Pregnancy Complications

Fifth Disease

Fifth disease is a viral infection caused by the human parvovirus B19. Many women of childbearing age are immune to this virus, and most women who are infected during pregnancy will not have serious problems as a result. But there is a small danger that the virus can infect the fetus in some women. This raises the risk of miscarriage within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. In women who have problems with their immune systems or with red blood cell disorders, such as sickle-cell disease, infection can cause severe anemia.
Symptoms of fifth disease include a low-grade fever and tiredness, followed by a facial rash that looks like "slapped cheeks." The rash also can look lace-like and be on the trunk, legs, and arms. Some women do not have the rash, but may have painful and swollen joints.
The diagnosis of fifth disease is made based on appearance of the rash. A specific blood test can be done to confirm it. There is no specific treatment, although blood transfusions might be needed for women who have problems with their immune systems or with red blood cell disorders. There is no vaccine to help prevent infection with this virus.

Pregnancy Complications Without Symptoms

Some complications of pregnancy do not have symptoms. Two complications that can occur without symptoms include:
  • Group B streptococcus
  • Anemia.
Group B Streptococcus
Group B streptococcus is a common infection that rarely makes adults sick. The bacterium lives in the gastrointestinal system, along with many other harmless bacteria. Between 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women carry Group B streptococcus in their vagina and rectums. But if Group B streptococcus is passed to the baby during delivery, it can cause serious health problems in the newborn, such as pneumonia, blood infection, or infection of the tissues around the brain.
Because there are no symptoms of Group B streptococcus, you will be tested by your doctor at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. The simple test involves swabbing the vagina and rectum for a sample of cells that are sent to a lab to look for Group B streptococcus. If you are infected, you will be treated with intravenous (IV) antibiotics during labor and delivery to make sure the baby is protected.
Pregnancy and Pain

Pregnancy Problems

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