Risk Factors for Infections in Pregnancy

A risk factor is something that raises your chances of having a health problem. You can get an infection even if you do not have risks. The risks are not the same for each infection. The basic ones are:

Poor Hygiene

Viruses and bacteria that cause infections are passed through contact with infected people. You are at higher risk if you:

  • Do not wash your hands.
  • Touch your nose, mouth, and eyes with contaminated fingers.

Sex

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from person to person during sex. Your risk is higher if you have had:

  • Many sex partners
  • Sex with someone who has had many partners
  • Sex without using condoms

Contaminated Foods

Germs that cause infections have been found in:

  • Uncooked meats
  • Undercooked meat , such as rare beef, from infected animals
  • Uncooked vegetables
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Foods made from unpasteurized milk
  • Processed foods

Your risk is higher if you eat these foods.

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors are:

  • Having close contact with someone who has an infection
  • Using household items that were used by an infected person and not cleaned
  • Handling cat litter or soil where there is cat feces
  • Having a job that involves contact with bodily fluids, such as a:
    • Childcare worker
    • First aid or emergency worker
    • Funeral director
    • Healthcare worker
    • Dentist
    • Dental assistant
    • Firefighter
    • Police staff
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References:

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Updated August 2015. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Chickenpox. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116084/Chickenpox. Updated June 25, 2018. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Chorioamnionitis. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at:
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Updated October 18, 2012. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and congenital CMV infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
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Updated June 6, 2018. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Group B Strep (GBS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
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Updated May 29, 2018. Accessed August 13, 2018.
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Updated March 10, 2017. Accessed August 13, 2018.
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Updated March 26, 2015. Accessed August 1, 2016.
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Updated November 17, 2017. August 13, 2018.
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Updated October 17, 2012. Accessed June 20, 2016.
Shi Z, Li X, et al. Hepatitis B immunoglobulin injection in pregnancy to interrupt hepatitis B virus mother-to-child transmission-a meta-analysis. Int J Infect Dis. 2010;14(7):e622-e634.
STDs during pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
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Updated October 6, 2017. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Toxoplasmosis. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
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Updated May 1, 2014. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Urinary tract infection during pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at:
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Updated March 10, 2017. Accessed August 13 ,2018.
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Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 8/13/2018

 

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