Fever during pregnancy


In most cases, the term fever is used above 38 ° C. This limit value also applies during pregnancy. Temperatures between 37.1 and 37.9 ° C, on the other hand, are often referred to as subfebrile temperatures or as slightly elevated temperatures. Fever during pregnancy can have very different causes and is a very general symptom. It cannot be assigned to a specific cause and usually rather the expression of a defense reaction of the body.

Read more on the topic: Respiratory infection in pregnancy

When does it get dangerous for my baby?

Fever is - understandably - a very delicate matter for pregnant women. The question inevitably arises as to whether and how dangerous the elevated temperature is for the child. Fever during pregnancy is not per se dangerous for the child. Contrary to what is often assumed, the rate is for Miscarriages - especially during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy - not increased by fever. Neither the level nor the duration of the fever plays a role. It becomes particularly dangerous when suddenly high fever from a premature Rupture of the bladder is accompanied. In this case, a doctor should be consulted immediately as there is a suspicion Amniotic Infection Syndrome consists. This bacterial infection of the amniotic fluid can lead to serious complications such as blood poisoning of the mother or premature birth. Banal flu-like infections are harmless to mother and child, but classic childhood diseases such as rubella or chickenpox are all the more dangerous. If such an illness is suspected, a doctor should therefore also be consulted immediately. However, it is not the fever that is dangerous here, but the pathogen as such, which can lead to severe malformations in the child. Also other diseases like hepatitis, or herpes Toxoplasmosis can be accompanied by a fever. However, they also show other characteristic symptoms that draw suspicion to the appropriate differential diagnosis. Such diseases can also become dangerous for the baby. As with the classic childhood diseases, however, the fever is not the decisive factor that poses a danger to the child.

Further information on this topic can be found at: Infections in pregnancy

When do I have to see a doctor?

In general, it is advisable to consult a doctor once too much rather than once too little during pregnancy. If you have a slight cold, a flu-like infection or the like, you can visit your family doctor. Even if there is no danger to the child, the family doctor can initiate symptomatic treatment and, above all, calm things down. This is very important in pregnancy. However, you do not necessarily have to see a doctor if you have a slight cold and a fever of up to 39 ° C. However, if you have a higher fever, you should see a doctor. If you have additional gynecological symptoms such as vaginal discharge, itching in the genital area, pain in the uterus or bleeding, you should see your gynecologist. If you suspect rubella infection, you should also contact your gynecologist immediately.

You might also be interested in this topic: Rubella during pregnancy

When should I go straight to the hospital?

If suddenly very high fever - occurs above 39 ° C, for no apparent reason and without any other accompanying symptoms should you go to the clinic immediately. There is the Risk of premature rupture of the bladder in the course of a Amniotic Infection Syndrome. Another indication can premature labor or Pain in the area of ​​the uterus. Also a foul-smelling discharge is a typical symptom of Amniotic Infection Syndrome. Since it is a highly acute clinical picture that endangers both mother and child, you should lose no time and turn to a clinic with confidence.

What are the consequences of a fever during pregnancy?

Fever during pregnancy does not usually have any negative consequences. Minor flu-like infections are harmless and are accompanied by a moderate fever. Most expectant mothers find the fever very stressful because they are concerned about the well-being of their unborn children. From a medical point of view, however, the fever is not associated with an increased health risk for the child. In some cases, a fever is a symptom of a serious illness, such as a Amniotic Infection Syndrome. In this case there is an increased risk for the child. Premature birth or a serious infection can occur in both the mother and the child. At very high fever, above 39 ° C, severe accompanying symptoms or foul smelling vaginal discharge A doctor should be consulted immediately, as this can be an indication of an infection of the amniotic fluid. Also a premature rupture of the bladder is to be assessed as negative and should immediate action entail.

What can I do to lower the fever?

Pregnant women should lower temperatures from 39 ° C. A good measure to reduce fever are lukewarm calf compresses. They are more suitable than very cold compresses, as these only put additional stress on the circulation. Calf wraps are a physical way of lowering fever.

For more information, see: Calf wrap for fever

At the same time, a sufficient fluid intake of 2 liters a day should be ensured. If the fever is insufficiently reduced by calf compresses, pregnant women should not be afraid to take paracetamol. The fever-lowering drug is well tolerated during pregnancy and does not pose any health risk to the unborn child.

Further information on this topic can be found at: How can you lower a fever?

Which drugs are allowed?

Antipyretic drugs can also be used during pregnancy. The active ingredient paracetamol is preferably usedwhich effectively lowers the fever. The active ingredient ibuprofen, which is otherwise often used to lower fever, should be viewed as rather critical during pregnancy. In the last trimester of pregnancy, it must not be used at all, in the first two trimesters only after a strict risk-benefit assessment. The same goes for diclofenac. Therefore, paracetamol should be preferred unless there are contraindications.

For more information on this topic, see: Medication during pregnancy

Can a fever be a sign of pregnancy?

A fever is not a typical sign of pregnancy. Other than the symptoms of nausea and vomiting, which are also known in early pregnancy Hyperemesis are known, fever is not one of the characteristic signs of pregnancy. Of course, a fever can also occur at the beginning of a pregnancy, however, it is not related to the hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Causes of fever in pregnancy

Of the most common reason for fever during pregnancy is a slight viral infectionas it often occurs outside of pregnancy, especially in the winter months. Mostly it is a matter of slight respiratory infections that cause the increase in temperature. Of course, fever can also occur as part of a gastrointestinal infection. This is not dangerous for the child. Of course, the pregnant woman should, however take sufficient care of your body and recover. In rare cases, however, fever is an expression of a serious illness, such as toxoplasmosis, rubella or syphilis. In addition to the fever, there are other symptoms that are characteristic of the disease, so that the suspicion in the examination is directed to a possible differential diagnosis.

Duration of fever in pregnancy

The duration of the fever cannot be predicted across the board. In the case of mild infections, fever usually does not last longer than a few days. A drug lowering of fever - for example with paracetamol - shortens the duration of the fever often for less than 4 days. However, some illnesses are associated with a longer duration of fever or several febrile episodes with interruptions. Examples are the syphilis or that Amniotic Infection Syndrome. However, these diseases are comparatively rare.