|Description:||This image depicts the right foot of an infant born with a herpes simplex infection, known as neonatal herpes, or herpes simplex neonatorum, which had manifested itself through the development of maculopapular lesions of the foot’s heal and sole. See PHIL 6510, for another view of this condition.|
How does genital herpes affect a pregnant woman and her baby?
It is crucial that pregnant women infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 go to prenatal care visits and tell their doctor if they have ever experienced any symptoms of, been exposed to, or been diagnosed with genital herpes. Sometimes genital herpes infection can lead to miscarriage or premature birth. Herpes infection can be passed from mother to child resulting in a potentially fatal infection (neonatal herpes). It is important that women avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy.
A woman with genital herpes may be offered antiviral medication from 36 weeks gestation through delivery to reduce the risk of an outbreak. At the time of delivery a woman with genital herpes should undergo careful examination. If herpes symptoms are present at delivery, a cesarean delivery (also called a ‘C-section’) is usually performed.
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|Links:||CDC – National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Division of STD Prevention; Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs): Genital Herpes – CDC Fact Sheet|
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