Fever is usually a sign of an infection, and may turn into a troublesome condition if you are expecting. The average oral body temperature is definite, which is 36-37 degrees centigrade, and when the body temperature spikes up to more than 38.3°C, it is referred as fever. Fever during pregnancy presents certain normal signs such as high temperature, shivering, sweating, headache, dehydration, muscle ache and fatigue.
Many women do experience fever during their pregnancy which doesn’t affect their babies – so you don’t really need to worry about it as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. During pregnancy, your immune system performs a double duty by trying to defend both you and your baby. Thus, you may be more vulnerable to certain conditions, and may be easily affected by fever. Having a body temperature of more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit during pregnancy may be serious.
Causes of Fever during Pregnancy
If you have been experiencing shivers and high fever during early pre
1. Common Cold:
- Common cold is nothing but a viral infection affecting the upper respiratory tract. The infection usually spreads to the sinuses, pharynx, nasal passages and larynx. The symptoms are similar to flu, and also include runny nose, cough, sore throat and breathing difficulty. These symptoms usually last from 3 to 14 days and you can treat them at home.
- If you still feel sick and are experiencing symptoms after 15 days, you may have a more serious infection like sinusitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, strep throat. These thoughtful infections can pose health risks to both you and your baby. In such cases, it is best to seek medical advice.
2. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI):
- About 10% pregnant women develop urinary tract infection (UTI) during their pregnancies. Your urinary tract system includes your urethra, ureters, bladder and kidneys. Some UTIs are asymptomatic but others come with indications like a strong urge to urinate, cloudy or bloody urine, a burning sensation while urinating along with fever and pelvic pain.
- Left untreated for a long period of time, UTI may pose risks of kidney infection, and may also lead to various pregnancy complications including sepsis, low birth-weight for baby and preterm labor.
- When a gastrointestinal virus invades the system, it may induce certain symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting etc. It can also cause preterm labor and dehydration in pregnant women.
- Other possible side effects include hypertension, weakness, dizziness, fainting and in some harsh cases, electrolyte imbalance and blood with vomiting. It is advisable to seek medical attention immediately in such cases. For temporary relief, a healthy diet of apple sauce, bread, rice and bananas can be useful to treat the signs of gastrointestinal virus.
- Influenza or flu is one of the major causes of fever during pregnancy. The symptoms associated with an influenza attack include achiness, fever, coughing, vomiting, and nausea. Pregnant women have a higher risk of getting affected by flu as the immune system is overloaded. It is advisable to seek medical attention if the symptoms persist. Drinking plenty of fluids is also advised during an influenza infection.
- Chorioamnionitis is a common complication of pregnancy associated with maternal, perinatal and long term adverse outcome. Chorioamnionitis or intraamniotic infection is acute inflammation of membranes and chorion of the placenta, due to polymicrobial bacterial infectionusually found in the site of membrane rupture. However, chorioamnionitis can affect intact membranes.
- The infection is usually caused by bacteria like Urea plasma species and Mycoplasma hominis that commonly occur in the lower genital tract of 70% women. When the infection of placental membranes shows characteristic clinical signs then it is referred to as clinical chorioamniotic infection. Adverse maternal outcome can be postpartum infections and sepsis.
- Chorioamnionitis can also result in stillbirth, premature birth, neonatal sepsis, chronic lung disease and brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Research in the last two decades has helped to expand the horizon of knowledge to understand the mechanistic links between the intraamniotic infection and preterm delivery. Ongoing clinical research will help in the diagnosis and treatment of chorioamnionitis.
- Clinical chorioamniotic infection can be diagnosed by pathological findings; this includes the study of placental samples under the microscope. Funisitis is another example of inflammation of membranes that occurs in the umbilical cord.The definition of chorioamniotic infection depends on the nature of diagnosis, it can be clinical (based on clinical findings), microbiologic (culture of microbes found in the sample of the placenta under examination) and histopathologic (study of infection and inflammation found in the placental specimens).
- Chorioamnionitis is one of the major causes of fever during pregnancy. If the body temperature reaches 100.4 degree Fahrenheit, it is considered abnormal during pregnancy. This needs immediate medical intervention.This is due to the bacterial infection in the membranes surrounding the fetus. Common indications are rapid heartbeat, tender uterus, vaginal discharge, sweating, high fever and chills.
- If you suffer from such infection, your baby will be tested for the chorioamnionitis infection following birth. After diagnosis, the baby will be treated with antibiotics to avoid any difficulties like respiratory problem, sepsis or meningitis. This condition may also lead to endometriosis and blood clots, causing the abdomen and pelvic region of women to be highly affected.
- Chorioamniotic infection increases the risk for caesarian delivery. It also causesendomyometritis, wound infection, pelvic abscess, bacteremia and postpartum hemorrhage. Postpartum hemorrhage occurs due to dysfunctional uterine contractions as a result of inflammation. Fetal exposure to infection can cause fetal death and neonatal sepsis and other deadly complications.
- Fetal Inflammatory Response Syndrome (FIRS) can aggravate some of the complications.If the fetus is exposed to the infection then there is a high risk of cerebral palsy. The baby after birth can suffer from perinatal death, asphyxia, early onset of neonatal sepsis, septic shock, pneumonia, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), cerebral white matter damage and long term disability.
- Prompt initiation of antibiotic therapy helps to curb the maternal and fetal complications. Antibiotic therapy doesn’t affect infant morbidity at the time of delivery. Immediate Intrapartum use of broad spectrum of antibiotics helps to reduce fetal and maternal complications to a great extent. For instance, the frequency of neonatal sepsis is reduced by up to 80% with intrapartum antibiotic treatment.
- Parvovirus B19 is the only member of the family paroviridae known to be pathogenic in humans. This virus is widespread and the infections it causes depend on the immune system and hematologic status of the host. Those who have weak immune system B19 infection can cause pure red cell aplasia and chronic anemia.
- Similarly, poor immune system of the fetus can make it susceptible to infection, fetal death in the uterus and hydrops fetalis or development of congenital anemia. Parvovirus B 19 is responsible for many clinical syndromes. However, due to the common nature of this virus it is very difficult to understand the cause of infections.
- Diagnosis of parvovirus B 19 is based on the detection of antibodies by using an enzyme based immunosorbent assay or detection of viral DNA by dot blot hybridization or PCR. The treatment of viral infection by immunoglobin reduces the viral load and also helps to reduce the chances of anemia.
- However, only 5% pregnant women are affected by this condition, which is why, it is very uncommon in pregnancy. The common symptoms in adults include soreness and joint pain. This virus is responsible for miscarriage and may cause the baby to be born with severe anemia.
- If you believe you may have had a contact with an individual suffering from this condition, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention.