Pregnancy is a period during which the immune system of the woman is compromised. That is why expecting mothers are prone to various infections. Mumps is one such infection, though commonly found among children, expecting mothers in their early trimesters are prone to contract. It is very important to understand its causes and symptoms because if left unattended, mumps can increase the risk of miscarriage as well.
What Is Mumps?
Mumps is the infection caused by paramyxoviruses. It impacts the parotid glands in the neck that produces saliva. Mumps can cause immense pain and swelling of the glands. Depending on the severity, there are chances for swelling in other parts of the body, as well.
What Causes Mumps?
This infection is caused because of the pathogens in the air. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, he will be releasing pathogens into the air. While we get into contact with these pathogens, then it triggers the same issue.
How Common Is Mumps in Pregnant Women?
The immunization against mumps is widespread. With the increase in the awareness for vaccination, the number of cases detected with mumps has gradually reduced. Moreover, being infected once alone will provide lifelong immunity. As most of the women have developed immunity against this virus, mumps during pregnancy is quite rare. Even if the expecting mother has not acquired immunity, since most of the people around are immune to this disease, the chances are seldom or a pregnant woman to catch mumps. The occurrence of mumps during pregnancy, thus, lies somewhere between 0.8 and 10 cases per 10,000 pregnancies.
MMR vaccine is given to people to get rid of these painful diseases.
Who Is At the Risk of Getting Mumps during Pregnancy?
It is needless to fear about pregnant women having mumps. If pregnant women are given the vaccinations in her childhood, they already have the immunity to protect themselves from it. There are even people who are not taken this vaccination. Even then, we grow, the contraction of mumps usually develop immunity for this problem.
So, very rarely, there are women who are prone to mumps. Also, there are chances for this to happen; the pregnant women get in contact with the other person having mumps.
Is Mumps Contagious?
Yes, mumps is contagious, and there are high chances to spread from a person to the other. The individuals infected with the mumps remain contagious for approximately 15 days. That is six days before the symptoms start to show, and up to 9 days after they start. This period makes this disease highly contagious.
- Sneezing and coughing are the other means of getting the same infection from the infected person.
- Using the common objects which are used by the person having mumps also causes this infection.
- When you get in contact with the pathogens that are released into the air is the other major concern.
Signs And Symptoms Of Mumps:
We should be very careful with mumps, as this never shows up until and unless it gets severe. So, keep in mind as you read these signs and symptoms of the mumps.
- The problem starts with fever, and the other complications include a headache and back pain, neck pain.
- Puffy cheek is another significant symptom
- Pain in the swollen part of the cheeks
- Sore muscles and dry mouth are also associated with this ailment
- Trouble swallowing
- When mumps is left unattended, then this might result in oophoritis in women. Even though it has no harm to fertility, however, there will be a pain because of the inflammation in ovaries.
- The severe cases of mumps also include hearing problems and as well as brain infection. These are very rare complications, but one must ensure that they get the right attention when there are certain problems with respect to health when they are pregnant.
What Are The Complications Of Mumps During Pregnancy?
When mumps is not treated properly, then there are chances that it impacts both the mother and child in the long run.
Problems for Mother:
- A pregnant woman will be having the same symptoms when she gets mumps-like others. A headache, fever, neck pain, and back pain will make her pregnancy more difficult and painful.
- There will be swelling in the breasts and ovaries, which might be causing a lot of troubles as they are painful.
Problems For The Baby:
- Even though the mother has the problem of mumps, there are fewer chances for the baby to get infected.
- The chances for miscarriage occur only when the mumps contracts in the first trimester of pregnancy.
- The experts say that there is no link between the mumps and the birth defects to date.
How Is Mumps Treated While Pregnant?
There is no antiviral treatment for mumps. Treatment of mumps aims to relieve the annoying symptoms.
The best way to treat mumps is to give them the triple MMR vaccine. However, if the woman is pregnant, this is not advised and should get the right medication from the experts. The treatment options include:
- Gargling with warm saltwater
- The painful swelling can be reduced when you are taken a healthy diet and enough quantity of soups always.
- Ensure that you are taking more fluids, which might produce relief from the pain of the swelling.
- Also, take enough rest, and this might help you to stay comfortable while pregnant.
- Applying a cold compress on the swollen area will help to relieve the pain
The contraction of mumps doesn’t cause any problems in the second trimester. So just be aware and stay away from people if you know that they have mumps.
Preventing Mumps During Pregnancy
If you hear of any mumps outbreak in your premises, take these precautionary measures:
- Wash hands frequently
- Never share your eating utensils with others
- Avoid going to public places like malls, theaters, etc.
Being pregnant is challenging as we never know how we are going to get along the nine months journey. Ensure that you have taken all vaccinations, and while you have taken mumps vaccine, make sure there is an ample gap of months before getting conceived. This helps you to stay safe from mumps always.