Flu in pregnancy: symptoms, risks and treatment

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Unlike a cold, the flu triggers a state of discomfort that can be dangerous for both the pregnant woman and the fetus. That is why the flu during pregnancy must be treated seriously.

The woman who is going to become a mother suffers from already low immunity, a process that occurs with the changes produced in the body during pregnancy. Therefore, in the conditions of a deficient defense system of the body, the flu during pregnancy can be a real problem.

Many pregnant women keep the disease under control, the administered treatment pays off, but some women seriously suffer from the unpleasant symptoms characteristic of the flu. In addition, pregnant women are exposed to the risk of developing complications both for themselves and especially for the fetus.

In order not to be confused, remember that, in the case of a common cold, the body temperature rarely exceeds 38 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, when it comes to the flu during pregnancy, the temperature often rises above 39 degrees.

The main symptoms for flu in pregnancy

In the case of colds, the main symptoms appear in the nose and throat areas. When the flu appears, expect a violent onset, with bad general condition, headaches and muscle pains, sometimes joint pains. Classic symptoms may also appear: sore throat, stuffy nose, appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue.

If you can distinguish from the very beginning what ailments you are facing, and approach it correctly from the point of view of treatment, the chances of reducing the period of the disease are considerably higher.

In the case of a cold, rest, teas with lots of lemon, honey and chicken soup are the basis for an effective recovery.

Careful! If the pregnant woman received her flu vaccine and contracted the disease, it is good to know that the symptoms will be milder and the flu easier to overcome.

The best treatment

In case of flu during pregnancy, the most effective treatment is the one prescribed by the family doctor in collaboration with the gynecologist-obstetrician. Usually, simple paracetamol improves the health condition. When this is not enough, the doctor can prescribe antiviral drugs, which can have their maximum effect if the treatment is started within the first 48 hours from the onset of symptoms. However, antiviral medicinal treatment can be recommended even later, in order to help the body cope well with the infection. Depending on the trimester of pregnancy and the accused symptoms, the doctor will also prescribe other medicines to help in the treatment. Careful! Do not take any treatment without first consulting the obstetrician!

What risks may arise

Did you know that a pregnant woman is up to 5 times more likely to develop complications from the flu than a healthy adult? The most common complication that can occur is bronchitis, an inflammation of the lower respiratory tract, followed by otitis, meningitis, encephalitis, endocarditis, etc. It is good to know that, in some cases, the flu can increase the risk of premature birth and even death of the fetus at birth or a few days after birth.

You should know that the flu contracted in the first trimester of pregnancy, associated with high fever, can cause congenital anomalies, especially neural tube defects and heart problems.