How does pregnancy infected with the herpes virus affect the fetus?

Herpes Simplex Virus infection during pregnancy is a common infectious disease in women of child reproduction age. People infected with the Herpes virus during pregnancy are often capable of infecting the fetus during pregnancy or also for babies.

1. What is HSV virus?

The HSV virus, whose full name is Herpes Simplex Virus, is a virus with an outer sheath, DNA double chain, that belongs to the herpesviridae virus family and is transmitted through mucous membranes or wounds on the skin.

HSV virus is one of the most common causes of infection in babies today, causing children to be disabled or even dead. The duration of transmission of this virus is mainly when the mother is pregnant and has a main infection in the second half of pregnancy.

HSV virus is found in nerve tissues, in wounds of the mouth, face, in the cranial nerve nodes, lumbar nerve nodes, and also in the genitals.

2. Mechanism of Herpes virus infection

HSV infection during pregnancy has clinical signs of ulcers, blisters that cause pain in places such as the mouth, genital area and anus. Where there are ulcers is the first place where the HSV virus attacks the body. HSV infection during pregnancy is usually spread by direct contact with ulcers, especially through sexual contact or in special cases, even if ulcers are not visible, hsv virus may have spread.

HSV virus penetrates skin ulcers during vaginal,oral or anal sex and enters the moist membranes of the penis,vagina, urinary opening, cervical and anus causing disease to normal cells. At this time, the natural protection system will work against HSV virus that causes ulcers, blisters and pain.

In addition, HSV virus also comes and attacks the tongue, mouth, eyes, benefits, lips, hands and some other agencies. If the patient touches the ulcer then scratches or rubs to other parts of the body, especially the eyes, it may cause HSV virus infection in that part.

3. Symptoms of HSV infection during pregnancy

Symptoms of HSV infection during pregnancy can be very mild as a few ulcers, or can be very severe including a lot of ulcers on the body. After the HSV virus enters the body, symptoms of the disease will appear after 2 to 10 days, including:

  • Swelling of the lymph nodes;
  • Fever;
  • Cold tremors;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Fatigue;
  • Nausea;

Does pregnancy infected with the herpes virus affect the fetus?

Nausea is a symptom of HSV infection during pregnancy

  • Small initial ulcers, blisters in the vagina, anus and other parts, ulcers in bunches, after which these ulcers will break and drain and eventually close the scales and heal themselves without leaving scars;
  • Itching and burning when urinating.

4. How dangerous is pregnancy infected with the herpes virus?

When pregnant women are infected with the herpes virus,the fetus will be at great risk, especially for first-time pregnant women. According to statistics, mothers who are infected with the herpes virus during the first pregnancy have a 30%-60% risk of transmittance to the fetus, since during this period the fetus does not have enough antibodies against the herpes virus.

If the mother reinfects the HSV virus, the risk of transmission to the child is only 3%, even if the HSV virus infection does not have a water balloon, this possibility is less than 1%. The lesions that the fetus suffers when the pregnant mother is infected with the herpes virus can be in the brain or eyes.

Pregnant women infected with the herpes virus can still breastfeed without transmiting the disease to their babies because the HSV virus is not transmitted by breast milk. However, it should be borne in mind that the disease can be transmitted when the baby is exposed to ulcers, blisters are on the mother's udder when breastfeeding. The remedy for this condition is that pregnant mothers infected with the herpes virus with ulcers on the head of the breast must pump, milk by hand and do not touch the ulcer until the ulcer heals and compensate the baby for the milked part.

In order for the woman during pregnancy to be infected with the herpes virus that does not affect the health of the fetus, it is necessary to avoid performing procedures at risk of infection, as well as to treat antiviral drugs to minimize the risk of spread.

Whether or not herpes virus infection during pregnancy is heredic to the fetus depends on a lot of factors. Therefore, you should visit obstetric specialists for detailed advice, thereby taking proactive measures to prevent infection to your child. To protect the health of both mother and baby throughout pregnancy as well as treatment, monitoring the progress of diseases caused by the Herpes virus, you should choose package maternity care programs in reputable medical facilities.

Obstetrics and Gynecology Department – Share99 International Health Hub is highly appreciated by pregnant women for the quality of service, professional qualifications of doctors, facilities and professionalism. Share99 offers pregnant women a diverse package of maternity care programs (12 weeks, 27 weeks) to help protect you comprehensively before – during – after birth.

Share99 Obstetrics and Gynecology Department is closely associated with other specialties such as dermatology, endo noisy, cardiovascular, digestive … so when you have Herpes virus during pregnancy, you are monitored, examined, treated comprehensively. In case the baby is diagnosed with Herpes virus infection from the mother, will be examined and treated immediately at birth, limiting the dangerous complications that the baby may experience such as disability, newborn infections.

For direct advice, please click hotline number or register online HERE. In addition, you can register for remote consultation HERE


  • What to do after being diagnosed with genital herpes?
  • 10 ways to reduce your risk of genital herpes
  • Genital herpes during pregnancy: What to know

About: Minh Quynh

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&d=identicon&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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