Infections During Pregnancy: It is better to stay updated with the symptoms and causes of various infections you may come across your way to motherhood.
Infections During Pregnancy Antibodies
Some infections that occur in this period, primarily affect expecting moms, while some infections are perilous to you and/or your baby. Many would be moms feel the same. It is important to know how to prevent and/or treat them. Scientifically, a human body is in a constant stage of defense, to protect the body from potential damage from various bacteria and viruses that try to invade.
In order to defend, you produce a number of antibodies, and once your body reaches the specific number required for a particular virus, then you are termed as “immune”; the probability of getting that infection again is reduced to a great extent. Isn’t this wonderful? But at times, these viruses are your body may not be capable of producing adequate antibodies and that causes you infection.
When you are infected, viruses/bacteria invade the tissues, multiply and produce toxins. Some of the common infections are caused by agents such as viruses, viroids, prions, bacteria, roundworms, pin-worms, ticks, mites, fleas, lice, fungi, ringworms, tapeworms, etc. The problem gets complicated during pregnancy, as the infection might affect your unborn baby.
You become more prone to certain infections during pregnancy, simply because weakness due to exhaustion or other conditions. Further, pregnancy might lead to mild infections to serious complications. Many such risky infections lead to miscarriage, preterm labor, stillbirth, birth defects and maternal death. This is why, appropriate care has to be taken to prevent occurrence; and if infection has already invaded, then it has to be treated immediately.
Why pregnant woman are more prone to infection during pregnancy?
Pregnancy affects the physiological system and a lot of hormonal changes occur during this period. The time of conception, labor and delivery are susceptible to infections and other complications. Here’s a list of infections in pregnancy you should be careful about.
Types of Infection During Pregnancy
- Infection in blood during pregnancy
- Bacterial infection during pregnancy
- Yeast infection during pregnancy
- Cervix infection during pregnancy
8 Infections You Should Be Aware of During Pregnancy
1. Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is the most common infection during pregnancy, that affects the liver. If you are infected, it becomes extremely important to take right steps to protect your unborn child from this infection. Acute Hepatitis B Virus during pregnancy is one of the major causes of jaundice in pregnancy. This infection spreads through intercourse with the infected person or through direct contact with the infected blood. Hepatitis B infection leads to increased mortality, low birth weight and premature delivery, hence, immunization of this virus before conceiving is necessary.
2. Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C can be detected as its first sign is nausea. But since nausea and vomiting are signs of early pregnancy, it becomes difficult to assess the onset of this infection. Hepatitis C can be contracted through medical or dental treatments from a clinic where infected patients often visit. If you are a carrier of this virus, there is an increased chance of your child being affected.
3. Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract Infection is usually caused by bacteria from skin, vagina, or rectum that enters your body through urethra. These bacteria stay in the urinary bladder and multiply, thus resulting in a number of complications. Also such bacteria can travel up to your kidneys and cause serious kidney infections.
4. Sexually Transmitted Disease
Sexually Transmitted Disease may have a pretty high probability during this period. The worrying part is that STD’s have no symptoms. The most common form of this infection is called chlamydia. Getting a periodic test can ensure safety.
5. Chicken Pox
Chicken Pox is one kind of infection during pregnancy that can cause complications for both you and your unborn child. About 95% of times, women are immune to chicken pox, because of experiencing it once before and not likely to occur for the second time. But if one hasn’t got it ever, then the chances are increased. Complications in your unborn may vary, but may lead to damage in your baby’s physical development.
6. Genital Herpes
Genital Herpes is a genital infection caused by herpes simplex virus. You may catch it through genital contact with the infected person or from oral sex. Infected person gets genital ulcers or painful blisters during the initial phase. Ask the doctor and take necessary steps to prevent Herpes infection. If the infection occurs during the first trimester, it can be treated, but if it occurs towards the end, cesarean section is preferred in order to avoid disease transfer to your baby.
7. German Measles or Rubella
German Measles or Rubella show flu-like symptoms, such as mild sore eyes, increased temperature, swollen lymph nodes, etc. If you catch Rubella during pregnancy, it can affect your baby’s sight and hearing. This may also result in brain and heart defects.
8. Group B Streptococcus
Group B Streptococcus is rarely seen infection during pregnancy, but if it occurs in the third trimester or during delivery, it can pose various complications in the baby. It’s best to have a regular medical checkup during your special period.
Precautions and Treatment
So now we know the types of infections that may affect you during pregnancy, let’s learn how to deal with them:
- Get yourself immunized to the infections before conceiving.
- Keep a track on symptoms and get a checkup done on a regular basis.
- Avoid sexual contact with your partner if he is infected.
- Make sure that your doctor doesn’t use instruments and syringes that have been used previously on an infected person.
- Since your immunity is low stay alert. You can do this by boiling foods at high temperature, drinking clean water, washing hands thoroughly after touching animals, etc.
- Choose a type of antibacterial antibiotic what would work best against the specific bacteria that has caused you infection in pregnancy.
- If you are suffering from urinary tract infection, drink ample of water. If the infection persists for more than two days, consult your doctor immediately.
We hope that you now have a clear idea about various infections that can occur during pregnancy. Take care of your health and prevent yourself from being infected.
We wish you a safe delivery and a healthy baby! Do share your experiences with us in the comment box below: