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How does cold sore in mother affect the baby during pregnancy?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1919 Questions
Hi there it wonder if you can help me please. I am 33weeks pregnant with my first child and over the past few weeks I have had some cold sore worries. Basically I have been worried as first my father had a cold sore and then my mother has recently had two cold sores. I have been worried because I have never ever had coldsores. My main worry is that I may have caught the hsv1 virus from them and because it's been an initial outbreak I have had possibly none to little symptoms. I have read that primary infection may cause no symptoms. My main concern is how does this affect my unborn baby? Can the virus pass to him via the placenta? And is he at risk of congenital herpes or neonatal herpes? If you can advise me I would be grateful. Many thanks, XXXX
Posted Fri, 14 Mar 2014 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Johny Chacko 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Congenital/neonatal herpes Detailed Answer: Hello XXXXXXX Welcome to healthcare magic, Cold sore or Herpes labials is transmitted by direct contact. Usually by touch, lip to lip. I assume that your parents had cold sores over lips and not genitalia. You would not get it from them until you kiss them when they have it. And risk of neonatal herpes is there when you have genital herpes in the last trimester not cold sore over lips. As genital herpes is sexually transmitted you will contact it only from your sexual partner, not from parents. Therefore you need not worry. Hope I have answered your query, I will be happy to clarify any further queries. Take care.
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Follow-up: How does cold sore in mother affect the baby during pregnancy? 2 minutes later
Hello Dr, Many thanks for your reply. My parents cold sores have indeed been on their lips on the face and genitals. My worry was that I could have possibly kissed my parents and our lips touched on the very edges, although I don't think this did happen or even that I used their face towel after themselves had. I worry that the primary infection of HSV1 apparently doesnt always have symptoms. So am I right that my baby is not at risk if i have contracted an initial oral HSV1 primary infection and not known about it? Many Thanks for your help and advise, XXXX
Answered by Dr. Johny Chacko 39 hours later
Brief Answer: Neonatal Herpes Detailed Answer: Hello, Welcome back. Usually primary herpes labials is the most severe episode. Asymptomatic primary episode of herpes labials is very very rare and is usually seen in childhood. Nevertheless genital herpes is the one you should be bothered about for neonatal herpes and not oral herpes. Hope this helped, Take care and All the best.
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