Only pregnant women with active herpes, says Dr. Judith Reichman, may need a cesarean. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) currently recommends that only women with active herpes lesions or symptoms that a lesion is about ready to erupt should undergo a cesarean section to prevent the virus from infecting the baby during a vaginal delivery. A cesarean section reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of newborn infection (5,7). While neonatal herpes is rare, women who know they have genital herpes are often concerned about the possibility of transmitting the virus to their babies at birth. If a woman does have a lesion or prodromal symptoms at delivery, the safest practice is a cesarean delivery to prevent the baby from coming into contact with active virus. What are the chances that a woman with recurrent herpes will have a lesion at delivery? Many women find that their outbreaks tend to increase as the pregnancy progresses, probably because of the immune suppression that takes place to prevent the mother’s body from rejecting the fetus.
This means that more than 1 in 4 women are likely to experience a cesarean delivery. Active genital herpes: If the mother has an active outbreak of genital herpes (diagnosed by a positive culture or actual lesions), a cesarean may be scheduled to prevent the baby from being exposed to the virus while passing through the birth canal. Caesarean section rates have been steadily increasing due to a higher number of sections for fetal distress, as diagnosed by cardiotocographic (CTG) monitoring in labour, and their increasing use for breech and multiple pregnancy. Maternal infection (eg, herpes, HIV) but see ‘Mother-to-child transmission of maternal infections’, below. No maternal or fetal compromise but needs early delivery:. HIV-positive women 11 The risk of HIV transmission from mother to child is the same for a caesarean section and a vaginal birth if the woman is on highly active antiretroviral therapy with a viral load of fewer than than 400 copies per ml, or the woman is on any antiretroviral therapy with a viral load of fewer than 50 copies per ml. Genital Herpes Health Center Genital Herpes News. Of the infected women, 85 delivered by cesarean section and 117 delivered vaginally. Ten infants were infected with the virus.
A cesarean delivery (also called a surgical birth) is a surgical procedure used to deliver an infant (). Cesarean deliveries that are done because the woman wants, but does not require, a cesarean delivery are called maternal request cesarean deliveries. The mother has an active infection, such as herpes or HIV, that could be transmitted to the infant during vaginal delivery. Cesarean delivery in a woman with active genital lesions can reduce the infant’s risk of acquiring HSV. Any positive test result then requires further analysis to determine if the virus is HSV-1 or HSV-2. A cesarean section or C-section is the surgical delivery of a baby. Your doctor will also be able to determine if you or your baby are showing any signs of complications that would require a C-section delivery.
Reasons For A Cesarean Birth: What You Should Know
However, C-sections can help women at risk for complications avoid dangerous delivery-room situations and can save the life of the mother and/or baby when emergencies occur. An emergency C-section might be required if:. Pregnancy women with genital herpes have to face some additional complications, but there’s a way to manage the risk to you and your baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend cesarean section as soon as labor starts in women who are experiencing an active genital herpes outbreak. C-section does not prevent all newborn infections, but it dramatically reduces the rate of transmission. STD, STI, STIs, women, women’s health, women’s health needs. About 1 in 5 (20 percent) women in the United States has genital herpes. A major study finds that a woman’s chance of infecting her baby depends on how doctors and nurses manage the delivery. For more than 30 years, pregnant women with genital herpes routinely have had Caesarean deliveries. The first major study putting the practice to the test has found that performing C-sections on women with active herpes reduces the rate of newborns becoming infected during delivery. It is not something to be taken lightly, and it is required in very few circumstances – certainly not just for herpes, which nearly 20 of the population has. Initial outbreak of active herpes at the onset of labor Uterine rupture Many reasons given for cesarean, especially prior to labour, can and should be questioned. Fawcett J, Pollio N & Tully A. Women’s perceptions of cesarean and vaginal delivery: Another look. If active HSV infection is present at the time of delivery, cesarean section should be performed. Symptomatic and asymptomatic primary genital HSV infections are associated with preterm labor and low-birth-weight infants. There is a 2 to 3 percent seroconversion rate in pregnant women.5 Transmission occurs from an HSV-2-positive partner and is often traced to asymptomatic shedding of virus. Diagnosis of an HSV infection in an infant requires a high index of suspicion because the history of an active infection, primary or secondary, in a mother is often not given.
C-section (cesarean Delivery)
All pregnant women who have a suspected active genital HSV infection or prodromal symptoms of HSV infection should undergo C-section, although membranes are intact. On the other hand, when genital herpes lesions are not present, C-section is not required but lesions near the genitals should be covered with an occlusive dressing before vaginal delivery. Looking for online definition of genital herpes in the Medical Dictionary? Doctors will perform a Cesarean section on women who go into labor with active genital herpes. The primary infection can be severe and may require hospitalization for treatment. In both oral and genital herpes, after initial infection, the viruses move to sensory nerves, where they continue living in a latent form for the rest of the life of the host. Early stages of orofacial herpes and genital herpes are harder to diagnose and laboratory testing is usually required. Most obstetricians believe that pregnant women with active genital herpes lesions at the time of labor should be delivered by cesarean section. Regardless of virus type, the sign that genital herpes is present is that painful genital lesions or sores that look like little blisters occur from time to time on the genitals. A diagnosis of genital herpes requires a person to become especially careful when choosing sexual partners and to use protection during sexual activity. If a woman has active herpes lesions at the time of her delivery it is generally best for her to undergo cesarean section (c-section) to surgically remove the baby from her abdomen. Importantly, c-section does not guarantee the baby will not get herpes, but it does decreases the chances that this will occur.
If you’re a mom-to-be with your heart set on a vaginal delivery, the news that your baby needs (or may need) to be delivered by cesarean section might feel disappointing. If you’re HIV-positive or have an active genital herpes infection, a scheduled C-section is necessary because both viruses can be transmitted to your baby during delivery. There are many effective pain-relief options available to women undergoing a vaginal birth. If a woman has active genital herpes sores at the beginning of labor or when the bag of waters breaks, there is a small but serious risk that the baby will be infected during vaginal delivery. This risk can be reduced by giving birth by cesarean section. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs. Thousands of C-sections are performed each year for active genital herpes. For obvious reasons, not many women are comfortable announcing to their mother-in-law, their boss, and their next door neighbors that the reason they had a C-section was because of active genital herpes, so they make up some other reason, including claiming that they simply preferred a C-section to a vaginal birth.