What You Should Know About Monkeypox and Pregnancy

An American lady who tested positive for monkeypox during her pregnancy has reportedly given birth to a healthy infant as the outbreak continues to spread across the country. Monkeypox cases are on the rise. In this article, learn more on what you should know about monkeypox and pregancy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one pregnant lady in the United States has given birth to a baby infected with monkeypox. Although the virus could have crossed the placenta and infected the fetus, this did not happen. A healthy pregnancy and newborn infant are being reported.

It’s natural for people to be anxious about getting pregnant again so soon after the COVID-19 outbreak. There can be confusion and anxiety when new treatment and vaccination recommendations are released since people may not know which ones apply to them and how to best protect themselves.

The Dangers of Monkeypox During Pregnancy

To put it another way, pregnant women are easy targets for viruses. A weakened immune system makes many viral infections more dangerous during pregnancy, and the risk increases toward the end of the process. In late pregnancy, chicken pox, for instance, can cause severe complications.

When it comes to pregnancy, how dangerous is monkeypox? Pregnancy loss and stillbirths have been reported among people who have tested positive for monkeypox. While research on the effects of monkeypox on pregnant women is minimal, one paper released in 2017 provides some insight.

Four pregnancies affected by monkeypox are documented, demonstrating the potential for devastating effects. Premature stillbirth of a fetus occurred in one case. Monkeypox had spread to the fetus, as evidenced by the liver infection and other obvious abnormalities seen at the autopsy. Two of the ladies experienced miscarriages at an early stage, while the third had no complications.

Is Fetal Transmission of Monkeypox Possible?

The mother’s monkeypox did not spread to her child in the one case reported to the CDC in the United States. However, the transmission of the virus to the developing child is theoretically feasible.

According to the CDC, “the virus can cross the placenta and infect the fetus.”

Fetuses might not contract monkeypox while in the womb, but they might catch it from a parent who is itchy during birth. Contact with open sores or scabs caused by monkeypox is how the virus is propagated. It is reasonable to assume that vulvar lesions, regardless of their location at the moment of birth, can be transmitted to the newborn.

Monkeypox Symptoms in Expecting Mothers

The most obvious sign of monkeypox is a rash that may cause discomfort in the form of itching or blistering. While most often found in or near the genitalia, this condition can manifest anywhere on the body, including the mouth, face, chest, hands, and feet.

Other symptoms, as per the CDC, include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches and a stiff back
  • lymph node swelling
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Ailments of the respiratory system, such as a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, or hacking cough.

Women who are expecting should be alert for these signs and contact their doctor if they are worried.

How Do You Cure Monkeypox?

As of right present, TPOXX is the only medicine available for treating monkeypox in pregnant women (tecovirimat). The CDC reported that there are no human data available on its use during pregnancy.

Pregnant women could be treated with it, but care would need to be taken. Given the lack of data on its safety in pregnancy and its effectiveness in preventing mother-to-child transmission, pregnant women and their doctors would need to have a discussion about the potential risks and benefits if the woman became infected.

If someone is pregnant, may they get vaccinated against monkeypox?

Despite a lack of human data, only the JYNNEOS vaccine, out of the two now used to prevent monkeypox in the United States, may be considered safe for pregnant women. The CDC advises against using ACAM2000 because of the potential for miscarriage, birth abnormalities, and other harm to the developing baby.

The CDC advises against close contact with persons who develop a rash that resembles monkeypox, and that is not a reaction to the vaccine.

The likelihood of contracting an infection is minimal for the general population.

While the possibility of contracting monkeypox during pregnancy may strike fear in the hearts of many, physicians, stress that it is still a very uncommon occurrence.

Currently, in the United States, the transmission of monkeypox has virtually exclusively occurred between men who have had sex with other men, putting pregnant women at extremely low risk of contracting the disease. Someone who is pregnant and has had several sex partners is more likely to have a baby with a birth defect. The great majority of people are not at risk.

When a new virus emerges and starts making its way closer to home, it’s natural to feel anxious. According to experts, the danger of monkeypox infection during pregnancy is still quite low. If you’re worried about developing or being exposed to the virus, see your doctor.

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