Jump to navigation. The incidence of herpes, a sexually transmitted disease, varies across the world. Transmission of the virus from mother to baby typically occurs by direct contact with the virus during birth.
Genital herpes is considered the most common ulcerative sexually transmitted disease in the United States and abroad. Although the true incidence of disease is unknown, it is believed that approximately 45 million Americans are infected with herpes simplex virus 2 HSV2. The majority of genital herpes cases are caused by infection with HSV2, typically acquired through genital to genital contact.
If a woman with genital herpes has virus present in the birth canal during delivery, herpes simplex virus HSV can be spread to an infant, causing neonatal herpesa serious and sometimes fatal condition. Neonatal herpes can cause an overwhelming infection resulting in lasting damage to the central nervous system, mental retardation, or death. Medication, if given early, may help prevent or reduce lasting damage, but even with antiviral medication, this infection has serious consequences for most infected infants.
Pregnant women with a primary or recurrent episode of genital HSV infection who are later than 36 weeks of gestation should be treated with acyclovir Zovirax or valacyclovir Valtrex for viral suppression. Suppressive therapy at the time of delivery can reduce the rate of recurrence, the risk of asymptomatic viral shedding, and the number of cesarean deliveries because of active HSV infection. Women with active lesions at the time of labor should have a cesarean delivery to decrease vertical transmission of HSV.
One step many experts recommend is that you become informed about herpes simplex virus HSV. This common virus is usually a mild infection in adults. But in infants, HSV can cause a rare, but serious, illness.
The primary goal of genital herpes management during pregnancy is to prevent infection in the baby. Women with herpes lesions during delivery are at the highest risk of transmitting the infection to their baby. If you tend to have recurrent herpes lesions, your doctor will most likely discuss the risks and benefits of using suppressive treatment toward the end of your pregnancy.
Is it possible to pass genital herpes to your baby? Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 HS1 or type 2 HS2. Genital herpes is contagious from when you get your first symptoms a tingling or itching sensation until the sores have healed.
Infection with herpes simplex is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Because the infection is common in women of reproductive age it can be contracted and transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy and the newborn. Herpes simplex virus is an important cause of neonatal infection, which can lead to death or long-term disabilities.