The reason chickenpox in pregnant women is more dangerous

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The reason chickenpox in pregnant women is more dangerous
The reason chickenpox in pregnant women is more dangerous

Although it is more often experienced by children, pregnant women still have the possibility of getting chickenpox, you know. Chickenpox experienced during pregnancy tends to be more dangerous because it can trigger complications for yourself and the fetus

Chickenpox is also known as varicella. This disease causes symptoms in the form of fever, pain in the body, then followed by a small reddish rash. Generally, chickenpox in pregnant women occurs in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Reasons Chickenpox in Pregnant Women is More Dangerous - Alodokter

Causes of Chicken Pox

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella zoster virus. Pregnant women can get this virus through direct contact with rashes or splashes of saliva from people with chickenpox. In general, the symptoms of chickenpox will appear 10-21 days after the first pregnant woman is exposed to this virus.

Pregnant women who have experienced chickenpox can breathe easy because their immune system has built a defense against the chickenpox virus attack. So, the chances of getting infected a second time are less.

The Impact of Chicken Pox on Pregnant Women

Actually, most pregnant women who get chickenpox can recover without any effects. However, some of them have complications. Some of the risks of chickenpox complications that can occur in pregnant women are pneumonia (lung infection), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and hepatitis (liver inflammation).

The factors that can increase the risk of chickenpox complications in pregnant women are smoking habits, having a history of lung disease, taking corticosteroids, and being pregnant for more than 20 weeks.

Until now, it has not been proven that chickenpox can increase the risk of miscarriage. However, chickenpox can be transmitted through the placenta and affect the baby. The following are complications that may arise in babies, both still in the womb and newborns:

Baby in the womb

If chickenpox virus infection occurs in the middle of early pregnancy (< 24 weeks), there will be a risk of congenital varicella syndrome. This syndrome can cause congenital abnormalities in infants in the form of scars, muscle and bone disorders, paralysis, small head size, blindness, seizures, or mental retardation.

If chickenpox occurs at 28–36 weeks of gestation, the virus will enter the baby's body and most likely will not cause any symptoms. The risk of the virus re-activating and causing herpes zoster (chickenpox) can occur in the first few years of the baby's life.

Especially regarding chickenpox that occurs after 36 weeks of gestation, this disease will increase the chances of the baby being infected and born with the condition of getting chickenpox.

Newborn baby

Not only during the period in the womb, chickenpox can also attack the baby after delivery. If the mother has chickenpox a few days before giving birth to two days after giving birth, the newborn can get neonatal varicella, which is chickenpox in babies that can be life-threatening.

Chickenpox symptoms will appear at the age of the baby about 5-10 days after birth. If not treated properly, chickenpox in newborns can cause death.

Chickenpox Treatment for Pregnant Women

If you don't know whether you have had chickenpox or not, pregnant women can do a blood test at the doctor to be sure. The test results will show whether the pregnant woman already has immunity to chickenpox or not while at the same time checking whether there is a new chickenpox infection or not.

Pregnant women who have never had chickenpox and have had contact with someone with chickenpox need to see a doctor immediately. The doctor may give you an injection of immunoglobulin or antibodies as immunity against the chickenpox virus.

This injection should ideally be given a maximum of 10 days after exposure to the chickenpox virus to prevent or reduce the severity of the infection. Don't worry, the injection is safe for babies in the womb, really.

However, if a pregnant woman has already been exposed and causes chickenpox symptoms, the doctor may give antiviral drugs to reduce the severity of the disease and reduce the risk of complications.

Doctors may also give immunoglobulin injections to newborns born to mothers who are suffering from chickenpox. This is done to prevent or reduce the severity of the disease. If the baby shows symptoms of chickenpox, the doctor will also give you antiviral medication.

In addition, for women who are planning a pregnancy and have never had chickenpox, consult a doctor immediately to get chickenpox vaccination for adults. This vaccination needs to be done twice to achieve maximum immunity.

It's best to wait 3 months after the second vaccination before starting to get pregnant. To be sure, don't hesitate to do a blood test to make sure the pregnant woman's body already has immunity to the chickenpox virus or not. Apart from that, having a blood test is indeed an important step for pregnant women to anticipate the risk of he alth problems, you know.

Chickenpox in pregnant women cannot be taken lightly. Therefore, pregnant women must maintain their own he alth so they are not easily exposed to this virus. If you experience the symptoms described above, don't delay going to the doctor to get the right treatment.

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