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Infections During Pregnancy

By

Lara A. Friel

, MD, PhD, University of Texas Health Medical School at Houston, McGovern Medical School

Last full review/revision Oct 2021
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION

Most common infections that occur during pregnancy, such as those of the skin, urinary tract, and respiratory tract, cause no serious problems. However, some infections can be passed to the fetus before or during birth and damage the fetus or cause a miscarriage Miscarriage A miscarriage is the loss of a fetus due to natural causes before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriages may occur because of a problem in the fetus (such as a genetic disorder or birth defect)... read more or premature birth Preterm Labor Labor that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered preterm. Babies born prematurely can have serious health problems. The diagnosis of preterm labor is usually obvious. Measures such... read more . Also, whether taking antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs is safe during pregnancy is a concern.

Infections that are not transmitted sexually and that can cause problems include the following:

Treatment of Infections During Pregnancy

  • Sometimes drugs, depending on the balance of benefits and risks

To determine whether to treat pregnant women with antimicrobial drugs, doctors weigh the risks of using the drug against the risks of the infection.

Doctors also consider whether treatment is likely to have any benefits. For example, if women have bacterial vaginosis but no symptoms and if the pregnancy is not considered high-risk, treating bacterial vaginosis is not known to have any benefits.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
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Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a feeling of extreme sadness and related psychologic disturbances after delivery of a baby. Although it is common to feel sad or miserable within 3 days of delivery (the baby blues), these feelings usually go away within 2 weeks. Postpartum depression is a more serious mood change. Women in which of the following groups are at increased risk for this condition?
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