Measles During Pregnancy: Is It Harmful?

Pregnant women can be at the risk of getting measles infections, here is what you need to do.

Written by: Puru Bansal Updated at: 2022-03-14 17:14

Measles is a highly contagious disease that usually affects people in their childhood. But it is possible that you may have it in young stage too and that too at the time of pregnancy. Since it is a contagious disease the risk of getting infected is quite high. As we celebrate Measles Awareness Day on 16th March, it is important to understand the condition where pregnancy women have measles infection. You may see rashes on your body during measles and some symptoms along with it that may determine that you have this disease. Pregnancy is a very critical and sensitive state therefore it is important to prevent yourself from having this disease in pregnancy. 

Measles During Pregnancy- Is it harmful? 

Measles is harmful without a doubt but what we need to know is if it has some special effect on women that are going through pregnancy. We spoke to dermatologist Dr. Swaroop Kapoor from Fatima Hospital, Lucknow to understand this condition in detail. He said that measles infections spread in rare occasion in pregnant women. The rate of infection has significantly reduced over the last few years and hence by use of MMR vaccine it can be prevented. Measles during pregnancy can cause few complications but it does not affect the childbirth and health of the baby. 

Symptoms of measles in pregnancy 

Doctor suggested that there are no special symptoms that could be observed along with measles during this phase. Here are some signs that you need to observe to distinguish measles during pregnancy. 

  • Initially you have fever 
  • Running nose 
  • Cough that could be painful 
  • Red eyes 
  • Red rashes that spread through the course of time 
  • Whit spots in mouth within 2-3 days of fever 
  • Rashes spreading from head to downwards in the body 
  • Premature labor 

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Risk of Measles during Pregnancy 

Those people that have not been vaccinated of measles are at the most risk for sure. MMR vaccine is highly recommended to stop the spread of measles among people. Also, children get measles more often than adults, this includes babies that are of 12-15 months old. 

Women going through their pregnancy stage are also at higher risk of measles because the immunization becomes low and the risk of diseases increases. You should also know that measles can be spread infection if you have not got any prior immunization against the disease. 

Those women that have suffered from some infectious disease in the recent past could also be at increased risk of measles infection. This is because the immunity levels go down which makes women at this period more vulnerable to measles and MMR diseases. 

Measles in pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage and premature childbirth. Hence remain aware of the symptoms and take regular checks and test to be absolutely sure. Measles does affect your process of pregnancy, but it does not cause any birth defects of physical harm to the baby even after measles viral infection. 

What Causes Measles Infection? 

Measles infection in women during pregnancy can be caused because of the following conditions- 

  • Contaminated droplets of air when a person coughs or sneezes in close proximity 
  • Kissing someone who has measles 
  • Sharing drinks or food with someone that has measles 
  • Holding hands or coming in close proximity of person having infection 
  • In coming in contact with contaminated surface while visiting hospital or places 

It usually takes around 6-21 days for the measles infection to start infecting you. Then the rashes start to appear on your skin Measles during pregnancy can be very discomfortable for women at that stage and it is important to treat it. Refer to an expert for help for the treatment of measles

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Prevention Tips Against Measles During Pregnancy 

  1. Get MMR vaccination done if you do haven’t received it during childhood 
  2. Try to keep yourself away from diseased or ill person 
  3. Do not kiss, hug or come in close contact with a person having rashes 
  4. Take a blood test to find out if you are not sure about getting infected with measles 
  5. Take high vitamin and immunity boosting diet in order to maintain good health 
  6. Be aware of any symptoms that may reveal the risk of measles 
  7. Contact a doctor or expert if you are infected with measles during pregnancy

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