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Toxoplasmosis - what are the chances?

(19 Posts)
LipstickGirl Tue 26-May-09 21:08:45

Hello

I've tried to be quite careful to stick to dietary advice (no soft cheese, salami, parma ham etc etc) but tonight I had a couple of grilled lamb cubes from my husbands kebab and now feel suddenly anxious about Toxoplasmosis!

I feel like having a bit of kebab make me sounds like a terrible 'Jeremy Kyle' mother so maybe I should have pretended to have had a bit of his steak tartare but it is a nice place that we've eaten from (occassionally!) for years and it wasn't the terrible squished meat that they slice!

The meat looked cooked through but now I feel really anxious - help please!

Thanks

x

LipstickGirl Tue 26-May-09 22:12:35

Sorry, I'm sure this has been done before but any info would be greatly appreciated!

Longtalljosie Wed 27-May-09 09:47:25

The meat looked cooked. I'm sure you're fine x

Tee2072 Wed 27-May-09 10:11:44

Why would this be a problem? It was cooked, yes? You weren't eating raw lamb?

You are worrying for nothing.

LipstickGirl Wed 27-May-09 11:01:01

Thanks, it did look cooked but afterwards it just seemed to be a terrible thing to eat and now I'm wondering 'was it just a teeny bit pink?' I don't know, to be honest I thought I'd really enjoy being pregnant but I'm finding it very stressful as I'm in a constant state if anxiety - and have been since I found out... Toxiplasmosis is the latest in a line of things that could go wrong...

Nevertheless, I very much appreciate your replies - thank you.

X

Harimad Wed 27-May-09 13:11:03

I think everyone tends to over-worry - particularly in their first pregnancy.

With my first I watched everything I ate like a hawk, but with this one I can barely remember what it was I was supposed to worry about!
Most of the time, they recommend you avoid certain foods "just in case", but the chances are so remote I wouldn't worry too much!

lulu25 Fri 29-May-09 19:24:52

i think it's really pretty unlikely that you'd have got it (in the UK at least)

i ate two unwashed strawberries at the allotment last week then found a cat poo nearby the next day, so i share your anxiety.

in my defence i only realised i was preg today...

cairnterrier Fri 29-May-09 19:44:29

Hi lipstick girl

Please don't be worried. And there's nothing wrong with a good quality kebab - what's not to like. Lean grilled meat with lots of salad in a pita bread, possibly humous or yoghurt on top. Have to admit the chili sauce would be a killer with indigestion at the moment though!

Look at it this way. You've been to the restaurant before, how many times in the past have you caught toxoplasmosis? Anyway, think about countries like Greece and Turkey where grilled lamb forms a large part of the every day diet. Bet they don't tell their pregnant ladies to avoid lamb!

I fully sympathise with the food thing. I went through a massive craving for McDonald's and actually took a big detour on my way home from work to get one! Was then on phone to hubby worried I'd poisoned our baby before we'd ever really started. If it makes you feel better, my current diet consists of Wotsits and Heinz spaghetti hoops. Next to that your grilled meat makes you sound like a saint.

My thoughts are with you x

LipstickGirl Wed 03-Jun-09 20:32:15

Just wanted to say thanks cairnterrier for your reassuring - and funny post. Sometimes it helps just to know that other people are going through the same thing...

Here's hoping we all have happy, healthy, toxoplasmosis free pregnancies!

X

beckyholly Tue 16-Jun-09 12:12:32

hello, I would say to all pregnant women, do not risk it...unless the lamb is not pink at all. I lost a baby at 21 weeks to toxoplasmosis in January and will forever wonder how I caught it, but I did eat lamb (which I thought was thoroughly cooked).
I will forever fel guilty and te experience I went through was extremely painful. I would not wish it on anyone.

flyingcloud Tue 16-Jun-09 12:57:39

Beckyholly how awful for you sad. Truly sorry to read that and hope you are making a relatively ok recovery, whatever that might be.

I would be interested to know more about it as I am not immune and I live in France, where apparantly there is a much higher level of immunity among pregnant women. I found this old article which, although old and not to be taken as scientific gospel slightly reassured me. The other day I went to a dinner party here in France and ate not-very-well-washed salad - plenty of people would be pretty unfussed about washing fruit and vegetables (as I am normally) and it's almost impossible to avoid when eating out here. I also had a slightly undercooked cote de veau at another dinner party. Saying all that I am another in a first pregnancy and having worried about everything, am now trying to relax and not worry, while being sensible. There isn't much I can do about the fact that I ate steak tartare while oblivious to the fact that I was four weeks pregnant.

