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I have herpes. Will it affect my pregnancy?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At November 1, 2016
Reviewed AtAugust 3, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am in a need to take steroids for IVF due to autoimmune issue. But, I have herpes 2. Will it affect my baby?


Welcome to icliniq.com. The most significant concern for a pregnant individual with genital herpes is the potential transmission of the infection to the baby during labor and delivery, which can have devastating consequences. The risk of transmission occurs when the virus is actively shedding, and since it is challenging to determine if shedding is happening, caution is essential. If the person had herpes before becoming pregnant and experiences no symptoms or impending outbreak when labor begins, the likelihood of transmitting the virus to the baby during vaginal delivery is less than 1%. The development of antibodies after the initial infection can help protect the baby through placental transfer. However, if an outbreak or impending outbreak is present when labor begins, an immediate cesarean delivery is recommended. Visible sores on the cervix, vagina, or external genitalia, along with symptoms like tingling, burning, or pain signaling an imminent outbreak of herpes. To increase the chances of a vaginal delivery, pregnant individuals with recurrent genital herpes may be offered oral antiviral medications from 36 weeks until delivery.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Salah Saad Hassan Shoman
Dr. Salah Saad Hassan Shoman

Internal Medicine

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