During the childbearing period, the mother’s body is working twice as hard, protecting not only itself but also the future baby. The immune system can fail to cope with such a load which can lead to catarrhal diseases. Strep throat while pregnant is a frequent cause of visits to a doctor. Most bacterial diseases are transmitted throughout the air, after all.
Strep throat while pregnant is usually just uncomfortable for the future mother, but at the same time, it represents a risk for the unborn child. Understanding the main symptoms and causes of the disease will help to turn to a doctor in time, having avoided the possible complications.
The causes of strep throat while pregnant
When the bacteria get into your body, the immune system always is the first to react by destroying the germs. During pregnancy, the immune system of the future mother is weakened, so the risk of infection increases.
Here are the direct reasons for strep throat while pregnant:
- Bacteria (streptococci infection);
- The trauma to the mucous membrane (fish bones, rough food) – if there is also a nidus of infection, it leads to strep throat;
- Predisposing factors, weakening the immunity:
- Cold drinks which are oppressing the activity of protective cells situated in the tonsils;
- Smoking (including secondhand smoking) results in mucous membrane irritation, worsening blood circulation;
- Air pollution, harmful chemicals contribute to the development of strep throat while pregnant;
- Sources of infection in the mouth, such as untreated teeth, stomatitis. The transfer of bacteria occurs due to the constant contact with these sources.
Signs and symptoms
The clinical manifestations of the disease depend on its degree of severity and the immune system state. The symptoms can be poorly expressed and have no effect on the general state of health of the woman. In this case, there is a risk of missing the first signs of illness and not starting treatment in time. That’s why the future mom should consult a doctor even because of minor complaints.
The main symptoms of strep throat during pregnancy are:
- The sense of tickling and burning in the throat. There is a desire to clear your throat in order to get rid of the discomfort. The symptom becomes stronger during the night and reaches its maximum in the morning. The explanation of this is quite simple: most people breathe through the mouth during sleep, and the air overdries the inside of the throat, making the situation worse.
- Dry cough. Phlegm is rarely formed – it happens due to the development of tracheitis, bronchitis.
- Raised temperature, fever (signify the acute form of the disease only).
- Submandibular lymph nodes are increased, there is some pain.
- Reduced working efficiency, fatigue, headaches, appetite loss.
Are you at risk?
For the future mother, the disease can pass without consequences, but the fetus is at great risk. Raised temperature, cough, bacterial intoxication have an influence on the unborn child’s condition. Medications represent another danger. Most drugs are contraindicated during pregnancy. Thus, the treatment of strep throat while pregnant requires a lot of time and effort because strong drugs are out of the question.
When bacteria and viruses attack the respiratory system the content of oxygen in the blood becomes less. Fetal hypoxia develops; the risk of premature birth increases.
Strep throat in early pregnancy requires an immediate consultation with a medical expert. Don’t self-medicate! The organs and systems of the fetus haven’t been fully formed yet, so any toxic impact can lead to developmental anomalies or to a miscarriage.
Which doctor can help with strep throat while pregnant?
If you suspect you have a strep throat, consult a GP. They’ll send you to an otolaryngologist and/or gynecologist if the need arises.
Strep throat while pregnant: treatment
A lot of women wonder how strep throat while pregnant is treated. The answer is simple: you should make an appointment with a doctor and follow their every recommendation to the letter. You shouldn’t take any medication on your own. The same goes for medicinal herbs because some of them increase the risk of spontaneous abortion and premature birth.
The combination of drug therapy, bed rest, and herbal treatment proved to be the most effective against strep throat while pregnant.
In order to relieve the soreness in your throat, the cough and the sensation of burning, it’s recommended to follow a few tips:
- Provide the woman with much-needed rest. Bed rest is indicated in the case of strep throat while pregnant.
- Offer gentle nutrition. Salty, spicy, sour products should be avoided. Too cold or too hot meal can irritate the already sore throat.
- Lots of warm drinks (fruit drinks, juice, milk). They help to remove toxins and bacteria from the body.
- The woman should keep her voice down. No loud talking or yelling! Strep throat while pregnant means that you’d better be silent for a few days.
- Humidify the air in your bedroom.
You also should abstain from sweet food and drinks if you’ve fallen ill. Sugar helps to form a bacteria-friendly environment.
Drug treatment of strep throat while pregnant
If the symptoms of strep throat while pregnant become worse and the condition of the woman doesn’t improve, the doctor prescribes medications.
The main groups of medicines used for treating strep throat while pregnant are:
- Antiseptics for cleaning the throat;
- Antipyretics for the fever;
- Cough drops with anti-inflammatory effect;
- Antibiotics (if absolutely necessary).
Preventive measures against strep throat during pregnancy
Future mothers should pay special attention to the strengthening of their immune system and eliminate every strep throat development factor.
Health professionals recommend following these simple rules:
- Abstain from cold drinks and ice-cream, especially in winter;
- Get your own mug, fork, spoon. Thoroughly wash the dishes before using them;
- Buy an air humidifier;
- Avoid physical contact with sick people, don’t go to public places during flu epidemics;
- Brush your teeth twice every day, pay regular visits to a dentist.
You can’t underestimate the seriousness of such a disease as strep throat while pregnant. If you’ve noticed some alarming symptoms, turn to a doctor immediately! Self-treatment and diagnostics lead to serious complications, the worst outcome being developmental anomalies and miscarriage.