Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy
Did you just find out you have toxoplasmosis? Find out how to treat the infection and how it can affect baby.
What is toxoplasmosis during pregnancy?
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii -- which is one of the world’s most common parasites. If you get it, you can pass it along to your baby, and it can cause serious complications like vision and learning problems.
What are the signs of toxoplasmosis?
You may experience body aches, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fever, fatigue and sore throat. Since these are similar to symptoms of the flu, you should check with your doctor so he can properly diagnose you.
Are there any tests for toxoplasmosis during pregnancy?
You’ll undergo blood tests to check for antibodies to the parasite, which are produced in response to the infection. If you do have an infection, your baby will need to get tested too, likely through an amniocentesis or ultrasound.
How common is toxoplasmosis during pregnancy?
According to the March of Dimes, it’s one of the most common infections in the world, and more than 60 million people in the US may be infected.
How did I get toxoplasmosis?
Sorry, kitty -- cats are the parasite’s natural host. You can become infected if you come into contact with cat poop that has the parasite, consume contaminated food or water, use contaminated utensils while cooking or eat unwashed fruits and vegetables.
How will toxoplasmosis affect my baby?
Most babies born with toxoplasmosis show no serious symptoms. But, according to the March of Dimes, about 1 in 10 infected babies have severe symptoms like eye infections, an enlarged liver and spleen, jaundice or pneumonia. Some babies may die a few days after birth. Other problems that baby may develop are mental retardation, hearing loss and impaired vision.
What’s the best way to treat toxoplasmosis during pregnancy?
Your doctor may give you antibiotics whether or not baby is infected.