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 herpes, a serious and sometimes fatal condition. Even if herpes is active in the birth canal during delivery, the antibodies help protect the baby. At the time of labor, your healthcare provider should examine you early in labor with a strong light to detect any sores or signs of an outbreak. If you have an active outbreak at the time of delivery, the safest course is a Cesarean section to prevent the baby from coming into contact with virus in the birth canal. Neonates who have HSV infection are classified into three clinical categories: disseminated HSV infection, skin/eye/mouth (SEM) disease and central nervous system (CNS) disease. A cesarean section reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of newborn infection (5,7). The following apply to infants whose mothers have active lesions at the time of delivery:. Newborns who are exposed to HSV during labour and vaginal delivery and who are asymptomatic should have HSV cultures performed at 48 h after birth. What are the risks to my unborn baby if I have genital herpes? In rare cases, a pregnant woman may transmit the infection to her baby through the placenta if she gets herpes for the first time in her first trimester. If you first get genital herpes late in pregnancy and blood tests confirm you’ve never had it before, some experts recommend having a cesarean section even if you don’t have symptoms when you go into labor.
While neonatal herpes is rare, women who know they have genital herpes are often concerned about the possibility of transmitting the virus to their babies at birth. On the other hand, when a woman and her provider do know there’s a risk, the provider can examine her visually with a strong light at the onset of labor. If a woman does have a lesion or prodromal symptoms at delivery, the safest practice is a cesarean delivery to prevent the baby from coming into contact with active virus. If we were doing C-sections on every mother with genital herpes, we’d end up losing almost as many women as we were saving babies, says Zane Brown. Will I Need To Have A Caesarean Section If I Have Genital Herpes? Most women with genital herpes are able to have a healthy baby vaginally. I was pleased to be told that as as long as I don’t have an outbreak when I go into labour, that it shouldn’t affect my ability to have a natural water birth, which is really important to me. Genital herpes infections: Mothers with an active vaginal herpes infection (especially with primary outbreak) should undergo cesarean delivery. Mothers who have had a previous shoulder dystocia: If a woman has had a previous pregnancy where the delivery was complicated by a shoulder dystocia (where the fetal shoulders become lodged in the pelvis), the risk of recurrence is so high and the risk of fetal injury so great that the recommendation has been to offer those women a primary elective cesarean section.
Most women think that having herpes during pregnancy is a fairly straightforward matter: If you have any sores when you go into labor, you’ll simply deliver by Cesarean section to avoid infecting your baby. Most women think that having herpes during pregnancy is a fairly straightforward matter: If you have any sores when you go into labor, you’ll simply deliver by Cesarean section to avoid infecting your baby. 65 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. have HSV-1 or HSV-2 genital herpes. The problem is that he can unwittingly infect you through a process called viral shedding; this occurs when the virus is active but doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms. If a woman has active genital herpes sores at the beginning of labor or when the bag of waters breaks, there is a small but serious risk that the baby will be infected during vaginal delivery. If no lessons are present when you go into labor it is safe to proceed with a vaginal birth. Mode of Delivery Debate Continues Over Women with Active Herpes. Obstetricians who attended a workshop at the annual meeting of the International Herpes Management Forum could not agree to recommend vaginal birth for pregnant women with a lesion from recurrent genital herpes, according to this article by Sherry Boschert. About one tenth of the women with recurrent herpes will have a lesion when they go into labor. Only 8 percent of Dutch babies are born by cesarean section, compared with 13 percent of Norwegian babies and 22 percent of babies in the United States.
Herpes And Pregnancy
Would it still be better/safer to have a C-section even if im not on a breakout during birth? They aren’t going to make you have a vaginal delivery if your baby can be harmed in any way. I have been caring for pregnant women and babies for over12 years and never has this been recommended routine surgery. Initial outbreak of active herpes at the onset of labor Uterine rupture Many reasons given for cesarean, especially prior to labour, can and should be questioned. Every pregnant woman hopes for a short labor and delivery with no complications manageable contractions, some pushing, then a beautiful baby. Even if you’re envisioning a traditional vaginal birth, it may help to ease some fears to learn why and how C-sections are performed, just in case everything doesn’t go as planned. Generally considered safe, C-sections do have more risks than vaginal births. A cesarean delivery (also called a surgical birth) is a surgical procedure used to deliver an infant (). Cesarean deliveries may be performed because of maternal or fetal problems that arise during labor, or they may be planned before the mother goes into labor. Most women are able to go home within three to four days after delivery. One-third of pregnancies in the U.S. end in a C-section. But currently in the United States, about 33 percent of babies are delivered by cesarean which means, all things being equal, you have about a one in three chance of having to go the C-section route. If you’re HIV-positive or have an active genital herpes infection, a scheduled C-section is necessary because both viruses can be transmitted to your baby during delivery. Far more frequently, the need for a cesarean isn’t obvious until a woman is well into labor. Caesarean section rates have been steadily increasing due to a higher number of sections for fetal distress, as diagnosed by cardiotocographic (CTG) monitoring in labour, and their increasing use for breech and multiple pregnancy. Maternal infection (eg, herpes, HIV) but see ‘Mother-to-child transmission of maternal infections’, below. Caesarean sections are classified by their urgency, dictated by the indication, into the following categories: 2. HIV-positive women 11 The risk of HIV transmission from mother to child is the same for a caesarean section and a vaginal birth if the woman is on highly active antiretroviral therapy with a viral load of fewer than than 400 copies per ml, or the woman is on any antiretroviral therapy with a viral load of fewer than 50 copies per ml. Learn how genital herpes is spread, and why unborn babies are at particular risk. Can a pregnant woman pass herpes on to her unborn baby? Babies born to mothers who have an active genital herpes infection at or near the time of delivery can become infected. (C-section) if you have an outbreak at the time you go into labor, so the baby won’t have to go through the birth canal.
Elective repeat caesarean section versus induction of labour for women with a previous caesarean birth. If active HSV infection is present at the time of delivery, cesarean section should be performed. Symptomatic and asymptomatic primary genital HSV infections are associated with preterm labor and low-birth-weight infants. In one study16 of 46 women who experienced their first episode of genital herpes during pregnancy, the cesarean section rate was significantly decreased in the women prophylactically treated with acyclovir from 36 weeks of gestation up to delivery to prevent a secondary recurrence of infection. Infants born to women with active genital HSV lesions should be managed with contact precautions and be kept in a private room. Genital herpes is common in both men and women in the U.S. Most people who have genital herpes don’t know it. If you have active genital herpes when you go into labor, the doctor may do a cesarean delivery (C-section). Going past your due date: For most women, labor begins by week 40. However, doctors may wait until the 42nd week (2 weeks after the estimated due date) to declare the mother overdue and recommends induced labor. There should also be a doctor available that can perform a cesarean section. The mother has an active genital herpes infection. Labor is seldom induced on when the mother is having twins, has had more than 5 pregnancies, or there is excess fluid in the amniotic sac (polyhydramnios).
Antiviral medicine is a safe medical treatment for infected pregnant women. It can help prevent an active infection that could be passed to your child during birth. If you have an active herpes infection when you go into labor, your provider may suggest a C-section to avoid infecting the baby during a vaginal delivery.