Question :

Can herpes be passed to unborn child if either parent has it?

Dear Ask The Doctor:
If a man has herpes, and a woman becomes pregnant by him, can it be passed to the baby? If a woman has herpes, and she is pregnant, can she pass it to the child? Is herpes spreadable by sharing eating utensils, soap, etc?


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
Herpes is a viral infection and cant spread by sharing utensils,soap etc , the infection is transmitted by sexual contact.Testing positive for herpes does not mean that person have active disease , it simply means that he has been exposed to virus and his body carries antibodies for it.Now if a women gets pregnant from him she may or may not have got the disease from him because chances of transmission are only 10 percent over a period of one year of sexual relationship and even if she got the disease does not mean she is suffering from the disease but one thing to remember is she may be shedding the virus without having any symtoms, as the case with the man.Probability of baby getting infected born to asymtomatic women are very low but if disease activity is suspected physician may prescribe her antiviral treatment during later half of pregnancy or they can go for caesarian section if active lesions are seen around genital area.


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