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Have you got genital herpes or oral herpes, while you are also pregnant? The herpes simplex viruses can be quite dangerous for newborns, and medical care during pregnancy should be approached with special care.

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is caused by HSV-2, which is a train of herpes simplex. It is transmitted through sexual contact. Genital herpes can be extremely dangerous to newborn babies, and it can be transmitted to the baby through a vaginal birth. The medical care needed depends on whether a woman is experiencing a primary outbreak (after she just caught the virus), or a secondary outbreak an outbreak during which herpes simplex, which always remains in the body, flares up again.

Primary herpes is by far the most dangerous. It can be symptomless, but can also cause small blisters on the genitals. You can also have a fever, feel tired, and be in pain when the blisters inevitably break. Herpes is confirmed through a lab test when this happens. Drugs such as Acyclovir, which many of know from having cold sores on our mouths, can be used to alleviate the outbreak. Talk to your doctor about how to manage the situation if you are near your due date. Your doctor may recommend a cesarean section to avoid passing the potentially lethal infection on to your newborn.

Secondary infections are less dangerous and are also very often not symptomatic. By this time, you will already have some antibodies. Discuss the situation with your healthcare provider, and make sure you have no active blisters or broken sores when you give birth. Otherwise, it is safe to assume that you can give birth vaginally with no problems.

Oral herpes

Oral herpes poses, more commonly known as cold sores, less of a risk to a baby, in that it wouldn't pass the spot of infection while being born into the world. But, oral herpes is still herpes simplex, and can still be very dangerous. Talk to your doctor about avoiding kissing your baby, and measures you can take to avoid passing herpes onto your baby. Hand washing is very important if you touch your mouth, for example.

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