What Is Cytomegalovirus & What Are Its Risks On Your Pregnancy?

What Is Cytomegalovirus

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Pregnancy is a delicate and vulnerable stage of a woman’s life. If you’re an expecting mom, you know how important it is for you to stay healthy and ensure that your baby is healthy too.

Cytomegalovirus infections are one of the many common concerning conditions observed during pregnancy. Keep reading to know more about cytomegalovirus and pregnancy, and how you can protect you and your baby.

What Is Cytomegalovirus In Pregnancy?

CMV, short for cytomegalovirus, is a virus that belongs to the same family as the herpes virus. It is commonly passed on to the baby during pregnancy. It is estimated that around 1 percent of the babies born are infected by the virus, a condition known as congenital CMV. While a lot of babies affected by congenital CMV do not experience any concerning issue, some may develop a number of long term problems such as hearing loss and disabilities.

[ Read: Herpes During Pregnancy ]

Who Is At Risk?

Women who have not been infected by this virus befo

re their pregnancy period are at an increased risk of being affected by it, and can pass on the infection to their babies too.

  • In some cases, the woman may already have a dormant form of the virus in her body, which may get reactivated when the immune system is suppressed.
  • Thankfully, the general risk of a woman passing on the infection to her baby during pregnancy is quite low, and the risk of any lasting effects associated with the infection is quite low.

Symptoms Of Cytomegalovirus During Pregnancy:

Just like other infections, cytomegalovirus infections present certain common symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle ache

[ Read: Torch Infection In Pregnancy ]

Can It Affect My Baby?

In case the dormant CMV gets reactivated during your pregnancy period and causes an infection, there is little cause for concern. The risk of you passing on the virus to your baby is very low.

  • However, if it is the first time that you are infected by the virus during your pregnancy, the risk of your baby being infected is quite high.
  • If your baby is infected, he may have a higher risk of being affected by learning disabilities, mental retardation, hearing loss, and vision problems post delivery.
  • Restricted growth and problems associated with the lungs, spleen and the liver are also commonly observed in children affected by the virus.

What Can I Do About It?

The best way to protect your baby and yourself against the infection is to take preventive measures and seek medical advice immediately after you note any signs or symptoms associated with cytomegalovirus during pregnancy.

Follow certain precautionary measures religiously during your pregnancy period to protect yourself from not just CMV but all other forms of infectious agents as well.

  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Avoid sharing your utensils with anyone, particularly children.
  • Make sure you clean your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial soap or liquid after any blowing your nose, or changing diapers, if you have small children at home.
  • CMV can also spread through sexual contact. Make sure you use a barrier method for contraception such as condom if you have sex during your pregnancy period.
  • Avoid coming in contact with the saliva and body fluids of an infected individual.

[ Read: Hpv During Pregnancy ]

If you demonstrate any of the signs and symptoms associated with the infection, rush to the doctor immediately. Your doctor will probably ask you to undergo a blood test and, depending upon the status of your infection, will follow an appropriate treatment option.

We hope this article helped you understand in general about cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy. Do check out the website for more such informative articles that make for an interesting and informative read during your pregnancy period.

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