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Toxoplasmosis

(10 Posts)
willisurvive3under2 Mon 04-Dec-17 15:19:15

Does anyone have any insight as to why this isn't routinely tested for in the UK?

The NHS website says they only do it for high risk cases. My midwife told me the same.

Yet where I'm from (Southern Europe) you're advised to get tested before TTC and they then repeat test you at regular intervals during the pregnancy. Infection rates are low but if you do test positive at any point during the pregnancy they can put you on drugs to help minimising damage to the baby.

I get the difference between the 2 countries is notable - we have stray cats, eat a lot of cured meats, vegetables from people's gardens etc. The risk factors are higher. But I can't help thinking we're being too casual about it in the UK?

Also people take lots of precautions in my home country, like washing fruit and veg with disinfectant! Are they just being OTT?

I'm not hugely worried for myself as I'm being careful and I'm likely to have contracted it in my childhood which I spent playing outside with loads of cats! Just a general concern...

DaisyLand Mon 04-Dec-17 15:36:43

I think mw mentioned it’s not really likely to contract it. The chances of contracting it are minimal so that’s why they don’t test it.

Where are you from ? I’m Spanish so I did ask my mw for tests for it as I’ve eaten loads of cured meats all my life so wanted to know whether I’ve already had it cuz that would mean I could continue eating them during pregnancy. Results came as I’ve never had them therefore I have stopped eating them.

Getting it from a cat it’s really impossible. The cat would need to eat an infected mouse and you’d need to touch the cats poo within 48h I think and lick your hands after , gross isn’t it ? Really difficult.

Regarding meats it’s qhite difficult as well to contract it as normally they go through some checks before it being up for sale so If the meat was infected then they’d not sell it.

Garden/veg are because of the soil , you can also get it from it therefore that’s why it’s advised to clean it before eating as could have some remaining. But I think it’s enoufj with water and not desinfectant. At least that’s what I do

Btw in Spain or north Spain they don’t test you anymore for toxoplasmosis neither , they stopped a few years ago

pomegranita Mon 04-Dec-17 15:43:03

Having two cats and litter trays etc, I requested a test when pregnant with DC1. Midwife told me if I was a cat owner it was very likely I’d be immune and not to worry but I went ahead.... I’ve lived with cats ALL my life, and guess what, I’ve never had it / was not immune. So I was glad I knew that and could take extra precautions around my pets.

willisurvive3under2 Mon 04-Dec-17 15:43:23

Thanks @DaisyLand, I'm from Italy.

Someone I know is about to start IVF and got tested beforehand and now has to postpone for 3 months as the test showed a recent infection. Made me realise I know sweet FA about whether I've had it! My mum sent me into a bit of a panic about it.

willisurvive3under2 Mon 04-Dec-17 15:44:23

That's interesting @pomegranita. Maybe it really is very hard to catch and that's why they don't test.

DaisyLand Mon 04-Dec-17 15:53:28

I guess when going through ivf they want to make sure baby will have all chances to be healthy, 1st trimester is the “best” to contract it in sense it’ll barely pass anything to the baby , the bigger they’re the consequences will be worse. Maybe that’s why.

My friend from home was the one telling me they don’t test anymore , yet my cousin gave birth 3-4 years ago and she was tested for it. My friend got them done as she had a private mw for the whole of pregnancy apart from Nhs (really common to have one in Spain) so she got tests done

@Pomegranita that’s what I thought as well , had eaten loads of cured meats all my life even some family produced ones that would not have been up for sale, was hoping they’d have said I was inmune so I could continue eating during pregnancy but damm came as negative so given up meats for this time

Op if you’re concerned about it you could ask for it , not sure they’d get it done when ttc.
Speaking the other day with my dh i told him I can’t wait to give birth that the 1st place I wanna go to is an steak restaurant and have a medium rare fillet smile

allthecheese Mon 04-Dec-17 15:54:16

I actually think that given the implications, i.e. brain damage or miscarriage it's more important to be careful with causes of toxo than it is to completely abstain from alcohol.

Since I've been pregnant lots of people have said it's silly of me to be careful around well cooked meat and washing my hands after gardening...but have been shocked at me having 1 glass of wine per month.

willisurvive3under2 Mon 04-Dec-17 16:12:41

@DaisyLand I've thought about asking for a test (again) but don't want to appear paranoid. Also I'm 18 weeks pregnant with twins and if a test comes back positive what will that imply? Will I know if I was immune before the pregnancy? I have a DS already and last time I didn't look into it. Not sure why! When I gave birth last time I came home and had a massive Parma ham platter.

@allthecheese I'm also being very careful but it really surprises me that most people think nothing of it. For example eating salad in a restaurant, is it safe? Do they wash salad? I don't drink when pregnant but I feel there's enough Information about that for people to make informed choices.

DaisyLand Mon 04-Dec-17 16:29:00

If it comes back as positive they should know whether it’s a recent infection or an old one. If it’s old then good news not only babies are safe but you can have meats again. Once infected you are immune so can’t catch it again. If it is something recent then they do more checks I guess
This link explains it all, it says only 1 to 10k -30k babies are affected so the chances are really unlikely

www.babycentre.co.uk/a1461/toxoplasmosis-in-pregnancy

In restaurant I guess they do clean salads to remove any old soil or bugs that have been when picked up from ground

willisurvive3under2 Tue 05-Dec-17 12:32:42

I might speak to my midwife as I'm seeing her later this week anyway :-)

Thanks!!

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