Pregnancy Over 40, Miscarriage Over 40, How Infections May Affect PregnancyIt seems like pregnant women are more susceptible to infections. I've heard that your immune system may be "down" a bit because it's the body's way of protecting the baby from attack if your immune system perceives it as a "predator".
The article addresses everything from colds & flu to vaginal infections & STD's. In rare cases, some of these conditions could lead to pregnancy complications and miscarriage. Read more:
Urinary tract infections (UTI's) are more common during pregnancy than at other times, mostly because of a slowing down of the urine flow on its way from the kidney to the bladder. Around 1 in 25 women get a UTI during pregnancy, the common symptoms being a discomfort or burning sensation on passing urine, an aching pain over the bladder or needing to pass water very frequently. This last symptom is unfortunately very common in pregnancy anyway and is not very reliable in making the diagnosis. If the infection passes up to the kidneys and into the blood stream (pyelonephritis or septicaemia) it causes loin pain, vomiting, a fever and can even start premature labour.
By treating early UTI's, kidney infections and their complications can be prevented. The infection is diagnosed by looking at the urine under a microscope and seeing if a bug can be grown from the sample. This can also confirm which antibiotic is the best to use. A mild infection is treated with a course of antibiotic tablets for at least a week, but a more severe one would need admission to hospital, intravenous antibiotics and rest. After one UTI, further infections are more common and monthly checks on the urine are suggested to see if one is developing even before symptoms appear.
Pregnancy makes a woman more likely to get a thrush infection, most commonly caused by the yeast Candida albicans. This yeast is commonly found in the vagina in up to 16% of non-pregnant women and 32% during pregnancy. It does not always cause symptoms and only requires treatment if it causes troublesome itching, soreness or the typical thick, white discharge. It is more common in second and subsequent pregnancies, in the third trimester, during summer months, following a course of antibiotics and in diabetic women. Treatment with Clotrimazole (Canesten) vaginal suppositories is usually effective. The tablet treatment Fluconazole (Diflucan) is not advised during pregnancy.