There are many wonderful and joyous occasions that occur throughout a woman’s lifetime, and one of those occasions is pregnancy. There is nothing more special than awaiting the arrival of a child, and, as all pregnant woman know, caring for your health and the health of the baby is a top priority.
Despite efforts to track all potential health problems during pregnancy, there are always those threats that go undetected, and such threats may happen to pose the most danger. An especially significant threat to pregnant woman is toxoplasmosis, a parasite whose symptoms go undetected but which can pose a severe threat to a pregnant woman’s health. According to Australia’s Virtual Medical Centre, about 30%-40% of the population is host to the disease.
What is Toxoplasmosis?
The best way to handle a threat to your health during pregnancy is to first understand exactly what the threat is. Toxoplasmosis is a single celled parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii. While many individuals carry this parasite without symptoms or raised health issues, pregnant woman are most prone to experiencing the dangers of this parasite due to a weakened immune system and the possibility to transmitting the parasite to their baby. Not only is toxoplasmosis a threat due to the dangers that it can cause the mother and baby, but it can also be easily transmitted.
Toxoplasmosis Transmission and Symptoms
According to Baby Centre, there are a number of ways that toxoplasmosis is transmitted, which is why it is so common among individuals. Pregnant woman that contract toxoplasmosis usually do so through a feline, eating raw or uncooked meat, unclean kitchen utensils that have come in contact with raw meat, uncooked vegetables, contaminated water, and unpasteurized goats milk or cheese.
Because these scenarios are very common, it is not uncommon for pregnant woman to contract toxoplasmosis. Those that do contract the parasite also exhibit a stark set of symptoms that are easily detected and subsequently verified by a medical professional.
Noticeable Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis
The trouble with toxoplasmosis is that its symptoms are alarmingly similar to that of the flue. Pregnant woman that contract toxoplasmosis, according to the Mayo Clinic, usually exhibit fatigue, fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and body aches. If the case is severe, blurred vision, confusion, and loss of coordination occurs.
Regardless of whether the symptoms are severe or moderate, seeking medical help is imperative. Dr. Michael Flynn, a an obstetrician and women’s health specialist, recommends seeking professional treatment and care from a professional that understands pregnancy and the disease.
The Risk of Not Getting Treatment
Toxoplasmosis is a severe condition that must be treated immediately. Getting regularly checked by your medical professional and not coming into contact with risky substances can help you manage your health and prevent you from contracting the parasite. On the other hand, if you do contract the parasite and do not seek medical help, you are putting yourself and your baby in harm’s way.
The most severe consequence of not seeking treatment is that your baby can also contract the parasite from you. This is especially dangerous because babies have weakened immune systems, therefore your child’s health can deteriorate. The worst consequences are that your child can develop learning, hearing, and visual disabilities as he or she becomes older.
Pregnancy is meant to be a wonderful and happy experience. Taking care of your health, being aware of what you eat, and getting checked by the proper medical professionals on a regular basis can reduce your risk and keep your and your baby safe. Toxoplasmosis is a very serious condition, and by taking the right steps, you can ensure that your pregnancy is toxoplasmosis free and is as healthy as could be.