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A pregnant woman is highly susceptible to catching infections. Here we will discuss some infections that could be potentially dangerous if not handled on time.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that can be in the urethra, ureter, bladder and kidneys. You might notice such an infection by symptoms like burning sensation, irritation while urinating or having a frequent urge to urinate. You might also notice a peculiar odour and/or blood in urine.
In case of above symptoms, get proper treatment on time. The doctor will prescribe an appropriate antibiotic for the same. If the UTI is not treated on time, it can cause a kidney infection. UTI could lead to complications like preterm labour. To avoid UTIs, maintain general hygiene and drink a lot of water to flush out all toxins.
Toxoplasmosis: This infection is caused by a parasite named toxoplasma gondii. This can spread through various forms of raw meat, through cats eating raw meat and their excreta. Although this infection is common both in men and women, it can cause infection in the foetus during pregnancy. Once you have had toxoplasmosis, antibodies will be developed inside the body to prevent another case from cropping up in the lifetime. Typical symptoms include illness similar to flu and swollen glands in neck.
Toxoplasmosis can causes serious complications like stillbirth, miscarriage, blindness, deafness, epilepsy or brain damage of the infant.
It is required to take a few precautions to prevent toxoplasmosis. Women with cats especially need to be careful. Eat properly cooked meat and wash all utensils and your hands after handling raw meat. In the same manner, wash all fruits and vegetables to remove soil. Prevent cleaning the cat litter and if you have to do it, wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly after doing the same.
Thrush: It is a vaginal infection which is caused by yeast called Candida albicans. You may have this infection even without showing any symptoms. Thrush can cause a woman to have severe itching, soreness or a white, thick discharge.
Hepatitis B: This is a viral infection which is spread when a person comes in contact with an infected person’s body fluids such as blood, semen, etc. It causes inflammation of liver. The common symptoms include fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and jaundice. It can cause several complications in pregnancy including preterm labour and low birth weight. There is a greater risk of perinatal transmission if the mother gets infected with the hepatitis virus during the last trimester or fails to completely recover before giving birth to the baby.
Listeriosis: This is a food borne sickness. A person gets infected by listeria, which is the causative agent of this infection by eating unpasteurized dairy products, improperly processed deli items, and raw foods such as meat and sea food. Common symptoms of this illness include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Pregnant women are highly susceptible to catching this infection. It can increase the risk of having a miscarriage and early labour. High fever, meningitis and hypothermia are the problems that an infected baby could have.
Genital herpes: It is characterized by an illness similar to flu, and painful sores around the vulva. It may be mistaken by thrush during the initial period, as it is simply a sore or an itch which heals over time. However, the primary attack could be really painful. The virus can be transmitted to the baby at the time of birth. Also, the primary attack of herpes could cause preterm labour. If the attack occurs after the first 28 weeks of pregnancy, cesarean is recommended to avoid complications. If you have any of the symptoms of herpes, consult your doctor immediately.
It is very common for a pregnant woman to catch any of these infections. however, there is nothing for you to panic. Proper care and timely medical care will help you overcome it with ease.