Pregnancy is a delicate stage for every woman. It is a stage where you not only take care of yourself but also care for the baby inside the womb. Thus being healthy and keeping yourself away from illnesses is a must. One of the many concerns of people is contracting a fever during pregnancy. A simple fever may already increase the level of worry thinking how it can affect the mother and the fetus inside.
Fever During Pregnancy
Certain factors may cause fever during pregnancy, but rest assured that these factors and causes are all treatable as well as temporary. Consult your doctor as soon as you can so that proper treatment is administered to cure the fever. Here are some of the common culprits you why experience fever in pregnancy:
1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
An infection of the urinary tract occurs when some bacteria gets into your system and multiplies there. If treated as soon as possible, this could not cause any harm. But if left untreated, it will lead to certain dangerous problems such as preterm labor, sepsis, or low birth weight.
Flu is a common occurrence even to people who are not pregnant, and you may experience this also even when you were still not expecting. Since you are pregnant, your chances of contracting flu are higher due to the suppression of your immune system.
When you get flu symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and fatigue, consult your doctor immediately so that proper treatments will be given to you. Get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids to help yourself recover in no time. If you realize that you are pregnant, you may also get a flu shot to prevent influenza occurrence as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
Just like the flu, colds is a common occurrence when you are pregnant due to your suppressed immune system. You will experience a cough, difficulty breathing, runny nose and sore throat aside from the flu-like symptoms that you may manifests.
Though this is not considered as severe as flu, it still needs to be treated to prevent further complications. If your colds do not heal in 2 weeks time, you may have a serious complication which requires immediate doctor visit such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
4. Food Poisoning
Food poisoning may also be one of the culprits of fever in pregnancy. You will likely experience other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
If this is the case, it may lead to dehydration and result to contractions and preterm labor. Thus, it is important that you keep your fluids and electrolytes balance by drinking plenty of fluids. If dehydration continues, it will result in unstable blood pressure which might require hospitalization on your part.
Fever and pregnancy may also be linked seriously through rare cases. The following medical conditions may be considered rare as they only affect pregnant women. When you think your temperature rises not because of common culprits, visit your OB immediately and have you and your baby checked.
1. Parvovirus B19
It is a rare occurrence, which statistically happens to less than 5% of pregnant women. Parvovirus B19, or commonly referred to as fifth disease, is a common childhood illness making most adults immune to it.
If this occurs to pregnant women, she will experience joint pains and soreness that may last for days or weeks. If left untreated, the virus will cause her to miscarry the baby or have it born with severe anemia.
2. Septic Abortion
Septic abortion occurs when the uterus has been infected due to improper treatment of miscarriage brought about by factors such as poor surgical techniques or pre-existing uterine or cervical infection. If left untreated, septic abortion will cause the woman to experience a fatal septic shock which may lower blood pressure and cause respiratory distress.
Listeriosis affects not only the pregnant women but also the newborns, adults and elderly with impaired immune systems. Once this infection spreads to their nervous systems, it will result in confusion, convulsions, stiff neck and headaches.
As per the American Pregnancy Association, moms who experience this infection by the ingestion of contaminated food and water may have a miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature delivery if left untreated. If treated, however, it will unlikely develop some problems on the side of the baby.
Chorioamnionitis is a disease of the chorion and amnion, membranes that surround the fetus and the amniotic fluid. If the baby is positive for infection, he or she will be treated with antibiotics too. If left untreated, the effects of chorioamnionitis to the baby will be sepsis, respiratory problems or meningitis.
How Will Fever Affect The Baby?
Aside from the different effects of fever to the baby as related to the various health conditions above, an expectant mother who has a temperature of 98.6 °F may result in the disruption of the baby’s development. Some studies say that fever can cause infection to the baby which might lead to congenital defects. It can also lead to miscarriage if left untreated. Fever during the first trimester may increase the risk of your baby to develop a cleft palate, neural tube defects.