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Will Genital Herpes Harm My Unborn Baby?

What If I Have Genital Herpes?

Because of the risk of neonatal herpes, if you are pregnant and have genital herpes, here are some suggestions:
  • Tell your healthcare provider about your infection.
  • Notify your healthcare provider if you think you have herpes symptoms when you go into labor.
  • Remind your healthcare provider to check for herpes lesions when you go into labor, even if you haven't noticed symptoms.
  • If you have active herpes during delivery, you may have a cesarean section.
  • If you do not have active symptoms during delivery, you will probably be able to give birth vaginally.
  • Ask your healthcare provider about whether you should take an antiviral medicine (see Genital Herpes Medication) during the last month of pregnancy to prevent an outbreak.

What If I Am Pregnant and My Partner Has Herpes?

If you are pregnant and don't have genital herpes but your partner does:
  • Avoid contracting herpes; specifically, avoid sex with your infected partner during the last three months of pregnancy.
  • If your partner has oral herpes, avoid receiving oral sex during the last three months of pregnancy.
  • Don't risk giving herpes to your baby. A first episode during late pregnancy and delivery may make your baby very sick.
Pregnancy and Pain

Genital Herpes -- Information on Genital Herpes

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