Pregnancy is a moment of joy in the whole family. During this period pregnant woman as well as people around her take extra care, and to an extent it is necessary, as some infections can be transmitted from mother to the fetus through her blood, or the fetus can acquire the infection during delivery.
During pregnancy the risk of infection increases as the immune system has an extra burden to bear for the growing fetus in her womb. This makes immune system weak and it is the time for pathogens to act upon the system.
Shingles Are Contagious To Pregnant Women
Shingles (herpes Zoster) is one such disease that needs a special mention during pregnancy. Shingles and chicken pox are caused by the same pathogen, varicella zoster virus. Once you have suffered from chickenpox you cannot contract it the second time. However, the virus stays in the dormant phase in your body only to return back in the form of shingles when it finds a suitable opportunity.
Pregnancy is one such opportune environment for the virus when the immune system is in compromised state. Thus, if a pregnant woman has suffered from chickenpox once in her life she has a chance of getting shingles, or if she has not contracted chickenpox, she in vulnerable to get it during pregnancy.
From the above fact it is clear that shingles can become contagious in a pregnant woman and cause chickenpox, if she had no previous history of chickenpox as the virus is the same. Or the virus is reactivated to cause shingles, during pregnancy if she had suffered from chickenpox in the past.
It has been found that before 30 weeks of pregnancy, if the woman develops shingles, there are chances of birth defect, but many experts contradict it. Shingles remain contagious till the blisters dry and fall out. Thus a pregnant woman should not be in contact with people who are suffering from shingles or chickenpox, especially if she has no previous history of chickenpox.
Prevention And Treatment Of Shingles Infection
Prevention and treatment of shingles during pregnancy:
Are shingles contagious to pregnant woman? the answer is affirmative. It is wise to consult your physician if you find any symptoms of singles or chickenpox in the early stage of pregnancy. Treatment for shingles in pregnancy is same as that of a woman who is not pregnant and suffering from shingles. Anti viral medicine is the main stay of treating the condition.
Chances of shingles during pregnancy is found to be rare, however as a precautionary measure, especially for a woman who has no previous history of chickenpox should stay away from people suffering from shingles and chickenpox.
You should not share same towel and clothing especially when you are pregnant. To play safe stay away from crowded places.