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Herpes in Pregnancy

Genital HSV infection in pregnant women must be considered separately from that in non pregnant women because of the risk to the fetus or the new-born (“neonate”).

Primary or initial maternal genital HSV infection poses a major risk to the fetus if infection occurs during the second half of pregnancy. Thus, identification of women at risk for primary infection (i.e. those seronegative for HSV-2) is very important. In around 15%-20% of pregnancies, an HSV-2 seronegative woman has an HSV-2 seropositive partner, i.e. they are serologically discordant.

The risk for HSV-2 transmission from the father to the mother is 10%-15%.