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Genital Herpes and Conception

Question

I have genital herpes. Are there any precautions I should take before getting pregnant?

Answer

Genital herpes is a very common disease affecting approximately one in six Americans. It's caused by herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2). There are no specific precautions one should take while trying to get pregnant, but infected people should avoid intercourse when active lesions are present. HSV most commonly becomes an issue in pregnancy at the time of delivery. If active lesions are present when you go into labor, we recommend a cesarean section to minimize the chance of passing the disease to the baby. Otherwise, patients do very well. The chances of recurrent HSV causing problems in your pregnancy are slim.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.