Despite the terrible name, toxoplasmosisis a relatively easy disease. If only we are not talking about a pregnant woman. The combination of toxoplasmosis and pregnancy is extremely dangerous, because there is a huge risk of infection of the fetus. And this can lead to irreversible consequences ...
What is toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis (lat. Toxoplasmosis) is a disease caused by a parasite (Toxoplasma). Toksoplazmy live in the intestines of cats and other species of animals, as well as in the land where these animals make natural directions. Therefore, we can get an infection by changing the cat's tray, doing gardening, when we take something in our mouth with dirty hands, or by eating not roasted meat and poorly washed vegetables. Most often, toxoplasmosis proceeds easily and does not manifest itself in any way. Sometimes his symptoms are similar to ordinary ARVI. And, in general, this infection is not treated at all. Therefore, almost half of our population has already been ill with toxoplasmosis, even without realizing it. After the initial infection, a person has lifelong immunity, due to the fact that specific antibodies are produced in the blood. There are cases when toxoplasmosis passes into a chronic stage. Moreover, chronic toxoplasmosis can be both acquired and congenital if the disease has overtaken the child in the womb of the mother. Both cases are characterized by:
- Low-grade fever
- Increased fatigue
- Decreased appetite
- From the internal organs - enlargement of the liver, spleen, lymph nodes
- Also, with chronic toxoplasmosis, it is possible to damage other organs and systems
In the future mommy, toxoplasmosis often remainsUnseen, but infection of the fetus may occur. And although the risk of transmission is rare in early pregnancy, the consequences can be very serious (brain damage, severe eye damage, miscarriage). And in the middle and late stages of pregnancy, the risk of contracting the fetus is higher, but the consequences are much less serious for the unborn child, because his immune system is more effective.
Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis
Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is necessary in the event that,when a woman is "in position" and, of course, when planning a pregnancy. To do this, serological screening is performed to detect antibodies to toxoplasm in the blood (immunoglobulins M and G). And to be seropositive in this case is much better than to get negative test results. It means that the future mother and her baby are protected from infection and its negative consequences. If the serological test results are negative, a pregnant woman can be recommended to undergo screening every month until the very birth. The presence and quantity of immunoglobulins in the blood will tell the doctor about how long a toxoplasmosis infection has occurred (if it was). For example, a situation where the subject has no IgG, and only IgM is detected, speaks of the acute course of the disease. If, on the contrary, it means that the disease has been transferred for a long time and does not present any danger to the woman. And if both kinds of immunoglobulins are present, it will be necessary to take the tests again to examine these titres in dynamics. After all, the more IgG in the blood, the less time has passed since the infection. The PCR (polymer chain reaction) is also distinguished with high accuracy with the study of the DNA molecule of the pregnant woman. But this type of analysis only confirms or denies the presence of the causative agent of the infection and does not give an idea of how long the infection has occurred.
Have you been diagnosed with toxoplasmosis?
If you have found toxoplasmosis, andpregnancy is only in the plans, consider that you are lucky. Of course, with maternity will have to wait a little, but your future child will be safe. But the problem, if the infection occurred during pregnancy, will have to be solved with the doctor, and urgently. Unfortunately, if toxoplasmosis is detected in early pregnancy, the obstetrician-gynecologist will categorically insist that a woman undergo an abortion. You have every right to refuse the artificial termination of pregnancy and receive appropriate treatment. But, alas, there is very little chance of bearing and giving birth to a healthy child. Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy in late terms have doctors more favorable predictions. Firstly, the baby begins to form its own immune system, and at least somehow it can withstand the infection. Secondly, starting from the second trimester, a pregnant woman can already be prescribed a full-fledged treatment that significantly reduces the risk of possible complications. Chronic toxoplasmosis and pregnancy do not cause doctors special concerns. In this case, the pathogens (infectious agents) do not circulate in the mother's blood, and accordingly, there is no risk of penetration through the placenta.
How is toxoplasmosis treated?
First and foremost, doctors treat as followscalled etiotropic drugs (antibiotics): rovamycin (spiramycin), tindurine, sulfonamides. As a rule, you need to take two courses of taking medication, for 5 days with a weekly break between them. Before re-administering drugs from toxoplasmosis, a doctor can prescribe a preventive folic acid supplement for pregnant women. After birth, the child from the infected mother is also shown treatment. During the first year of life, the baby will be prescribed pyrimethamine, spiramycin, sulfadiazine and folic acid.
What is dangerous for intrauterine infection with toxoplasmosis?
Before making an uneasy decision about the possibleabortion, a woman should remember that she can undergo additional studies of the fetus for infection with toxoplasmosis. To such researches concern: uzi-diagnostics, an amniocentesis and a puncture of an umbilical cord. Immediately after the birth of the baby, whose mother was infected during pregnancy, should also be carefully examined. Particular attention should be given to consultations of a neurologist and ophthalmologist. As studies show, in about one-fourth of all cases of intrauterine infection of the child, retinal damage occurs. As a result, the child will not be able to have a full-fledged vision. In this case, it is not necessary that the disease manifests itself immediately after the birth of the baby. The defeat of the eye and its relapse can occur at any time during the life of the new person. In addition, during the first year, the baby will have to regularly perform serological screening.
How to protect yourself from toxoplasmosis?
If you during the pregnancy have passed the test ontoxoplasm, and it is negative, it's time to think about how to protect yourself from this infection in the next 9 months. In fact, it's not that hard. It is enough to observe simple rules of hygiene. Thoroughly wash hands before eating, eat meat and fish that has undergone qualitative heat treatment. Wash fruit and vegetables with household soap and even a brush (or sponge), even if you plan to cut them off the skin (this also applies to citrus fruits, bananas, melons and watermelons).
Get rid of the cat?
Many ladies (and also their mothers, grandmothers andcaring husbands) are trying to get rid of pets after the news of the "interesting" situation. The reasons for this are three: the risk of allergies in the child, the fear of rivalry between the cat / cat and the child and the risk of infection with toxoplasmosis. In fact, it is not necessary to part with your favorite fuzzy. Especially if he lives with you for more than 5 years - studies show that almost all the owners of these pets have immunity to toxoplasmosis. But to observe the safety rules after all it is necessary: to wash the cat's paws after going to the street and to the toilet, washing hands after communicating with the pet, not letting the animal jump on the baby's bed. It is believed that toxoplasmosis can be infected through open wounds. For example, if you have scratched a sick cat. But most doctors say that this risk is minimal - toxoplasmosis can be picked up only from feline feces. Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy are not a reason to panic, because strong experiences are contraindicated to future mothers. But to treat this disease lightly, too, is not worth it. Try to find the "golden mean" and obey your doctor. We advise you to read: