A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to get an infection in pregnancy even if you do not have risk factors.
Risk factors for infection in pregnancy vary depending on the type of infection. General risk factors for infection during pregnancy include:
Viruses and bacteria that cause infections are passed through person-to-person contact. You are at higher risk of spreading and getting infections caused by bacteria and viruses if you: Do not wash your hands.Touch your nose, mouth, and eyes with contaminated fingers.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as
, herpes simplex virus, and
are passed from person to person during sexual contact. Your risk for STDs is higher if you have had:
Many sex partnersSex with someone who has had many partnersSex without using condoms
Germs that cause infections such as listeriosis and
have been found in:
Uncooked meatsUndercooked meat , such as rare beef, from infected animalsUncooked vegetablesUnpasteurized milkFoods made from unpasteurized milkProcessed foods
Your risk for these infections is higher if you eat these foods.
Lifestyle risk factors include: Having close contact with someone who has an infectionUsing household items that were used by an infected person and not properly cleanedHandling cat litter or soil where there is cat feces
Having a job that involves contact with bodily fluids, such as a:
Childcare workerFirst aid or emergency workerFuneral directorHealthcare workerDentistDental assistantFirefighterPolice personnel
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and congenital CMV infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
. Updated July 28, 2010. Accessed July 29, 2013.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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