Toxoplasmosis and Pregnancy – Evaluating the Risks

What is toxoplasmosis? And what is the relationship between toxoplasmosis and pregnancy? It is a condition that is spread by a microscopic parasite. Normally the infection doesn’t cause any symptoms, but in case of pregnant women the situation is a lot more complicated.

Toxoplasmosis and Pregnancy

Information about pregnancy and toxoplasmosis

If a woman gets toxoplasmosis for the first time when she gets pregnant or three months before she gets pregnant it is possible for the infection to pass on to the baby or for it to cause stillbirth or miscarriage. The risks associated with the infection vary according to the moment when you get infected.

Risks and health problems

If the toxoplasmosis during pregnancy appears during the early stages, the chances of having a miscarriage increase. It is really rare for the infections to be passed on to the little one during the early stages, but if this happens, it could result in serious health problems.

If the toxoplasmosis is contracted in later pregnancy, it is more likely to pass it on to the baby. If you get infected around the moment of conception there are 5% chances of passing on the infection to the baby. If you get infected during the third trimester, the chances of passing on the infection are of 65%.

How common is the problem?

The chances of contracting the infection are very low. According to one of the recent studies, about 0.5% of nonimmune pregnant women get infected and they have 10%-100% chances of transmitting the infection to the baby.

A study conducted in the UK regarding toxoplasmosis and pregnancy showed that about 3 of every 100,000 babies are born with congenital infection. This means that the infection is present even at birth.            Although this situation is quite rare, it isn’t something that the parents desire for their children.

Avoiding toxoplasmosis while being pregnant

In the majority of the cases women aren’t routinely tested for toxoplasmosis and this is why it is so important for you to be able to prevent the infection. For sure you know that you can contract the infection if you empty the litter box of a cat. There are some things that you could do to avoid the infection.

To be protected against toxoplasmosis and pregnancy you should ask other people to empty the litter box while you are pregnant. However if there is no one else, you should make sure that you wear gloves and that you wash your hands after the job is done.

Some people say that it is best to wear a mask to avoid pregnancy toxoplasmosis. To make sure that your cat won’t get infected you should feed it only with commercial cat food and well-cooked food. Also it is good to keep the cat indoors so that it won’t be infected by other infected animals.

Now you know more about toxoplasmosis and pregnancy and you can see that you can avoid the infection.


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