My Friend is Pregnant and Has Genital Herpes – What Does That Mean?

Genital herpes is a sexually-transmitted disease caused by a virus. The virus causes you to sometimes get sores on your genitals (or upper thighs or butt). The sores come and go, and they typically hurt. They are spread through skin-to-skin contact, not fluids. There are treatments that will reduce symptoms, but it currently has no permanent cure.
Genital herpes does NOT lead to other bad diseases. It won’t kill you, and it won’t cause infertility. And those with genital herpes are not contagious every single day. There are actually a small number of days when the virus is active.
The exact type of sores vary from person to person. Some people get blisters. Mine have always been more like small cuts.
Genital herpes is not a pregnancy-related disease. It is a sexually-transmitted disease. Also, just having genital herpes won’t hurt her baby while its in the womb.
The biggest concern with pregnancy and genital herpes is that the baby could catch her herpes as it is being born (since herpes is spread through skin-to-skin contact). She may choose to have a c-section to prevent that from happening.
Be sure that your friend tells her OB/Gyn that she has genital herpes so that they can protect the baby.
For more information on genital herpes (including some on genital herpes and pregnancy) I’d recommend the website below. Please don’t believe everything that you hear – even from doctors – about genital herpes. There is a LOT of misinformation floating around.

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