Genital herpes during pregnancy: no lesions, no cesarean

Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Feb;85(2):261-4. doi: 10.1016/0029-7844(94)00346-F.


Objective: To determine the effects at our hospital of adoption of the 1988 guidelines recommended by ACOG for management of genital herpes infections during pregnancy.

Methods: Between 1984-1986, 96 pregnancies complicated by active genital herpes were delivered at Parkland Hospital. The outcome of these pregnancies were compared with 217 similar pregnancies managed after implementation of the 1988 ACOG herpes guidelines.

Results: Adoption of the 1988 ACOG herpes guidelines resulted in a 37% decrease in the use of cesarean delivery for women with genital herpes infections at our hospital. Most of this decrease was because the new guidelines eliminated the need for a confirmatory negative herpes culture before permitting vaginal delivery. No neonatal herpes infections occurred as a result of implementing the ACOG recommendations.

Conclusion: The rate of cesarean delivery for women with genital herpes infections during pregnancy declined significantly at our hospital as a result of the adoption of ACOG herpes guidelines, and there were no neonatal consequences, such as increased incidence of neonatal herpes simplex virus infection.

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Herpes Genitalis / diagnosis
  • Herpes Genitalis / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / pathology*