You can infect the fetus during conception, as cytomegalovirus is stored in the male seed. Infiltrate into the body of the child is capable of infection through the placenta or from the uterus.
Cytomegalovirus infection is quite real during childbirth or after birth, when the mother feeds the baby with the breast. This happens for the reason that in the first case the child passes through the mucous membrane of the vagina, where the infection is located. In the second - the virus is present in the breast milk of an infected woman. Infection of an infant during or after childbirth is not as dangerous as intrauterine, since it does not lead to very serious consequences.
If there were antibodies to the cytomegalovirus in the body of the pregnant woman, the risk that the child will have congenital cytomegal is lower than with the primary infection. Since the antibodies produced by the mother's body weaken cytomegalovirus, the fetus only becomes infected in a small number of cases, and the consequences of this are not so catastrophic.
But if a pregnant woman becomes infected for the first time during pregnancy, there are no antibodies in her body. CMV easily penetrates the placenta and adversely affects the fetus.
A cytomegalovirus infection inside the womb can develop without symptoms. But after birth, the baby, like many other people, will become a passive carrier of the virus. The heavier option is when the woman first became infected during pregnancy. A possible outcome of this development is a severe infection that causes intrauterine fetal death and leads to miscarriage, spontaneous abortions, stillbirth. Usually such a course of CMV is typical in the early stages of pregnancy.
If the fetus survives after infection, the child may have an innate cytomegalovirus infection. This, in turn, increases the risk of severe complications in the baby. With severe damage to the newborns, physical anomalies develop, which are noticeable at birth (underdeveloped brain, jaundice, hepatitis, enlarged liver, heart disease, pneumonia). Even if the infected newborn looks healthy, it is possible that later there will be various problems (most often - hearing loss).
It is difficult to recognize the infection of cytomegalovirus at an early stage, because most people do not have any symptoms. The first signs of infection are swollen lymph nodes, chills, fever, fatigue and pain in the muscles, as with the flu. When a woman has suspicions of CMV, you should tell your doctor about it. He will appoint a series of tests that confirm or refute the diagnosis. In the case of a pregnant woman who has recently been infected, doctors will give her an ultrasound examination that helps in determining any problems in the fetus.
Unfortunately, there is no cytomegalovirus medication. A pregnant woman who has been diagnosed with an acute form of infection or who has contracted primary infection is prescribed antiviral drugs.
If you start treatment in a timely manner, it is possible to minimize the risk of infection of the child. In a situation where a pregnant woman is a passive carrier of cytomegalovirus, she is simply recommended to exert more effort, to maintain normal immunity. After the birth of a baby with a congenital form of cytomegaly, it is better to plan the next pregnancy not earlier than in 2 years.
To avoid CMV, you need to be careful when picking up items such as diapers or gaskets that may contain foreign body fluids. Wash your hands thoroughly after you get rid of them. Do not use one dish with someone. If you are not in a mutually monogamous relationship, then use latex condoms and avoid oral sex. A pregnant woman is also advised not to contact in groups, especially with children who may have a congenital form of CMV.
Cytomegalovirus infection is considered a dangerous disease in pregnant women. That is why it is better to show consciousness and undergo the necessary tests, to protect their pregnancy.