Pregnancy / Childbirth

Rubella during pregnancy - what to do not to get infected?


Rubella is a benign childhood disease. However, when a future mother infects her, especially in the first trimester, the situation becomes dangerous. Passing rubella in the early stages of pregnancy may result in fetal malformations.

Rubella resistance?

Fortunately, most adults had rubella in their childhood. Many people have been vaccinated (today, children are vaccinated against rubella for the first time at 13-14 months, and later at 13). It is assumed that the protection guaranteed by the vaccine covers 10 years after vaccination. Only rubbing rubella gives permanent immunity. It is worth remembering!

If you have questions about immunity and fear of rubella, it is recommended performing a simple test, consisting in taking blood and determining the concentration of antibodies in it (the cost of the test is usually 30-40 zlotys, with referral: free).

Another option available for women planning pregnancy is vaccination against rubella (cost around PLN 40-50). However, you should ensure that three months after vaccination, you should protect yourself against becoming pregnant and start applying for a baby only after the time indicated by your doctor has elapsed. On the other hand, no cases of fetal damage have been reported so far for women who become pregnant immediately after vaccination against rubella or have been vaccinated during pregnancy (without knowledge of the changed condition).

Rubella in young children is usually mild and gives life-long immunity. Adults are more likely to get sick with more serious symptoms.

Contact with an infected person during pregnancy

Even contact with someone infected with rubella does not have to end with a virus attack in the expectant child. The probability that the disease will develop is low. In Europe, they are estimated at 0.1-05 per mille. Despite this, many doctors recommend a woman in the first trimester after contact with a sick person to administer immunoglobulins.

Negative consequences appear especially in the first trimester, and especially in the first month of pregnancy. The risk of complications decreases drastically the next month, and is very low in the second trimester. It is worth knowing that rubella infection in pregnancy is considered a medical indication for termination of pregnancy.

How can you get infected with rubella?

Rubella is a disease carried by droplet. The disease is transmitted by an infected person a week before the rash appears and for a week after it appears.

Rubella after infection usually needs 2-3 weeks for hatching. Often the disease passes without symptoms. Typical symptoms are:

  • worse mood
  • a slight feverish condition at the beginning, and then a temperature of up to 39 degrees,
  • slight headache
  • small pale pink spots all over the body (first on the face, then merging all over the body) - lasting 2-3 days, then fades and disappears,
  • sometimes slight diarrhea
  • enlarged lymph nodes behind the ears and neck.

Sometimes rubella passes without a rash, hence it is difficult to diagnose. Although it is seen as a banal disease, a sick child should stay at home, preferably in bed.

Rubella virus attack

  • before 8 weeks of pregnancy causes in 65% of cases

- rubella embryopathy (a child may have hearing defects - deafness, vision defects - congenital cataracts and abnormalities in the structure of the heart).

  • infection in the second and third trimester the risk is already very low. Recent studies indicate that infection in the fourth month of pregnancy causes almost no damage to the fetus.

- fetal hypotrophy, i.e. disorders of psychomotor development, interstitial pneumonia, anemia.
after 22 weeks of pregnancy, there is practically no risk of birth defects.