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Pregnancy: in the face of infection

Pregnancy: in the face of infection

Many future mothers learn that there is an infection in their body, just during a routine examination by an obstetrician-gynecologist. This is explained by the fact that before the onset of pregnancy such tests, unfortunately, very few people take. But even if a woman found out about her appearance while waiting for a child, the infection does not always threaten the successful development of the baby and does not always require treatment.

For example, the herpes virus and cytomegalovirus are dangerous for a child only if the infection first occurred during pregnancy. But such a situation is rare, because these infections are very common, and most young women have already encountered them and are protected by their own antibodies.

The fact of this meeting and the guarantee of protection confirms the discovery of the latter in the blood test.

By the way, the importance of this study is rather that it helps to identify those rare future mothers who have never experienced a herpetic and cytomegalovirus infection. And then, to avoid the risk of infection in anticipation of the child, the doctor will offer to examine the future father.

If he is the carrier of these viruses, the doctor will explain what to do to avoid transmission.

So, the status of the carrier of herpes and cytomegalovirus does not threaten the baby, and such women do not need treatment.

The revealed chlamydia require a different approach. These microorganisms are in a special position: being bacteria, they combine the properties of both bacteria and viruses and are dangerous for a child.

Finding them in the woman’s body, the doctor will prescribe a course of treatment.

During the first visit to the doctor, a woman takes smears from the vagina, cervix and blood to determine antibodies to infection (rubella, toxoplasmosis, herpes, cytomegalovirus). And in a situation requiring treatment, at the end of it, the expectant mother will need to pass a smear at least once more.

Can we say that pregnancy makes a woman more vulnerable to infection? Previously, scientists believed that while waiting for a child, the immune system works less actively, and therefore the body is more susceptible to infections and women are more often sick.

This conclusion seemed logical. Recall that the task of the immune system is to ensure that nothing alien enters the body, and if this happens, immediately find and neutralize the “enemy”.

As soon as conception occurs, a special situation arises: inside the woman, a new organism begins to develop, the composition of the proteins of which is half different from that of the mother.

Theoretically, the immune system should immediately go to war with an outsider – but this does not happen. The body of a woman not only does not reject the future baby, but also provides it with everything necessary and protects, even to the detriment of its own interests. Apparently, with the onset of pregnancy, the immune system is somehow rebuilt in a new way.

And it was believed that she succeeds by reducing her activity in all directions: rest inside means weakening of external protection. Later it turned out that expectant mothers do not have a particular propensity to develop infectious and inflammatory diseases – on the contrary, many chronic inflammations during pregnancy fade.

Not all infections cause problems, and not always. Doctors are afraid of those that may cause inflammation in the future mother’s body, which will complicate the successful course of pregnancy, and are capable of being transmitted to the baby, thereby disturbing his development.

To work the immune system while waiting for the baby passed without failures, you need a lot of conditions. The first is the correct hormonal background. Many hormones, vigorously produced during pregnancy (progesterone, cortisol, estrogen), are involved in the immune system; with their shortage, it can be violated.

The second condition is the proper development of the baby and the placenta, which connects him with his mother. It is believed that it is the unborn child who launches a host of immune changes in the woman’s body.

And finally, it is important that by the time pregnancy occurs, there is no inflammation in the body, otherwise the reaction of the mother’s immune system to the baby may be unexpected.

Unfortunately, not all women are “in the position” of restructuring the immune system correctly, and then the body’s susceptibility to infections becomes higher. The most common cause is either a malfunction of the immune system before the onset of pregnancy, or unprotected foci of infection (throat, kidney).

STI
The doctor will pay special attention to the presence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the woman’s body, because if they show up, they must be treated without fail to risk infection of the unborn child. Plus, any inflammation in the body of the future mother can interfere with the successful course of pregnancy. This rule applies primarily to inflammatory diseases of the female genital organs (uterus and its appendages), often caused by infection.

The future father will have to undergo a course of therapy.

If a woman is not examined and treated before the pregnancy begins, she will need to do this after 12 weeks. Consult your doctor if you are worried about itching, burning, vaginal discharge of an unusual color (yellowish or greenish) – all these symptoms may be signs of inflammation.

Herpes and cytomegalovirus
The overwhelming majority of women are just carriers of the infection, and in such a situation, as we have said, the baby is not in danger. Those whom this news found at the planning stage of pregnancy should not be afraid of the consequences of treatment.

It may be necessary only in those rare situations when the patient and her partner’s infection often worsens and is accompanied by rashes, itching, and discomfort.

An unfavorable situation occurs if a woman becomes infected with these germs during pregnancy. Only in this case, you can be afraid of complications in the development of the baby.

In time to notice them and take the necessary measures obstetricians helps ultrasound and special blood tests (for antibodies to herpes and cytomegalovirus, to accurately establish the fact that the woman’s body is in contact with this infection for the first time).

Chlamydia, gonokokk, Trichomonas
The danger of chlamydial and gonococcal infection is that their presence in the body of the expectant mother can cause premature birth; there is also a risk that they will “get” to the baby. In addition, trichomonas infection is a kind of “conductor” for other agents.

Its action on the mucous membrane of the vagina facilitates their penetration into the woman’s body.

That is why these diseases need to be treated, and with antibiotics: chlamydia, gonococcus – with pills or injections, and trichomonads – more often with vaginal suppositories.

Ureaplasma, mycoplasma, gardnerella
These microorganisms are conditionally pathogenic: they can live in the body and not disturb it, that is, not complicate the expectation of the baby with inflammation. It is only important to know what their number is, and modern survey methods give us this opportunity.

In most cases, this titer is low, inflammation in the expectant mother is not detected, and therefore, treatment is not required.

If mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas are determined in large numbers, their presence is accompanied by inflammation or dysbiosis of the vagina, that is, a violation of the ratio between beneficial and unsafe microorganisms, is indispensable without antibiotic treatment.

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