My feed

to access all these features


to worry I have exposed myself to toxoplasmosis?

37 replies

takethatlady · 17/04/2011 16:40

Please tell me I am being an idiot. Or tell me what else to do.

I am 30 weeks pregnant and have spent the last two days gardening, most of the time without gloves. I knew about toxoplasmosis but I associated it with cat litter (we don't have cats) and raw/uncooked meats.

Then I came in from the garden, quickly washed my hands, made a sandwich, ate the sandwich, and saw that I had mud still all up the side of my right hand. Obviously I came straight back inside and washed my hands very thoroughly, scrubbing under the nails, etc. And then I googled 'gardening without gloves' and 'pregnancy' and came across all this stuff about toxoplasmosis.

I am now feeling like a complete idiot for having exposed the baby to toxoplasmosis, and scared shitless about the side effects.

As I say, we don't have cats, though there is a cat that wanders in our garden. I have never ever seen any cat faeces in the garden, and neither has DH, so I don't think the cat (or any other cats) use it to go to the toilet.

Please tell me that my chances of infection are still really low. Everything I can find on the internet, even sensible sources, just advises strongly against gardening without gloves.

Is there anything I can do to sort this out now? If I go to my doctor, can I ask for antibiotics to prevent any possible infection developing (or will he/she just tell me there's no point giving me antibiotics for a parasite there's no evidence I am actually carrying?) Should I go to my doctor and ask for blood tests to see if I picked anything up? Or should I just chill out?

I have been generally very relaxed since my 12 week scan but now I am terrified that I have potentially caused harm to my baby, and for no good reason. All advice greatly appreciated.

OP posts:
takethatlady · 18/04/2011 09:12

My mw just called and was very reassuring about the whole thing and said the risks were very minimal (echoing what all of you have said!) So I'm going to try and behave like a normal person now :)

Thank you to everybody :)

OP posts:
microfight · 18/04/2011 11:41

Hi I admit I haven't read all the posts but you can get a simple blood test that will determine whether you have contracted it and how long ago. It is very accurate.
I had this test and I found out I contracted it a few months before I got pregnant which happened to coincide with a trip to France eating all sorts of rare meat!

Anyway, the likelihood in your case is very very slim. Sometimes you get get diarrhea if you have contracted it.
If you want to know where I got this test privately please feel free to PM me.

takethatlady · 18/04/2011 16:53

Thanks microfight if I get even the slightest hint of symptoms I will definitely be PMing you! But for now I'm going to try to forget about it and think that a bit of gardening glove-free is very unlikely to have caused all the harm I've been imagining (and not do it again!)

OP posts:
CinnabarRed · 18/04/2011 17:32

I have lived with cats my whole life, my current cats sleep on my pillow, I spent my whole childhood grubbing around outside and only eat steak blue (I'd rather give it up while pregnant than eat it rare or more). But when I was tested on the NHS (because of my cats-on-bed choices) I came back negative Shock. I've concluded that I must have a constitution like steel when it comes to toxoplasmosis, as I must have been exposed to high levels a million times.

mamas12 · 18/04/2011 18:46

I hope you still push for the test though won't you.

takethatlady · 21/04/2011 07:55

Aaargh. I now have a cold. I started sneezing a bit on Monday but now I have a full on runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes.

I occasionally get mild hayfever symptoms but this feels more than that. On NHS Choices it says that the symptoms of toxoplasmosis are 'mild flu' symptoms - but then it just lists muscle aches, headaches, diarrhoea, etc, and doesn't mention anything about runny nose etc.

Do you think I'm being paranoid?

OP posts:
HalleluiaScot · 21/04/2011 08:02

I was worried about this during one of my pregnancies.

The research I did at the time suggested that you had to be exposed for the first time during two particular days very early pregnancy.

Bucharest · 21/04/2011 08:08

OP- yes, now I think you are being paranoid Smile justifiably so, but I'm sure you'll be fine.
Curiously, I (grew up with cats and had a cat at the time of pg) tested negative as did my BIL who is a vet, while his wife, who runs screaming at the sight of anything with fur Hmm is positive.
I imagine, this late on in your pg, you'd be fine, but get yourself tested if you are still worried.

takethatlady · 21/04/2011 10:52

Thank you ladies :)

It's very weird when you're glad to be told you're paranoid Grin

OP posts:
Northernlurker · 21/04/2011 11:00

I think you're being paranoid too Grin But ring your midwife back and ask about the test anyway. Won't hurt to get her perspective.

icravecheese · 27/04/2011 10:00

HI ladies,
Not sure if anyone is still looking at this thread, but if they are....pls respond with your thoughts!!

Toxoplasmosis is my number 1 pregnancy fear!! No idea why, but its the ONLY thing I get stressed about during preg. Currently got a blood test form in my sweaty mitts that my dr said to go up to hospital lab & do this week as I believe I ate some undercooked meat balls on 1st april (Am now 15 wks preg).

I know i'm not immune as I demanded a test 4 yrs ago during my first preg after eating rare venison and parma ham (i know, why do I do it??!! SO daft of me!). I had a 2nd preg in 2008, during which I didnt worry at all, holidayed in France (where I know its much more prevalent) & didnt really think about it.

I was going to get the blood test done this week (approx 4 weeks after suspected exposure) however last thursday (21st April) my inlaws visited from france and brought with them fresh sausages & pork burgers from a french butchers. We cooked them on the bbq - my FIL insisted my pork burger was well cooked, but I wasnt happy so cut it into quarters & put it back on to cook for another 10 mins. When I cut into it, I STILL thought it didnt look entirely cooked (I have totally lost the ability to tell if something is cooked through now, due to my paranoia), although my in laws and husband (my husband knows I'm crazy psycho about meat being cooked through) insisted it was cooked fine, so I ate some, then left the rest. I am now worrying myself that the pork wasnt cooked through properly (dont tell me, I know I'm mad!).

Should I wait for another few weeks with the blood test form that I have, and therefore it will detect any infection from both the meat balls AND the pork... (in fact, I'm now worrying less about the meat balls - my gp told me that toxo parasite isnt detectably present in uk sourced meat food-chain & I know they were made from cotswold beef), I'm more worried about the pork because it was from france.

MICROFIGHT - where did you get your blood tests done privately? Ideally, i'd like to pay for monthly tests, like you get in france, to keep my paranoia at bay (dont think dr will agree to doing any more - he thinks I'm mad enough!)

Sorry for long post ladies, any advice will be gratefully received!

anonacfr · 27/04/2011 10:17

I don't want to scare people (ie the OP and last poster) but quite frankly I would get tested.
My sister was tested in France (routine) and wasn't immune. She had to go through the whole raw vegetable/lettuce palaver, which meant no salad orders in restaurant etc- massive pain for her.
One of her friends who had cats growing and had 3 at the time of her pregnancy wasn't immune either.

It got me so worried that I got tested in the States. my doctor thought I was mad but it was a simple blood test and it really put me at ease when I found out I was immune.

The thing with toxoplasmosis is that if you get it you might not even know- the symptoms to the mother can be insignificant but it can cause of a lot of problems to the baby.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.