Having Children With A Communicable Disease Risks Of Child Bearing With Genital Herpes

Many myths circulate regarding pregnancy and genital herpes. If you’ve been diagnosed, you may be wondering if you can still have children, or if you will be able to birth healthy babies. Learning the truth about the associated risks of child bearing with genital herpes can do a lot to ease some of your concerns.

Can I Still Have Children If I Have Genital Herpes?

People with genital herpes can still have healthy children. Unlike other sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia or in some cases gonorrhea, genital herpes does not make you sterile.
Genital herpes does not affect a man’s sperm count, or his ability to father a child. Because herpes is not a genetic disease, you won’t have to worry about passing it on to your baby in this way.
It’s estimated that 25 percent of pregnant women have genital herpes. Many of these women are able to have safe, natural births. In some cases, certain precautions may have to be taken. Talk to your doctor about the best ways of coping with genital herpes during pregnancy.

What Complications May Occur During Pregnancy?

Because genital herpes may flare up in times of severe physical or emotional distress, women who carry the herpes simplex virus may experience an increase in outbreaks during pregnancy.
The risks of infecting your baby are heightened if you contract genital herpes while you are pregnant, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. This is because the mother’s system hasn’t yet developed the antibodies against the disease, and can’t pass them on to her child.
If you’re pregnant and you believe you’ve been newly exposed to the HSV-2 virus, talk to your doctor as soon as possible to find a way to avoid transmission to your child. You should also discuss the effects of any medication you may be taking for genital herpes with your obstetrician.

How Will Genital Herpes Affect the Delivery?

Many women who have genital herpes are able to birth healthy babies who do not carry the herpes simplex virus. If the infection is dormant at the time of birth, women can have safe, natural deliveries.
If signs of an outbreak are present, many doctors will recommend a cesarean section delivery to avoid passing genital herpes to your baby. Infant fatalities related to genital herpes are rare, but every precaution should be taken to avoid contact.
Pregnancy myths surrounding genital herpes are often a cause for alarm or despair, but learning the truth should help you feel more secure about your ability to have healthy children.