Pregnancy and Measles

Pregnancy and Measles
Measles is a highly infectious disease which can be very serious.

However, measles is now rare in the UK as most people are vaccinated by the the MMR jab at a young age.

If you are infected by measles while you are pregnant, this may result in miscarriage, premature labour or stillbirth.

The measles virus is spread when infected people cough or sneeze. The germs are expelled into the air for other people to breathe in. You can also catch it by touching the skin of an infected person. You may not show symptoms until 6-21 days after being exposed to measles, but most on average it takes about 10 days for symptoms to show. The first symptoms are generally like a cold, with a fever and a cough. You may also have red eyes and tiny spots (Koplik's spots) in the mouth. A red-brown spotty rash appears a few days later and usually lasts for about a week.

If you are pregnant and you have come into contact with someone with measles, and you know you're not immune to the infection, you should see your GP immediately. You may be treated with human normal immunoglobulin (HNIG) which aims to reduce the severity of your measles. However, there is still a chance you will have a miscarriage, premature labour or a stillbirth.

If you are planning a pregnancy, it is a good idea to make sure you have been vaccinated against measles. After being vaccinated you should wait at least a month before becoming pregnant. You cannot have the jab when you are already pregnant because the vaccination could cause infection to the baby.

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