Can Herpes Affect My Pregnancy?

Herpes can affect pregnancy. A woman who has genital herpes and becomes pregnant should take very specific precautions to ensure the herpes does not cause complications for her or for her baby during pregnancy and delivery. If you have herpes and become pregnant, you should discuss this with your health care provider so that she can help you determine the best way to proceed.

The biggest risk that herpes creates in regard to pregnancy has to do with a risk of infecting the baby during the delivery process. If a woman has genital herpes during the delivery process the health care provider will check for lesions or other signs of a herpes out break. If there are legions present, the safest procedure is typically to have a caesarean section delivery to prevent the baby from physically coming into contact with the herpes virus.

If a woman with herpes does not have lesions when she is delivering her baby, there is generally no reason that she cannot have a vaginal delivery. Although there is still a very slight risk of infection, The benefits of vaginal delivery tend to outweigh the extremely small risk that the baby will contract genital herpes.

One of the risk factors that can contribute to the transmission of herpes from mother to child is the use of a fetal scalp monitor. A fetal scalp monitor, which is used during labor and delivery to monitor the heartbeat of the baby can puncture the babys skin, creating a place where the herpes virus can enter the babys body. Unless there is a compelling medical reason, A woman with herpes should probably not to use a fetal scalp monitor.

Finally, is important and for a woman who has herpes to inform her new babies pediatrician she has herpes. This will allow the pediatrician to be more aware of any risk to the newborn, as well as encourage her to monitor the newborn for any signs of a herpes outbreak. Typically, if the baby does become infected with herpes, the symptoms will occur within the first two to four weeks after birth.


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