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What are the symptoms of genital herpes

Genital herpes is characterized by fever, headache, malaise, an achy feeling for a couple of days, genital pain, itching, pain while urinating, vaginal and urethral discharge, and tenderness in the groin, and lesions that blister and crust over. 

Can herpes harm the baby

Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease, but babies can contract it by passing through an infected birth canal. While herpes is merely annoying for adults, it can have serious implications for newborns. It is during a primary or first incidence of herpes that it is most likely to be transmitted to the foetus.

What are the chances of my newborn getting herpes

There is no need to panic. Statistics demonstrate that the chances of infection in newborns are 1 in 3000 to 1 in 20000 deliveries. If you have a recurrent herpes infection during pregnancy, your baby has only a 2% to 3% chance of contracting it. Even among mothers who develop their first herpes outbreak closer to the time of delivery, 60% to 75% of the babies will escape infection. 

How do I prevent my baby from getting infected

If you test positive for herpes at the time of going into labour, your doctor is likely to perform a cesarean section. This greatly reduces the chances of the infection being transmitted to the baby.  If your baby is infected, treatment with an antiviral drug should reduce the risk of permanent damage.

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