Fever doesn’t develop without a reason. Something is causing it. That’s true for fever during pregnancy as well. One of its possible causes is a reaction of the female body to the hormonal imbalance pregnancy induces. Such a rise in temperature can be interpreted as one of the pregnancy signs. Sometimes the temperature doesn’t go down for a pretty long time. If all the negative factors which could cause the fever have been excluded, and your body temperature hasn’t risen above 100°F, don’t worry and don’t take any medications.
Occasionally, there is some inflammatory process in the future mother’s body. But as the pregnancy is taking its course, the woman regularly visits her doctor and takes numerous medical tests which help to detect any problem as soon as possible.
In most cases, a fever during pregnancy means an expectant mother has a common cold. The pregnant woman should turn to an expert with this problem. During the medical consultation, your doctor will find the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment. Self-treatment with medications during pregnancy is strictly forbidden! Drug intake is an extreme measure – it requires the appropriate expertise. But if the fever is not high you’ll most likely be able to do without medications and visits to a clinic. By the way, during an epidemic, a health facility is not the best place for a future mother.
Normal body temperature during pregnancy
We are all used to thinking that normal human body temperature is 97.7-98.6 °F. However, it can be a bit higher or lower due to your individual characteristics. For some women, an oral temperature of 99.5 °F isn’t a reason for concern.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, your temperature will most likely reach 99.5 °F anyway. If you don’t feel sick at all, then everything is alright. Your body is just reacting to the hormone progesterone active secretion. Sometimes such a body temperature can be noticed in the second trimester, but in the third trimester it should be back to normal.
The causes of fever during pregnancy
As we have already mentioned, a physiological reason for fever during pregnancy in early terms is raised progesterone level. But the immune system of a soon-to-be mom is fragile: the woman’s immunity decreases after the conception in order not to reject the fertilized egg (it can be misinterpreted for a foreign body), and then the growing fetus takes a lot of nutrients from its mother’s organism. That’s why she can easily fall ill.
A fever can be caused by:
- Infections and inflammations;
- Endocrine disorders;
- Blood diseases (such as anemia during pregnancy);
- Autoimmune diseases;
Fever while pregnant: the risks
So, what are the dangers of having a fever while pregnant?
- Intoxication with harmful substances can induce cardiovascular system disorders;
- A long-term fever during pregnancy can lead to problems with protein synthesis and, as a consequence, to various pathologies and birth defects of the baby;
- Fever during pregnancy affects the placenta, which often results in premature birth;
- High body temperature while pregnant can cause different congenital malformations of the baby’s internal organs and systems;
- High fever during pregnancy can end in a miscarriage or stillbirth.
When should you bring down a fever if you are pregnant?
The body temperature of 98.6-99.5 °F is not a health-threatening condition. It doesn’t represent any risk to you or your unborn child. But if the fever during pregnancy has reached 100 °F or higher, you need to bring it down for the sake of your baby.
In the third trimester, you should be alarmed even when your temperature has reached 99.5 degrees.
If you have such symptoms as fever during pregnancy (100 °F or higher), chills, vomiting, severe pain in the abdomen, vaginal bleeding, you should immediately call an ambulance.
Taking aspirin is not allowed for pregnant women, especially during the first and third trimesters. At the early pregnancy stages, it can lead to a miscarriage, in the third trimester – cause bleedings and long and complicated childbirth. Besides, aspirin can induce congenital malformations.
If you have a 100 °F fever during pregnancy (or even higher temperature), you’d better bring it down with a half of a paracetamol pill. But remember that it’s an extreme measure and you should also call your doctor.
How to bring a fever down without medications
If your body temperature is not very high but you’re still worried, try drinking a lot of warm fluids: tea with lemon, raspberries; herbal teas, warm milk with honey. You can also put a cool wet cloth on your forehead.
The fever doesn’t break and your temperature is rising even higher? Then you should call your doctor (or an ambulance) and ask for professional help.