Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused usually by HSV 2. In the United States, likely more than one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes (CDC). Most people with genital herpes do not know they have it.
If a woman is pregnant with HSV, it can be passed to the fetus during birth while passing through the woman’s infected birth canal. This is most likely to occur if a woman first becomes infected with HSV during pregnancy and in a woman who has her first outbreak late in pregnancy. But it can also occur during a recurrent outbreak in a woman who was infected before pregnancy, although the risk is much lower. There is some research that suggests that genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage, or could make it more likely for a woman to deliver her baby too early.
If one has sores or warning signs of an outbreak at the time of delivery, it may be essential to have a cesarean delivery to reduce chance of infection. The decision depends on many factors, including where the sores are on one’s body and whether the fetus would come into contact with them during delivery.
Stop by any of our clinics to get tested. Most people with genital herpes do not know they have it.