Facts About Pregnancy and Genital Herpes

Facts About Genital Herpes and Pregnancy

pregnancyDid 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.


  1. Nora says:

    I was diagnosed during my pregnancy and my Dr. kept advising me as long as i took acyclovir for a month before my due date baby should be fine. SHOULD? So i demanded to have a c-section. I wish I read this before, I think I would’ve been more at ease iin having a vaginal birth. But still I hear that you could be “shedding” and not even know. Why would I want to risk anything??? I am just so thankful to have a supportive boyfriend he was so supportive in my decision.

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