Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Gynecology and Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist

With over 15 years of professional experience, dozens of national and international research articles, and most importantly, his smiling face, Gynecology and Perinatology Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ is with you.

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What are Fetal Infections in Pregnancy?

Fetal infections during pregnancy refer to the transmission of an infectious disease from the fetus in the womb to the baby. These types of infections are diseases caused by microbes that can be passed on from the mother. Fetal infections can seriously affect the health of the unborn baby and even cause death. In this article, we have compiled for you what you need to know about fetal infection during pregnancy.

What are Fetal Infections During Pregnancy?

There are various fetal infections that can occur during pregnancy. We can list some of these infections as follows:

• Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection: CMV is a herpes virus and can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy. It can affect the baby’s organs and cause permanent damage such as growth and mental retardation and hearing loss.

• Toxoplasma Infection: It is known as an infection caused by the parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. The mother can become infected and pass it to the baby through contact with infected cat feces, poorly cooked meat, or contaminated soil. It can cause serious problems by affecting the baby’s eyes, brain and other organs.

• Rubella Infection: Rubella virus is the cause of rubella disease. Essentially, it is a disease that can be prevented by vaccination. If the mother contracts rubella, it can affect the development of the baby’s organs such as the eyes, ears and heart and lead to birth defects.

• Syphilis: Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Treponema pallidum. If the mother has syphilis, it can be passed to the baby. This condition can cause premature birth, low birth weight and serious health problems.

• HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) Infection: HSV has two separate viruses that affect the mouth and genitals. If the mother has an active HSV infection, it can be passed to the baby during birth and affect the baby’s skin, eyes, and other organs. However, it is not a cause of transmission in the womb.

To avoid fetal infections during pregnancy, it is important for the expectant mother to have regular health checks, take hygiene measures to minimize the risk of infection, and update her vaccinations against infectious diseases. If any symptoms of infection are noticed during pregnancy, it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately.

What are the Risks of Fetal Infection During Pregnancy?

Fetal infections during pregnancy can cause serious risks to the health of the unborn baby. These infections can affect the baby’s organs and cause long-term complications. The severity of the infection may vary depending on the type of infection, whether it is diagnosed in a timely manner, and how early treatment is started. We can list some of the potential risks of fetal infections during pregnancy as follows:

• Premature birth: Fetal infections can cause the baby in the womb to be born prematurely. Babies born prematurely may face problems such as low birth weight and developmental delays.

• Low birth weight: Fetal infections are associated with conditions where the baby does not grow sufficiently in the womb. This may lead to the baby being born with low birth weight and related health problems.

• Organ damage: Infections can affect the baby’s organs and cause permanent damage. Especially organs such as the brain, eyes, heart, lungs and kidneys can be seriously damaged as a result of infections.

• Congenital anomalies and birth defects: Some fetal infections can cause structural abnormalities in the baby during or after birth. This can cause birth defects in the heart, brain, spine and other organs.

• Developmental and mental retardation: Damages caused by infections can affect the normal development of the baby and result in mental retardation.

• Hearing and vision loss: Some infections can affect the baby’s hearing and vision and cause permanent loss.

• Death: Some fetal infections can result in serious complications and even cause the baby to die before or during birth.

How to Treat Fetal Infections During Pregnancy?

Treatment of fetal infections during pregnancy may vary depending on the disease caused by the infection, the type of infection, the severity of the infection, and the stage of pregnancy. Treatment is usually done using one or more methods, and it is important to diagnose the disease early and start treatment. However, although it is difficult to give a definitive list of treatment methods, the following treatment approaches are generally followed:

• First of all, it is confirmed that the baby is infected. For this purpose, amniocentesis is performed to prove the infectious agent that may be present in the baby.

• Then, an attempt is made to determine the extent of damage that may have occurred to the baby.

• If it is an infectious agent that can be treated, such as toxoplasma or syphilis, agent-specific drug treatments are started.

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