Pregnancy is an exciting time for women as they eagerly anticipate the arrival of their little bundle of joy. It's a time when they often hear endless advice on what to do and what not to do, which can be overwhelming. One thing that may cause concern is if a woman has had shingles or chickenpox in the past, and whether it could harm her baby during pregnancy.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox - varicella-zoster virus - which remains dormant in the body after someone has recovered from chickenpox. If reactivated, it can cause shingles later in life. So how does this affect pregnancy? Let's explore further.
What are Shingles?
Before delving into its effect on pregnancy as well as other health issues surrounding shingles , let’s talk about shingles itself first!
Shingles isn't just something you put up on your roof (that would be tiles). It's actually a viral infection that affects nerve fibers and skin, causing painful rashes blistering over a small area often concentrated on one side of your torso but can also occur anywhere else too depending upon person to person . These blisters are filled with fluid that burst layer making way for scabbing after some days .
It typically presents with symptoms such as itching,numbness,pain,fatigue or even fever specifically those rising above 38 degrees celsius among others depending upon severity of infection . In severe cases individuals might lose their appetite hence dietary complaints arise leading malnutrition crises so sometimes providing diet supplements along antiviral therapy assists recovery process .
Can Shingle Pass to Unborn Baby During Pregnancy ?
The good news is you cannot pass shingle from mum-to-baby through physical means like another communicable disease (eg flu), however there exists potential significant risk involved both mother and unborn baby .
A lot of risk often shields babies inside the womb from infections but in some cases, viruses that affect mom can also harm fetus for example if a pregnant woman infected with shingles, virus can cross placenta leading serious problems like low birth weight or sometimes stillbirth .
Can Shingle Affect Ability to Conceive ?
Yes! If you are planning to conceive and have had shingles before it could influence your fertility as the virus is known to attack reproductive organs affecting sperm production which may lead to male infertility issues while facing similar threats with female counterpart leading irregular menstrual periods,hence preventing conception.
However this study only highlights meaningful correlation than causation so cannot establish definitive proof.
Symptoms : How it Differs Between Pregnant Women and General Populace ?
The symptoms of shingles don't vary much between pregnant women and others though pregnancy discomforts pain symptoms ,general fatigue get amplified during gestational period . In addition,Pregnant women faster plan interventions soon onset illness strikes as delay could pose greater risks unborn child adversely hinder progression laboring processes.
But we would advise strictly contacting medical personnel even on slightest suspicion since any hint complications immediately explored diminish magnitude severity afterwards. Just because infection occurs less frequently doesn’t stop us from taking maximum caution preventive measures !
Herpes Zoster Occularis
In rare cases , The herpes zoster ophthalmicus (usually manifests around eyes) represents themselves more frequently pregnant women due weakening immune system throughout course pregnancy hence having high likelihood manifest into Eye related infections compared otherwise healthy adults ! It primarily affects dermatomes hence blindness possibility if not managed promptly Could arise!
Chickenpox Outbreak During Pregnancy
If exposed chickenpox causing agent after past suffering previously from disease… Congratulations you've been given another chance!!! Body recognises previous foe gives solid immunity towards future attacks via circulating antibodies thus fewer chances contracting resulting so called “vaccine like” protection ; although virus might still occasionally make a breakthrough which means one can get effected mildly.
But not all viruses are created equal!! Alertness and immediate assessment becomes utmost need should any outbreak occur symptom included fever-blister rash bumps throughout body etc.. Due possible repercussion to pregnancy - detrimental effect on developing fetus ranging from congenital varicella syndrome (CVS) facial defects ,vision impairment intellectual disability among others Can’T be ruled out if proper management impeded.
The treatment of shingles in pregnant women requires careful consideration because the safety of many common antiviral medications is unknown. Treatment usually involves relieving symptoms while waiting for the infection to clear up. Pain relief using over-the-counter medicines must strictly avoided as they pose threats unborn child during early gestational period, Instead medication containing no evident signs adverse affect towards fetus always recommended such as Acyclovir & Valocyclovir . Always consult your doctor before taking ANY medicine !
Prevention : How to Stay Safe During Pregnancy ?
We’ve discussed enough scariness of the disease but what can we do stop it happening altogether? Our suggestions start at pre-conception clean bill health check through full duration postpartum recovery medical advice via qualified personnel assists minimize chance contracting disease earlier pregnancies. Here're steps you can take:
- Boost Your Immune SystemAhead Of Conception
Strengthening immune system regularly by eating good nutrients either supplement intake or balanced diets fortitude strengthens capacity fight future infections generally needed anyway especially preconception stage .
- Vaccination Ahead Of Conception
Acquiring vaccine prevents likelihood getting infected choosing right moments administrations important couple due timing need given interval between dosages importantly research availability ensure efficiency vaccinations used does fall below acceptable standard – brands matters so don't cheat quality equals saved trouble!
3.Vaccinate Close Contacts
Letting close contacts know about vaccination options encourages long term immunity since antibodies persist throughout lifetime. This means loved ones can also protect our potential Future Junior generations in the process!
It's not a secret: Shingles are painful and difficult to deal with , which makes them annoying enough already . So, is it worse when you're pregnant? Well…the short answer is that we don't really know for sure, but there are certainly many different factors at play here!
However by taking proper precautions like vaccinations, preventing exposure maintaining good overall health conditions could go long way successful pregnancies without any complications arising so if your family planning make sure take necessary steps prevent future outbreaks risking baby safety!