Numerous Infections During Pregnancy Can Cause Undue Stress and Worry

November 12, 2012

Numerous Infections During Pregnancy Can Cause Undue Stress and Worry

Pregnancy can be a joyful time for a couple. However, it can also be a scary time with all kinds of infections during pregnancy that can occur.

Everybody, at some point in their life, will be afflicted with an infection such as colds and coughs. And, many women suffer with bothersome yeast infections or cystitis. Infections during pregnancy are very common; but, there are a number of infections that can be particular harmful to a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Several Common Infections During Pregnancy Woman Can Suffer With

1 – Flu, Cold and Cough

Pregnant women are likely to suffer with flus, colds and coughs just like non-pregnant women. There’s no real threat to the pregnancy and the only thing you really need is relief from your symptoms including:

  • Rest

  • Plenty of fluids

  • Little TLC

It’s safe to use inhaled decongestants but you need to avoid cough linctus. You may also take paracetamol normally. If your cough has green phlegm in it, you might need to start taking antibiotics, as it means you could have a bacterial infection. There are a significant number of antibiotics that you can safely take during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, you need to let your doctor know.

2 – Vaginal Infections (Thrush and Group B Streptococcus)

Thrush – This is the result of the yeast Candida albicans, tends to occur more with pregnant women. It’s generally found in the vagina in nearly 16 percent of non-pregnant women and about 32 percent of pregnant women. The problem with thrush is that it doesn’t always show symptoms and will only demand treatment when:

  • Itching becomes troublesome

  • Painful

  • Distinctive white, thick discharge

It’s usually seen in the subsequent pregnancies, during the third trimester, in the summer months, in diabetic women and after you’ve taken antibiotics. Diflucan is not recommended for pregnant women. However, they can take Canesten for the condition.

Men are not immune from thrush. Men with thrush experience soreness and redness of the glans on the penis. Thrush is less common for men than woman; but, a man can continuously give it to a woman so it’s important that each partner be treated for the infection.

Group B Streptococcus – About 15 to 20 percent of pregnant women carry the group B streptococcus in their vagina. For the most part, there are no problems. However, there are some instances where the bug can be passed to baby during the delivery process, leading to meningitis or a blood-borne infection.

3 – Sexually Transmitted Infections

Two sexually transmitted infections during pregnancy that can cause a baby to have eye infections are gonorrhea and chlamydia. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause a baby to have chest infections or an infection of the womb lining in the mother after the birth. Both infections during pregnancy are treatable. However, a second swab should be given to ensure that the infection is cleared up. Partners should also be screened so the mother doesn’t become re-infected.

In many hospitals around the world, HIV testing is common during pregnancy. If you feel you’ve been infected with any infections during pregnancy, you should seek drug treatment right away especially if you’ve been exposed to HIV. In 15 percent of all cases, HIV infections during pregnancy can pass to the baby. With drug treatment, the number can decrease to eight percent and even lower for elective caesarean sections.

4 – Urinary Tract Infections

Other common infections during pregnancy urinary tract infections because of the urine flow reduction from the kidney to the bladder. One in 14 pregnant women suffers with a UTI with the common symptoms being:

  • Burning sensation during urination

  • Discomfort during urination

  • Frequently needing to pee

  • Aching pain on the bladder – This is a common pregnancy symptom and not very reliable in getting a diagnosis.

If the URTI passes to the kidneys and to the bloodstream, it can cause the following things:

  • Fever

  • Vomiting

  • Loin pain

  • Premature labor

When UTIs are treated early, kidney infections and the complication can be avoided. Diagnosis of the infection can be done by looking at the urine under the microscope to see if a bug will grow from the sample. This will also determine what antibiotic would be best. Mild infections usually clear up with a course of antibiotics; a severe UTI case will need to be treated in the hospital using IV antibiotics and rest. After you’ve had one UTI, it’s common to get additional infections during pregnancy. Thus, monthly urine checks will need to be done to ensure one is not developing.

5 – Genital Herpes

Herpes infections present like the flu, which are followed by a vulval sores outbreak. These sores are extremely painful and cause swollen glands in the groin region. It can take up to 10 days for these to heal. It should not be mistaken for the thrush infection, which just causes soreness and itchiness and respond to creams. The herpes virus is commonly seen in the nerves of the spine, which is very painful and it can cause a second attack. Recurrences tend to occur two to three times.

The risk of herpes in a pregnancy is highest if the main attack happens after 28 weeks. A mother’s antibody response can take nearly three weeks to completely develop. Subsequent attacks are less of a risk. A baby can become infected from the disease during delivery. The first attack could cause poor growth or early labor. Since the risks are rather high, doctors will perform a caesarean section.

6 – Toxoplasmosis

This is the result of the toxoplasma gondii parasite. It’s found in various forms of raw meat, in felines that consume raw meat and their poop. Both men and women can experience toxoplasmosis infection. However, it’s this infection during pregnancy that is cause for alarm because it can result in an infection for the unborn child, known as congenital toxoplasmosis. Once you’ve had this infection, your body’s immune system will keep you from getting it again. Roughly 30 percent of all women have had toxoplasma before getting pregnant. Its symptoms are similar to the flu and will cause the neck glands to swell.

Toxoplasmosis infections during pregnancy can cause the following things:

- Stillborn

- Miscarriage

- Growth problems

- Hydrocephalous (water on the brain)

- Epilepsy

- Brain damage deafness

If the condition is found during pregnancy, the expectant mother will need an ultrasound to see if the baby has been infected. She’ll also be given a definitive test known as the cordocentesis, which includes both a scan and umbilical cord blood sample.

How you can avoid this infection during pregnancy? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Eat meat that’s been cooked thoroughly

  • Wash your hands, utensils and food surfaces after raw meat preparation

  • Wash the soil from the vegetables and fruit before you eat them

  • Keep cooked foods and raw meat away from each other

  • Have someone else clean the cat’s litter box

  • Use gloves during the change and wash your hands when you’re done

  • Use gloves during gardening and wash your hands when you’re done

  • If you’re a cat owner, have it seen by its vet and ensure it’s healthy

7 – Chicken Pox

Pregnant women will often come across someone who has the chicken pox. While it can spark fear, there’s no reason to fret. If you’ve already had chicken pox, then you shouldn’t worry about your baby. If you’re concerned, have your doctor do a blood test to determine your immunity. If the mom gets chicken pox, there are two possible risks to the baby.

  • Under 20 weeks gestation, the baby may have chicken pox syndrome although this is extremely rare.

  • If the baby is born before the mom passes the protective antibodies, the baby can suffer with an infection after the birth.

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