Pregnancy and Herpes
Pregnant women who are living with the Herpes infection should be very careful, as there are chances of passing on the infection to the baby, which could also be fatal in some cases. However, if the mother got the infection before getting pregnant or if the infection occurred during the early stages of pregnancy, the chances of the baby getting infected are as low as 1%. Women who have genital herpes are normally examined thoroughly before they give birth to babies. If there are any sores or any other signs of an outbreak during the delivery period, a C-section or a cesarean section is performed to keep the baby safe. This will prevent the baby from coming into contact with any active sores that are present in the genital area of the mother.
If the woman is infected with genital herpes later on in the pregnancy, there is a greater chance of passing on the infection to the baby, about 30% to 50% chances. This is because the antibodies fighting against the virus have not yet been properly developed in the mother’s body. When the herpes infection is present previously, the antibodies are developed in the body of the other and these protect the baby.
Ways of Protecting Pregnant Women from Getting Herpes
- Women should be very careful about having sex in the third trimester.
- They have to be sure about their sexual partners and make sure that the partner is herpes free; otherwise, it is better to avoid sex totally.
- It is also advisable to get tested for herpes during the pregnancy, especially if the partner is herpes positive.
- If a pregnant woman has sex, it is better to have the male use a condom or avoid having sex during an outbreak.
- Oral sex must be avoided if the partner has genital sores, active sores or cold sores.
If the mother to be is infected with herpes, there are certain antiviral drugs that can be taken in the form of suppressive therapy. After consulting their doctors, women can take these drugs and decide the right frequency and dosage of these drugs. If the woman gets infected for the first time when she is pregnant, she can take acyclovir for clearing the infection before the baby’s birth.
Herpes can be a serious infection in a newborn baby. It is important that you don’t allow anyone with sores on their mouth to kiss the newborn baby. Even if the mother has cold sores, she should take care to wash her hands before she touches the baby or handles the baby in any way.