The World of Pregnancy

Having A Fever While Pregnant

Fever while pregnant, if it exceeds 38° Celsius, needs to be reported to the doctor immediately.  Generally, fever while expecting a baby is associated with flu, but it may very well also be a sign of intrauterine infection, and in this case the baby from your belly may be affected.

Having A Fever While Pregnant

What Can Lead to Fever While Pregnant?

Fever is defined by an increase of the internal body temperature with 1 or 2 degrees above the normal levels of 37° Celsius. This condition is usually manifested through dizziness, chills, muscle spasms, increased pulse, and even from the very first few signs, it`s recommended to measure the body temperature for identifying the severity of the condition.

Regardless of the severity of the results, it`s also recommended to talk to the doctor that supervises your pregnancy, because he`s the only one able to determine if you have any reasons to worry or you can just treat yourself at home. In this case, you need to give more attention to the treatment, as fever may indicate states of delusion, drowsiness and anxiety, which may affect the proper nutrition and implicitly the nutrient intake your organism needs.

Fever while pregnant, if it`s accompanied by joint pain or rash, it might be a symptom of infection, such as toxoplasma, parvovirus or cytomegalovirus, infections that may cause congenital abnormalities. For instance, cytomegalovirus is the most frequent cause of congenital deafness.

This shouldn`t mean that you should panic when you start experiencing fever. Most of the times, this sign may not be related to pregnancy, such as flu or cold. It`s a lot easier to get sick while pregnant, because the immune system is weak. However, you need to monitor the signs more carefully and in case of high fever, accompanied by signs that normally don`t occur in case of fever, you should visit the doctor immediately. It may related to some severe conditions that may be related to pregnancy and which may cause premature birth, miscarriage or other various fetal issues.

How to Prevent Fever during Pregnancy?

Infections of the Urinary Tract

Ten percent of women experience an infection in their urinary tract at a particular point during the 9 months of pregnancy. This tract will include the urethra, bladder, kidneys and ureters. An infection will occur when bacteria will penetrate this system and then multiply.

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Most infections of urinary tract happen in the bladder, but they aren`t that severe. The doctor will usually prescribe a few intravaginal medications which should solve the medical issue. But if an infection is left untreated, it may reach the kidneys and lead a large variety of medical complications, which may include sepsis, premature labor or low birth weight. The signs of urinary tract infection are: the need of urinating frequently, burning sensation when urinating, fever, chills, pelvic pains, blood in urine or cloudy urine.

Flu

You most definitely had at some point in life an ugly flu with fever, discomfort, cough, chills or vomiting. Women who are pregnant have an increased risk of getting a flu virus and becoming sick due to their weak immune system. If you think that you may experience this illness, you should visit the doctor that supervises your pregnancy. He may advise you to rest, drink a lot of fluids as well as a antiviral medication which shouldn`t affect your pregnancy. Experts recommend for any pregnant woman to be vaccinated against such viruses.

Infections on the Upper Respiratory Tract (Cold)

The infections in the upper respiratory tract are generally located in the nasal passages, larynx, pharynx or sinuses. The signs include symptoms similar to flu, like sore throat, shortness of breath or clogged nose.

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An infection in the upper respiratory tract isn`t a serious illness like flu is and most of the times is spontaneous. The signs usually last 3 days to 2 weeks and can most of the times be treated at home on your own. If the signs don`t disappear in maximum 14 days, it might be something more serious, like pneumonia, bronchitis or sinusitis, and it`s essential to visit a doctor immediately, especially if you are pregnant.

Gastrointestinal Viruses

Vomiting and diarrhea, which are generally caused by gastrointestinal viruses, may have severe consequences for any pregnant woman if they are left untreated. And that is mainly because dehydration may cause the occurrence of contractions and even premature labor. Other side effects include hypotension, fainting, weakness, dizziness or other serious cases of electrolyte imbalance.

A lot of these cases are usually treated with a proper water intake and BRAT diet, which include fried bread, bananas, apples or rice. However, you should still ask for the doctor`s advice, especially if you cannot retain fluids in your organism, if the faeces or vomiting include blood, or you experience any symptoms of dehydration (dizziness, dry mouth, excessive thirst or little or no urine at all) or if you experience high fever. – Read this!

Chorioamnionitis

Besides chills or fever, this infection of the membranes which surround the amniotic liquid and fetus may cause rapid heartbeat, abnormal discharges or sweating. Pregnant women will treat this infection with antibiotics prescribed by the doctor who supervises their pregnancy. If left untreated, this bacterial infection may cause pelvic infections, blood clots or endometriosis, and the fetus may experience severe medical complications, which may include respiratory issues, sepsis or meningitis. The risk factors of this infection may include premature rupture of membranes.

Listeria

This is an infection that results from drinking water or eating food that was contaminated. Newborns and expecting mothers are the ones who are most exposed to this particular infection. The first signs may include muscle aches, diarrhea, fever or nausea. If listeria is left untreated, it may lead to miscarriage, severe infections in the fetus or premature delivery. The treatment includes antibiotics that are only released with prescription. The doctor`s recommendations is a must in this case. To avoid infection, you may want to exclude a few things from your diet: soft cheeses, hot dog, seafood or sausages.

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Parvovirus B19

This medical condition is quite common among children, so adults usually are often immune to it. The most frequent sign when adults are concerned is joint pain, usually lasting for a whole week. Parvovirus is a very rare condition when concerning pregnant women; less than 5% of them experience this affection at some point throughout the 9 months. However, this virus may cause a loss of pregnancy or the newborn experiencing a severe form of anemia.

Cytomegalovirus

It`s a virus which may be transmmited to the fetus. The signs include fatigue, fever or inflammation of the glands. Healthy women who are expecting a baby aren`t at any risk of such infection, the incidence being less than 4%.  Still, although pregnant women who experience cytomegalovirus show few signs, the baby is at a very high risk of infection. The transmission rate to the fetus is of 24% to 75%. Babies might be born with an increased liver or spleen. The complications in the first few years of life may include vision issues, various degrees of retardation or hair loss.

How to Treat Fever When Expecting a Baby?

Here are a few tips that may help prevent infections and fever while pregnant.

  • Wash the hands as often as you can or after ending any activity. This will prevent any future infections and keep microbes away.
  • Wash any fruit and vegetable before consuming them with a stream of water, sufficiently to make sure the food is clean.
  • Be careful to make all the necessary vaccines.
  • Avoid unpasteurized foods, because they might contain Listeria bacteria.
  • Don`t eat chicken, egg, seafood salads, tuna or ham already made because they are perishable.
  • Talk to the doctor as soon as you experience fever or other signs which aren`t common during pregnancy.

Once the doctor ensures you that you have nothing to worry about and that fever can be treated at home, go to the pharmacy to take the medications prescribed by your doctor.

Image courtesy of whattoexpect.com
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