Genital Herpes And Pregnancy

Nov 03, 2008 No Comments by

There are many things for new moms to think about but genital herpes and pregnancy should be at the top of their list.  First off, if you have been diagnosised with herpes or you believe that you could have it, the first and most important thing for you to do is to talk to your doctor about it. Be sure that he is aware of the condition so that he can provide you with proper care and treatment of herpes so that your baby is not affected by it.  Each year about 1500 babies are born with herpes and what is called newborn herpes.  The biggest concern that you should have is helping your baby to avoid this contraction.

Genital Herpes In Pregnancy

In some cases, though, rare, the mother to be will transfer herpes to the baby through the placenta.  This only happens if you get herpes during your pregnancy and have an outbreak because of it.  If you have never had oral herpes or genital herpes before your pregnancy, this is called a primary infection and therefore is a high risk scenario for the baby.  A baby born in this situation is likely to have very serious birth defects.  If this happens during the first trimester of your pregnancy, it is likely to cause an increased risk of miscarriage.  A primary infection that happens in the later two trimesters can lead to a preterm delivery of your baby, so it is still vitally important to monitor.

It is important to know that couples living with herpes will need to monitor their herpes outbreaks during the pregnancy.  In some situations, it may be necessary for your baby to be born through cesarean section instead of a normal vagina birth.  This happens, for example, if you are experiencing a herpes outbreak at the time of birth or just before.  Your doctor will need to make the decision about delivering baby.  If you have any type of sore on your vagina, cervix, or external genital area, it is likely that your doctor will want to consider an immediate cesarean delivery for the baby.  This may also be necessary if you have symptoms of herpes such as tingling, pain or burning that could be a sign of a pending outbreak.

Children with herpes can contract it in other ways, too.  For example, they may get it from sharing a toothbrush or an eating utensil with someone that has an active outbreak.  Couples living with herpes should pay close attention to the risks that are present for their baby and child.

As with others that have genital herpes , there are no cures for herpes but there are treatments for herpes.  These treatments may or may not be taken while you are pregnant.  Your doctor will need to determine if they are helpful or pose too much of a risk to you and your baby during this time.  In many cases, your doctor will advise you of this from the onset of your pregnancy. Currently a vaccine for herpes is being developed and perhaps this will lower the risk of children or baby’s getting the virus.

Pregnancy and herpes is an important topic for you and your doctor to discuss. Herpes and pregnancy can cause complications or it can mean nothing to your pregnancy.  All of this is based mostly on whether or you have a herpes outbreak and how often you do.  For many people, living a healthy, long life with herpes is possible.  It is simply important to take precautions when pregnancy and herpes is concerned.  Even if you do not know that you have herpes, but think you have symptoms of herpes, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.


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