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.