It’s important that expecting mothers are aware of complications that may occur during pregnancy, as some conditions can potentially cause problems for both the mother and child if left untreated. It’s important to be aware of potential problems and to know what to look out for so that you can get treatment early if necessary.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasite infection that can be harmful to both mother and foetus. It’s important to avoid contact with cat faeces, which can contain the parasite, during pregnancy. That means no more kitty litter duty! If you do have a cat don’t worry, you can’t catch toxoplasmosis just from stroking them! Even if you don’t have a cat, the parasite that causes the infection can be found in the ground from infected cat faeces so it’s important to wear gloves whilst gardening and to thoroughly wash your hands afterwards. Pregnant women should also avoid undercooked meat, which can also be a source of the infection. If you do become infected, treatment is available and it’s important to get treated early to avoid any complications.
Some people can become infected with toxoplasmosis and not experience any symptoms but it’s important to be aware of what they are:
- Flu-like symptoms including muscle aches and a high temperature
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
Toxoplasmosis can unfortunately cause miscarriage and if it spreads to your baby it can cause cause complications, such as birth defects, this is especially so if you catch it early on in your pregnancy. Pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system are more at risk of complications from toxoplasmosis.
If you think you could have toxoplasmosis then it’s important to seek medical advice quickly, your GP will be able to check your blood to confirm if you have the illness and they can prescribe medications to treat the infection if needed. Your GP will also be able to refer you for more tests to see if your baby has become infected too.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional.
NHS | Toxoplasmosis | https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/toxoplasmosis/