Pregnancy and Infections – Things You Need to Know

Getting sick during pregnancy may make you feel miserable. This is the time when you’re more likely to worry about the health of unborn babies. Most women care about this more than their own.

Infections are not uncommon during pregnancy. Some are harmless for you and the baby while others may create problems. You need to stay updated with the symptoms and causes of various infections you may encounter with on your way to motherhood.

Human body is always in a constant stage of defense. It works round the clock to protect the body from potential damage caused by viruses and bacteria. The body produces a number of antibodies for ensuring protection. Once the body reaches the required number for a specific virus, the body is termed as “immune”.

However, in some cases, the body is unable to produce enough antibodies and causes infection.

Pregnancy and Infection

Pregnancy in women affects the physiological system. This is due to a number of hormonal changes that occur during this period. Listed below are some of the common infections in pregnancy, you must be very careful about:

Hepatitis B

This is the most common infection that affects pregnant women. It affects the liver. Adequate treatment course must be taken if you are infected to protect unborn child. Acute Hepatitis B Virus is detected as one of the major causes of jaundice during pregnancy. It spreads through intercourse with the infected person. Hepatitis B results in increased mortality, premature delivery, low birth weight, etc. Immunization of this virus prior to conceiving is crucial.

Hepatitis C

The first sign of this infection is nausea and vomiting. Since this is also deemed as early signs of pregnancy, it becomes very difficult to assess the onset of this infection. The infection may be contracted through dental or medical treatments from a clinic where infected patients visit. It is important that the doctor detects the infection and treats it.

Sexually Transmitted Disease

These infections are known to have high probability during pregnancy. The worst part is that STD’s do not show any symptoms. Chlamydia is the most common form of this infection. You can ensure safety by getting a periodic test done.

Urinary Tract Infection

Bacteria entering the body from vagina, skin, and rectum through urethra tend to cause this infection. The bacteria multiply in the urinary bladder causing several complications. Sometimes it may travel to the kidneys causing serious kidney infections. Regular tests and checkups with doctor will help you cope with it safely.

Chicken Pox

The infection is serious and may cause complications for both you and your unborn baby. Although in 95 per cent cases, women are immune to chicken pox as they have experienced it once in their life before. The infection is not likely to occur for the second time. However, in cases, where a woman has never contracted the infection even once, the chances of contracting during pregnancy increased. Chicken pox should be treated in a timely manner as it may affect unborn baby’s physical development.

German Measles or Rubella

The infection is characterized by flu-like symptoms, such as swollen lymph nodes, mild sore eyes, increased temperature, etc. In case, you catch Rubella during pregnancy, the treatment must start immediately as it may affect your sight, hearing, heart, and brain of the baby.

Genital Herpes

This is a genital infection caused by herpes simplex virus. This is usually caused by genital contact with the infected person / oral sex. It results in painful blisters and ulcers in the genital area. The doctor needs to take necessary steps to prevent Herpes infection. It is treatable during the first trimester. However, if it occurs towards the end, doctor should do a C-section to avoid disease getting transferred to the baby.

Group B Streptococcus

It is a rare kind of infection during pregnancy. However, it may occur in the third trimester or during delivery and lead to complications in the baby. Having regular medical checkup with the doctor is very important.

Precautions and Treatment Options

Here’s how you deal with infections during your week by week pregnancy journey:

– Immunization is important. Do not skip any vaccination sessions suggested by your doctor.

– Always keep a careful watch on symptoms and get a checkup done on a regular basis.

– It is important that your doctor doesn’t use instruments and syringes that have been previously used.

– Do not have sexual contact with your partner if he is infected.

– The immunity level during pregnancy is low. Hence, you must be alert. Make sure you boil foods at high temperature. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching animals, entering homes from outside, handling waste products, after using washrooms, etc.

– Drink a lot of water to cope with urinary tract infection. In case, the problem persists for over two days, get in touch with your doctor on an immediate basis.

– Consult your doctor and get antibacterial antibiotics prescribed. The doctor will prescribe one that will fight against the specific bacteria that has caused you infection.

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