Will Genital Herpes Harm My Unborn Baby?
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.
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.