginally. Read on to hear about birth options with genital herpes. It can be passed from one person to another by close genital or oral skin-to-skin contact. It is important to know that genital herpes can occur even in a long-term monogamous relationship; it does not mean that you or your partner has been unfaithful. If a woman develops her first outbreak of herpes less than six weeks before she gives birth, then there is a risk of transmitting herpes to the baby during delivery, and obstetricians usually advise delivery by caesarean section. Gonorrhea can also infect an infant during delivery as the infant passes through the birth canal. If untreated, infants can develop eye infections.
Herpes in newborn babies (neonatals) can be a very serious condition. Infants exposed to the herpes simplex can experience brain infection, seizures, prolonged hospitalization, mental retardation, and death if the infection takes hold. Approximately 1 in 2000 births in America in which the mother is infected with genital herpes may result in herpes simplex virus transmission to the infant1,2, with the potential for effects on the baby as mentioned above. Since herpes is spread from active skin infection and not from latent infection, a newborn baby can be infected with herpes only if they are born while the virus is active.
Genital herpes in pregnancy only presents a small risk to your baby; however the risk is increased if you contract the STI whilst you are pregnant. Genital herpes is quite common and can be passed to both men and women through intimate sexual contact. A caesarean birth during a herpes outbreak can prevent infection to the baby. Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by one of two herpes simplex viruses. Aetiology, epidemiology, transmission, presentation, complications and differential diagnosis of infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV) are dealt with in the main article and will not be discussed here. Management of genital herpes simplex virus in pregnancy. Maternal antibodies will give some protection to the baby but neonatal infection can still occasionally occur. Some STDs can affect a fetus during pregnancy or a baby during childbirth. How can genital herpes affect your pregnancy and your baby? During pregnancy, there are increased risks to the baby, especially if it is the mother’s first outbreak. A herpes infection can cause serious problems in newborns, such as brain damage or eye problems. Q: What are the risks from having genital herpes during pregnancy? Will it hurt my baby?. It’s very unlikely that women who’ve contracted herpes before getting pregnant will pass the virus to their unborn babies.
Herpes is a common infection by the herpes simplex virus, or HSV. It causes painful blisters that break open and form sores. Pregnancy women with genital herpes have to face some additional complications, but there’s a way to manage the risk to you and your baby. Passing the virus onto your baby during childbirth can have potentially devastating consequences.