CMV infection in pregnant women

Due to their functioning immune systems pregnant women have no reason to fear any effects of a cytomegalovirus infection for themselves. Women planning to have children or whose pregnancy has recently been diagnosed, however, may want to consider being tested to see if they had CMV in the past. Thus a possible transmission of the cytomegalovirus to their unborn child could be prevented.

Approximately half of the pregnant women in Europe have not been infected with the cytomegalovirus yet. In about one to two percent of these women a primary (or first) CMV infection can be anticipated shortly before or during pregnancy.

In healthy adults, a primary CMV infection usually proceeds with few or no symptoms. Possible signs can be fever, a swelling of lymph nodes, headache and growing pains. In a few cases side ache and lassitude can occur. However, most infections are silent and stay entirely unnoticed by the affected person.

Due to the fact that a cytomegalovirus infection can develop without any symptoms in mother and child, it often is not discovered. If a child develops symptoms only later, a connection with an infection before or during pregnancy may not be made.