Informative Articles and Independent, Unbiased Product Reports On Various Herpes Remedies

Neonatal Herpes

Neonatal herpes tends to be uncommon in developed countries, but it can have devastating consequences if a new baby contracts it. Any woman who has genital herpes can spread the infection to her child, but the risk decreases for women with long-standing, known infections that have been treated. Precautions can be taken to protect the child if a woman has an outbreak near her anticipated delivery date.

When a newborn gets herpes from his or her mother, fatality or permanent damage is common. Approximately 50 percent of babies can be successfully treated with antiviral medication. The remainder can become mentally retarded, suffer serious neurological damage or even die.

How Herpes Is Spread to Newborns

In the majority of the document cases of neonatal herpes, approximately 90 percent, the herpes virus is transmitted when the baby travels down the birth canal during delivery and comes into contact with HSV-1 (oral herpes virus) or HSV-2 (genital herpes virus). It's almost guaranteed the child will become infected if the mother has an active outbreak because of viral shedding. Sometimes the virus can reactivate without symptoms and the child has a small risk of transmission with shedding related to this.

Woman who have long-standing infections build up antibodies against the virus. The antibodies are transmitted to the unborn child from the mother's blood through the placenta. This natural infection can protect the baby from getting herpes during a vaginal birth. The transfer of these antibodies begins at about 28 weeks of pregnancy so babies born before this time won't have a full load of the antibodies.

Approximately five percent of babies contract neonatal herpes after birth if kissed by an adult with active cold sores which are a type of oral herpes.

Fetal Scalp Monitor

Women who have genital herpes may want to avoid the use of scalp electrodes otherwise known as a fetal scalp monitor. This instrument creates miniscule holes in the infant's scalp as it monitors the child's heartbeat. There is a very small chance of the herpes virus entering these little breaks in the skin and causing an infection. A scalp monitor should not be used unless absolutely necessary since there are other ways to monitor the infant's heart rate.

The Man's Role

A woman is at greatest risk of transferring the herpes virus to her child if she gets infected during the last trimester. If you're a man with either oral or genital herpes, you need to take extra precautions to make sure you don't infect your partner ever but especially during this crucial time. This means abstaining from sexual intercourse during outbreaks, using a condom or exploring alternatives to intercourse during the last trimester. These alternatives could include touching, fantasizing, massage and kissing. Oral sex should be avoided if you have an active outbreak of oral HSV-1, also known as cold sores.