Shingles and pregnancy is a worrisome fact because the virus causing shingles could represent a certain level of danger to the baby. The treatment for shingles consists of antiviral drugs in case of pregnant women as well, since the medication is considered to be safe for them.
Information about pregnancy and shingles
It is just normal that women are afraid of contracting shingles during their pregnancy. It is possible to transmit the infection to the baby through the bloodstream. It is also possible for the baby to contract the infection during labor or childbirth. No matter how it is contracted, the infection could be dangerous for the baby.
Shingles during pregnancy and chickenpox are caused by the same virus. If you contract the infection, your pregnancy could be in danger, but it all depends on the stage of your pregnancy. If you contract the infection before the 30th week of pregnancy, the baby could be in danger.
You shouldn’t be too worried about shingles and pregnancy because infection to the baby is very rare and the doctors have different opinions regarding the risk that the infection carries. According to specialists having shingles during pregnancy isn’t as dangerous as it seems to be at first.
Developing shingles when being pregnant
Although it is possible for pregnant women to have shingles, it happens quite rarely. The treatment of pregnant women is something like the treatment for women who aren’t pregnant. The most commonly used medications include Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, and Famciclovir.
All of these medications for shingles and pregnancy are considered to be category B medications and they seem to be safe during pregnancy. Category B means that the effects of the medication weren’t studied in case of pregnant women, but there were no negative effects in case of pregnant animals.
Besides the antiviral medication, pain medications could also be used for shingles while being pregnant. The kind of pain medication offered to women depends on the gestational age of the fetus. For instance you shouldn’t take aspirin during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Risks associated with shingles and pregnancy
If you happen to develop chickenpox during your pregnancy, it is possible for the baby to develop pediatric shingles in his or her first five years of life. However the antibodies of the mother are passed on to the baby to make it more likely for the little one to fight off the infection. The infection appears because the immune system of the baby isn’t strong enough yet to fight the virus and to suppress it.
All in all we can say that it is highly unlikely for shingles of pregnant women to appear. However, if it does appear, it is less likely to have damaging effects on the development of the baby. If you think you see the symptoms of the infection, you should contact your health care provider immediately.
As you can see there are some threats associated with shingles and pregnancy, but this isn’t a major cause of concern.