A 40-year-old member asked:
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will your baby be born with birth defects if you have genital herpes?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Yashica Robinson White
16 years experience Obstetrics and Gynecology
No: Genital herpes does not cause birth defects. It is important to understand that it is not recommended for a woman to have a vaginal delivery if she has active lesions (an outbreak) when it is time to deliver. This reduces the risk of neonatal (newborn) infections.
Answered on Feb 26, 2017
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Dr. Marilynn Frederiksen
46 years experience Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Birth defects: Genital herpes can be passed to the newborn as the child passes through the birth canal. Currently we are starting Valtrex (valacyclovir) on women who have a history of genital herpes in the third trimester decreasing their risk of passing the virus to their baby. A woman with active genital herpes during labor is delivered by cesarean section.
Answered on Jul 23, 2016
Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
No: The likely outcome will depend on the situation.If you are having your first outbreak near the time of delivery, the kid may get herpes encephalitis and die. If you have occasional outbreaks, and get pregnant, there is about 4% risk of transmission to the newborn during regular delivery, (same outcome). Suppressing outbreaks with meds/c-section delivery protect baby.
Answered on Nov 15, 2015

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Related questions:

A 23-year-old female asked:
Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
Varies: Birth defects are not an issue with maternal herpes. The baby is at risk of a severe infection from the germ.The risk period begins with the opening o ... Read More
A 41-year-old member asked:
Dr. Erine Kupetsky
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Yes: If you have an genital outbreak and deliver vaginally, yes you can pass it to baby. Best prevention is to take Valtrex (valacyclovir) 500 mg once dail ... Read More
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Yes: If there is active shedding of the virus in the vaginal area then infection can be transmitted during delivery. However, washing of the baby immedi ... Read More
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Yes: The issue is how to handle the herpes. Can be useful to go on preventative therapy in pregnancy. Very important to have an exam near delivery to make ... Read More

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