Rubella and pregnancy: what is the danger?
Despite the fact that rubella belongs to the so-called childhood infections and children under 8–9 years of age are affected by it, adults also suffer from the disease. In them, unlike children, the disease is much more severe, its symptoms are more pronounced, and most importantly, it can cause serious complications to the brain, internal organs, joints, blood system.
Rubella is very dangerous for women who are expecting a baby.
What is the danger of rubella for a pregnant
Rubella virus, multiplying in the body, enters the bloodstream and spreads with blood flow to all organs. In pregnant women, the virus easily passes through the placental vessels, settling in the fetal cells.
The result of such a viral attack is fatal: the virus either destroys the cells or interferes with their normal division, and the organ stops developing.
The earlier the infection occurred, the worse its consequences.
In the early stages of pregnancy, the disease is very dangerous.
In the first weeks, when the beginnings of all organs are laid, rubella often causes a miscarriage, and causes a frozen pregnancy. During the second trimester, she gives a variety of congenital malformations and abnormalities, a child can be born with congenital rubella.
How big is the risk that the fetus will be affected? This is determined by the time when the infection occurred: maximum risks – up to 90% – exist in the first weeks, by the end of the first trimester they are reduced and make up about 50%. By the third trimester, the risk that the baby will be born with severe abnormalities is reduced even more, but nevertheless exists.
What is congenital rubella?
As a result of intrauterine infection in a child, various abnormalities and defects are formed. The three classic signs of congenital rubella are:
abnormalities of the organ of vision – cataract, as well as glaucoma and microphthalmia (small size of the eyeball);
congenital heart defects.
The virus can also affect the nervous system, which is manifested by hydrocephalus (accumulation of fluid in the brain), microcephaly (reducing the size of the skull), chronic meningoencephalitis, paralysis, and mental retardation.
Malformations in children do not appear immediately after birth
Other developmental defects – skeletal, digestive, genitourinary systems, may also appear.
Part of the anomalies is manifested with the growth of the child (for example, mental retardation), part – is simply not detected immediately (deafness).
A child with congenital jaundice is contagious within a year and a half years after birth.
Who is at risk
Usually, those who have had rubella gain life-long immunity to it. If a woman had this childhood infection, then she need not worry – she is protected.
Immunity after vaccination is less stable: it can last an average of 10-15 years. It is for the prevention of rubella in pregnant women that vaccination is provided for adolescent girls and young women who have not previously had rubella.
In the zone of greatest risk are those women who have not had rubella and who have not been vaccinated or vaccinated, but only in childhood (or they simply don’t know if they have had rubella).
You can’t get vaccinated during pregnancy
The fact is that this infection is easily transmitted from a sick person and you can catch the virus simply by being in the same room as the infected person.
The cunning of rubella is that the patient becomes a carrier of the virus when he has not yet manifested a characteristic sign of the disease – a rash. And in some, the disease proceeds without any symptoms.
Rubella prevention during pregnancy planning
To protect themselves from infection, women at risk need to be examined before pregnancy, at the stage of preparation for it, to find out if they have immunity to rubella. This can be done by donating blood to rubella antibodies.
If the study confirms that there are no antibodies to this infection in the blood, the next step will be vaccination.
Remember: you can become pregnant after vaccination in three months, and before that you should protect yourself.
Pregnant vaccination against rubella is prohibited.
Rubella Prevention During Pregnancy
Women who are expecting a baby who have not been vaccinated and are not sure that they have had rubella in childhood need to follow some rules.
Better not to visit crowded places during pregnancy
Do not visit those places where a lot of people gather, especially when children are present there: mass festivities, holidays, street processions, sporting events, etc.
If the work is related to children or infectious patients (hospital, nursery, kindergarten, school), it is advisable to change it during pregnancy or at least minimize contact (transfer to paper work).
In families where there are preschoolers or primary schoolchildren, children’s institutions, especially in the clinic, it is advisable that they be taken by their father, grandmother or other relatives.
In this case, you need to donate blood to determine if the virus and antibodies are present in it.