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Can shingles affect pregnancy ????

(10 Posts)
CrazyDi Sun 20-Mar-05 00:50:06

My 15 month old daughter has been poorly for a couple of days and has come out in a really nasty looking rash with little clusters of blisters and today when visiting my in-laws my mother in law is the same...only problem is doctor came to see her and has told her she has got shingles

I am 36 + 3 weeks now...but have had chicken pox (but not shingles) will it pose any threat to baby?? My immune system is terrible at the minute as has been diagnosed with pernicious anaemia which i am under treatment for now, so just worrying incase Im gonna cop this one too!!

Anybody clued up on all that???

sparklymieow Sun 20-Mar-05 00:52:41

My dad had shingles when I was pregnant with DS, I was told to keep away from him by MW. I can't remember how far gone I was tho, but I know I hated not being able to see my parents for a while

bonym Sun 20-Mar-05 05:55:31

You can only get shingles if you have had chickpox previously so you could potentially get it. BUT, it tends to primarily affect older people so I would try not to worry too much. I would stay away from your MIL for the time being as if you do get it there is a potential risk.

What I would say is that shingles has to be diagnosed and treated very very quickly for the treatment to have any effect so if you think you are getting any symptoms then please see your GP asap.

Twiglett Sun 20-Mar-05 07:26:09

I did a quick search and found some information that makes it sound like there's no issue at all:
"When some people develop chickenpox the virus may lie dormant in part of the spine for many years causing no symptoms. For reasons that are not clear, although a diminution of the natural immune protection is likely, the virus ‘reawakens’.

The virus then travels down the sensory nerve root at the level it was stored and appears on the surface of the skin in the distribution of the affected nerve. This is why it always appears in a very specific pattern and why it is very rare for two sides of the body to be affected at once. The long term damage caused to the nerve is what is responsible for the pain before and more importantly after the appearance of the rash.

From this description you can see that it is not possible to catch shingles. In theory it is possible for someone to catch chickenpox through direct contact with shingles if they have not had it before. There are several considerations around this."

another search which is more to do with CP said that its only if you're under 20 weeks pregnant you should get your immunity checked and if non-immune can get an antibody shot. It also seems to be extremely difficult to catch

Obviously you can't avoid your own DD, and it sounds that you are very likely to be totally immune. You could see your GP and ask for a blood test to check your immunity to CP

Twiglett Sun 20-Mar-05 07:27:53

BBC Health is actually more direct than netdoctor (which is the previous info)

Causes and prevention

You can't catch shingles from another person

You can't catch shingles from another person and can only develop shingles if you've already had chickenpox. It can't be caught from someone with chickenpox.

It's not clear what triggers reactivation of the chickenpox virus, but keeping the immune system strong may help to prevent this from occurring.


kate100 Sun 20-Mar-05 07:49:50

I woud ring your GP and ask for a blood test to see of you have either virus and immunity to them, as there are medicaations you can take to stop either developing. I've had them. If you develop CP near the end of your pregnancy there is a chance that your baby could catch it during delivery. I really would check it out to put your mind at rest.

Snugs Sun 20-Mar-05 18:16:17

You should be fine - as others have said, you cannot catch shingles from CP, only vice versa. It tends to be trauma or nervous shock that reawakens the virus (very common for the elderly to have shingles after an accident for example).

The far biggest risk is that you may be infectious to others, so it is important that you notify the hospital/clinic if you are due to attend any appointments.

There is an immunoglobulin that can be given to new born babies if required, so just ensure you keep any medical staff informed - although by your due date, hopefully the risk will have passed.

Whizzz Sun 20-Mar-05 18:21:17

Its not just the elderly though - I had shingles when I was 20 something - it went along a nerve in my back.

Snugs Sun 20-Mar-05 18:27:40

Sorry, didn't mean to imply it was - that is just a common example. The elderly generally find it harder to cope with the shock of even a small bump in a car and it was something that often turned up in statistics (I used to work in a virus lab, collating this sort of trivia )

Whizzz Sun 20-Mar-05 18:52:33

Maybe I was easily shocked . Nooooooo

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