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:
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.
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
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 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
- Dental assistant
- Police staff
- Bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/bacterialvaginosis-2.html.
- Chickenpox. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116084/Chickenpox .
- Chorioamnionitis. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Am_I_Pregnant/hic_Premature_Labor/hic_Chorioamnionitis.
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and congenital CMV infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/index.html.
- Group B Strep (GBS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/index.html.
- Listeria and pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/listeria.html.
- Measles. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116399/Measles .
- Nielsen GL, Sorensen HT, et al. Risk of adverse birth outcome and miscarriage in pregnant users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: population based observation study and case-control study. BMJ. 2001;322:266-270.
- Parasites—toxoplasmosis (toxoplasma infection). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/pregnant.html.
- Pregnancy and fifth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parvovirusB19/pregnancy.html.
- Pregnancy and HBV: FAQ. Hepatitis B Foundation website. Available at: http://www.hepb.org/patients/pregnant_women.htm.
- 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: http://www.cdc.gov/std/pregnancy/default.htm.
- Toxoplasmosis. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/toxoplasmosis.html.
- Urinary tract infection during pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/utiduringpreg.html.
- Varicella. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us.
- Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
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