To contract toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can be very harmful for the development of the unborn baby (blindness due to an infection of the retina, damage to the brain, liver or spleen) or even trigger a miscarriage.
During your first pregnancy, there will be an examination of your blood sample to see if you are immune to toxoplasmosis. If you are not immune to toxoplasmosis, your blood will be checked regularly to see whether you have been infected with it. Toxoplasmosis is usually contracted through eating raw or insufficiently cooked meat. But the pathogen can also be found in cat faeces.
The infection is usually unnoticed and resembles a light flu with symptoms such as a swelling of the lymph nodes and fever. Toxoplasmosis can be treated during pregnancy with antibiotics.
Approx. 50 % of all adults have already been infected with toxoplasmosis and are thus immune (the infection can only happen once). With an antibody test, the gynaecologist can test for immunity. Pregnant women who don’t have these antibodies should adhere to the following safety precautions:
- Only eat meat which has been sufficiently cooked
- Clean raw fruit, vegetable and lettuce thoroughly
- Avoid contact with cat faeces