Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below

Cesarean delivery in women with genital herpes in washington state, 1989-1991.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine University of Washington Seattle WA USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine whether the proportion of cesarean deliveries in pregnant women with a history of genital herpes and no active lesions at birth is higher than that in women with no history of genital herpes, and to determine whether this risk was modified by birth facilities' underlying prevalence of cesarean delivery.


This was a retrospective survey. Women who gave birth in Washington state from 1989 to 1991 were identified from the state birth records and were classified as having clinical genital herpes during pregnancy (N = 1,094) or history of genital herpes only (N = 4,163) at delivery. Women without genital herpes (N = 5,257) were randomly selected from remaining births.


The main outcome measure was primary cesarean delivery, excluding those performed for indications other than genital herpes. Prevalence of primary cesarean delivery was 59.5% in women with clinical herpes during pregnancy and 12.5% in women with history of herpes, both significantly different from prevalence of 11.2% in unexposed women. Age-adjusted risk for cesarean delivery among women with a history of herpes was 1.13 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93, 1.37]. When baseline cesarean delivery prevalence was above 20%, this risk was 1.2 (95% CI: 1.0, 1.4; P = 0.058), compared to 1.1 (95% CI: 0.9, 1.3; P = 0.186) where cesarean delivery prevalence was below 20%.


Women with history of genital herpes appear to have a slightly elevated risk of cesarean delivery, particularly in hospital settings with baseline prevalence of primary cesarean delivery above 20%. This rate is somewhat lower than that noted in a previous survey, suggesting that practitioners are following standard guidelines. Evaluations of cesarean delivery for genital herpes in other states should be performed.

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Hindawi Publishing Corporation Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk