Is There a Risk to the Fetus if Someone Has Genital Herpes?

Herpes can cause serious infections to newborns including skin and eye disease, central nervous system disease (encephalitis), and disseminated disease, which means that the herpes virus infects multiple organ systems, including the eyes, lungs, brain, liver, skin, and mouth. These infections can be devastating to infants and even cause death in some cases. For this reason, all pregnant women with known genital herpes should be considered for suppressive therapy and all women with active outbreaks should deliver via cesarean section. If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, talk to your obstetrician about the best approach for you.

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