Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should my pregnant wife stay away from me if I am sick?"
I have a really sore throat and my pregnant wife says she can?t be around me. Is it really dangerous for a pregnant woman to be around someone who is sick? Are pregnant women more likely to get sick?
In general, pregnant women are not any more likely to catch a cold than anyone else. However, the reason for concern is that many colds and infections that would be inconsequential in a healthy adult can a) cause defects in a developing fetus or b) provoke early labor. in particular, certain viral infections (rubella, parvovirus, CMV) that cause very minor illness in children or adults can have catastrophic effects on a developing fetus in the first trimester. It sounds like you may have quite a bad cold, based on the severity of your sore throat, so the best thing for you to do is make an appointment to see your primary care physician. He or she can examine you and ask further questions about your symptoms to make sure that you don't need any additional medications or treatments. Then, based on the results of your exam, your physician can give you some guidelines about interacting with your wife. In the short term it is probably best to keep your distance and make sure that you are not sharing utensils, toothpaste etc. In addition, excellent hand hygiene (a good idea to invest in some liquid hand sanitizer) can also help prevent the transmission of viruses or bacterial infections. I recommend that you discuss this issue with your wife's OBGYN at her next pregnancy checkup. The three of you can discuss in more detail any possible risks. Best of luck!
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