Which infectious diseases have negative impact on pregnancy?

The simple concept of a healthy pregnancy is - 'a healthy mother can give healthy childbirth'. During pregnancy, female physiology alters very fast and immunological changes also frequent. Infectious disease at an early stage of pregnancy is one of the causes of fetal birth defect.   Following are some of the infectious diseases harmful for pregnancy:

  • Rubella

This is a viral infection. Maternal rubella infection can cause miscarriage and birth defect. Immunization against rubella virus is important to prevent this mishap.

The immune functioning against rubella can be checked through a blood test during pregnancy planning. This is an important step to avoid infection-related complications.

The woman needs to vaccinate in case of lack of antibodies found against the rubella virus. Then, wait for a month before conceiving to avoid fetal damage through viral parts entered during vaccination.

  • Toxoplasmosis

This is a parasite born infection and can cause a severe birth defect at an early stage of pregnancy. This is a silent infection as no symptoms occur initially.

This infection can be transmitted through raw meat. During pregnancy planning, it is necessary to check the toxoplasmosis infection through a blood test.

  • Hepatitis B

Newborn babies are very susceptible to this infection. Before and during pregnancy, hepatitis B virus infections are tested continuously by taking a maternal blood sample.

In the case of, the positive result of an infection in mother during pregnancy, then special care needs to take to avoid neonatal infection after delivery of the child.

The newborn should receive hepatitis B vaccination immediately after delivery.

  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

This another infection with silent features. An affected person is usually unaware of this infection. Presence of such maternal infection can transmit to their offspring and cause a congenital viral infection.

Although this infection does not produce any symptom in most of the cases,  CMV infection can cause a hearing problem, vision impairment, developmental issues, and other neurological symptoms in some of the infected neonates.

CMV infection also causes premature delivery, enlarged liver, rash, jaundice, seizure, feeding difficulties, etc.

  • Genital herpes

During pregnancy occurrence of this infection can be transmitted from mother to fetus. The infection can spread to multiple organs. Therefore, antiviral treatment and supportive care require a newborn.

  • Parvovirus B19

This is a common viral infection and transmitted through air droplets. Women should be careful and take necessary precaution to avoid such infection during her pregnancy.

Parvovirus B19 viral infection at the first trimester can cause fetal loss. However, infection development at the later stages of pregnancy does not cause serious complications.  Parvovirus B19 viral infection related to birth defect is rare, but the death of an unborn fetus is common.

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

This infection can be transmitted from mother to fetus. In a routine pregnancy test, HIV test is already introduced to identify the positive cases. Some medications have already discovered and early intervention can reduce the risk of such transmission. Early diagnosis and right treatment also improve the mother health condition to carry the pregnancy successfully.

  • Chickenpox

This is a very dangerous viral infection which can cause pneumonia. In serious cases, death may occur in pregnant women. Previous chickenpox incidence makes the body immune against this infection. But women who do not have such exposure, they should take chickenpox immunization during pregnancy planning to avoid any health complications. In case of any uncertainty, the blood test needs to conduct for checking the immunity status.

  • Zika virus

Infected blood transfusion is the reason for spreading such infection. Mosquito acts as a vector for transmission of this virus. During sexual intercourse, either of the infected partners can transmit the infection from mother to fetus. This infection can cause the birth defect to the off-spring. Microcephaly, loss of vision, eye defect are some of the birth defects have linked with Zika virus infection related to pregnancy complications. Both the partner should be tested for Zika virus before pregnancy planning. Condoms must be used during intercourse at the whole gestational period to avoid Zika virus-related negative effects on pregnancy.

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