beckyholly Tue 16-Jun-09 22:29:20

hi flyingcloud, I have read elsewhere that toxoplasmosis has a higher immunity rate in France but I think it is because once you have had toxoplasmosis, you become immune (except in rare cases)and because France has more rural and farming communities more women catch it and thus become immune.
Also, I think the article is a little misleading in saying that toxoplasmosis can be treated in the womb. If you know that you have caught Toxoplasmosis then you can be given antibiotics but these do not guarantee that you will not pass it on to your baby and in these cases I know that some of the problems do not become apparent until after the baby is born, so if someone had had Toxoplasmosis and taken the antibiotics, they could still have a seriously ill baby or the problems could become apparent when the child is a toddler or older.
I actually went to the doctor when I had the Toxoplasmosis(at about 10-11 weeks gone) because my glands were up but the doctor did not realise that it was Toxoplasmosis. I only found this out after I had had the baby and they tested my blood for the Toxoplasmosis antibodies.
When I went for my 20 week scan the sonographer could see that my son's organs had not developed properly but at that stage, after sending us to specialists at Kings, the doctors thought that it was a chromosonal problem.
All I can say is when I am lucky enough to be pregnant again, I will not take the slightest risk, and if that means not eating out or refusing food that friends cook etc then that is what I will do.
Writing this is hard to do but I had to say something as I don't want other people to think that it won't happen to them and have to go through the same thing as me.
As I said, I don't know how I got it (I also have friends with a cat and did eat out during my pregnancy). All I can say is that it is not worth the risk. And I hope that reading this will make people think twice about taking a chance.
Statistically I know the chances of catching it are very low, so it is unlikely that you will catch it but please take care.
Best wishes

flyingcloud Wed 17-Jun-09 10:32:37

Thank you Beckyholly, appreciate your reply, even if it must be difficult for you. Thank you for the advice as well. Wishing you lots of luck for the future and hopefully you will have a happy experience soon. x

ocre Sun 04-Oct-09 18:47:08

Hi, I contracted toxiplasmosis, it left me almost sterile.I suffered nine abortions before finally having my only child with the aid of in-vitro treatment.Had doctors diagnosed my problem in its early stages this would have been avoided.I spent over thirteen years between one fertility clinic and another in three different countries.After several operations I finally managed to carry my final pregnancy into its fourth month only to suffer yet another mis-carraige.I was expecting twins,I lost one of the babies, a miracle saved the other. The day I held my newborn in my arms was the day I knew all the pain, expense,surgery and trauma had been worth it even though I was told I could never have more children.
I was told I have one of the highest anti-body counts ever seen related to Toxiplasmosis.

pofacedandproud Sun 04-Oct-09 18:54:47

so sorry to hear your stories ocre and beckyholly. Just to reiterate though, if you have eaten numerous kebabs in the past and not caught it, it is unlikely you'll catch it from this one. And freezing meat kills the bacteria, so if the meat had previously been frozen your risk is even lower.

Cat poo and cats are the most common method of infection.

memorylapse Sun 04-Oct-09 20:06:46

I was told that the most common form of infection with toxoplasmosis is cats, however I was also told that if you are a keen gardener then you are most likely to have been in contact with toxoplasmosis before you become pregnant. When I was preg with DS1 16 years aga, they offered a blood test to check for toxoplasmosis antibodies, the level of antibodies suggested whether you had it previously or had recently been infected..my blood test suggested a previous infection and ds was fine, it does not stop me being paranoid though and worrying that the test was wrong..Im pregnant with baby number 5 and although Im only 9 weeks..Im a nervous wreck..so I share your worry..but honestly..dont torment yourself..if the meat was cooked..you will be fine..

mamaloco Mon 05-Oct-09 07:35:33

Don't worry! Even pink lamb is cooked enough, you don't have to eat charcoal for all your pregnancy to be safe.
However if you have been tested negative for toxoplasmosis you should avoid eating raw meat or undercooked meat (rare and bloody), handle raw meat (let you husband do it, and wash carefully all cutlery or anything which touch the raw meat), avoid gardenning, wash and peel fruits and vegetables, and avoid presence of cats (especially cat litters, have somebody else clean it for you). You only get toxoplasmosis once so if you have been gardening for a while or are a cat lover, chances are you already got it. There is no symptome in healthy adults. Pregnant woman, children and unwell people can have flu like symptomes. People with aids can have repeated "infections".
It is a parasite like malaria not a bacteria, hence the difficulty of treatment, but treatment of the mother during pregnancy does reduced the risk for the baby, and you should be protected during further pregnancies (unless other underlying conditions).
The occurence of severe brain damage and malformation is quite rare even untreated. Most often the problems are minor and detected long after birth. I have congenital toxoplamosis and is deaf in one hear and had some small eyes problem which started at 17, in all I am pretty normal (if slightly insane but that's not related wink).

whelk Mon 05-Oct-09 15:59:11

Lipstick - the chances are that you will be fine. The fact that so many of us are not immune shows that its relatively rare. However if you are worried you can ask your midwife for a blood test.
I had a similar scare and had one which came back negative thankfully.

beckyholly Tue 03-Nov-09 18:48:29

Hi Ocre, please can you tell me how toxoplasmosis left you almost sterile? I was told that it would now be out of my system and that I should be able to have another baby safely. If this is not the case I would lke to know.
Thanks so much

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