Facts About Genital Herpes and Pregnancy
Did you know?
Neonatal herpes (herpes of a newborn) is not even considered a reportable disease according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) www.cdc.gov The CDC is a branch of our public health system whose sole purpose is to monitor diseases worldwide. If the CDC does not list neonatal herpes as a reportable disease, then I think it is fair to say that you do not need to be overly concerned about the potential of a newborn dying from genital herpes. However, neonatal herpes is something you need to be educated about so that you can decrease the likelihood of transmission.
Here are some facts that I hope you will find comforting.
– A recent three year study in Canada (2000–2003) revealed a neonatal HSV incidence of 5.9 per 100,000 live births (.00006%) and a case fatality rate of 15.5%. As you can see, neonatal herpes is extremely rare!
– Herpes during pregnancy is common. One third to one fourth of all pregnant women have herpes and yet 90% don’t know it
– 80%-90% of neonatal herpes cases is from women who didn’t know they had it. Therefore, women who know they have herpes can greatly reduce the risk of transmission.
– Most neonatal herpes is managed effectively with treatment
I am happy to say that I have had genital herpes for 14 years and that I was able to have a home birth and deliver a beautiful, healthy baby girl. This was the most empowering, miraculous moments of my life. The ability to give birth naturally is truly a gift from God.