As if morning sickness, nausea, weight gain and mood swings were not enough, pregnant women might even experience vaginal bleeding. While that itself may not be a serious affair, but if you’re unhygienic or have undergone surgeries while giving birth, there is an increased risk of contracting TSS or the dreaded Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Some women experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy especially in the first trimester. However, if your bleeding continues even after first trimester well into the second and third trimester, it can be a sign of complication which can lead to serious illnesses including TSS. Or, if you are careless and unhygienic, chances are that you will contract the harmful Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacterias. This bacterium causes a widespread infection which can even lead to multi-organ failure and even death.
Protecting Your Body During Pregnancy
This virus usually thrives on the skin without causing any harm. But if there is an opening, the bacterium can wreak havoc everywhere. During pregnancy,
The TSS Toxin 1 is a strain of bacterium that is found in and around the vagina. When you are giving birth to your bundle of joy, chances are that the bacteria would have a direct and easy entry route. The chances of this happening increases when there is a tear due to childbirth or if you have undergone a C-section.
How Harmful Is The Bacteria?
As soon as it enters the body, it gets to work. If it isn’t treated early, it can lead to multiple organ failure and possibly even death. The problem is that TSS is not a systemic disease, which means that it does not limit itself to one organ or one part of the body. Once the bacterium is in, it multiplies and releases toxins, shutting down your organs, one by one. The weak immune system would still fight, which would be the initial symptoms of
- Muscle aches
- Redness in certain areas
- Low blood pressure
- Hypotension, etc.
It’s important to understand that these symptoms are synonymous with pregnancy, therefore, don’t ignore them and get them checked anyway.
It Can Get Bad Real Quick!
The initial symptoms of TSS in pregnancy is flu-like, with nausea, stomach cramps which might be confusing since you are pregnant, and some of these are similar. Chances are that all is a-okay, and there is no TSS- scare, but consult your healthcare provider anyway.
Getting Treated For TSS
Most of the treatments given to pregnant moms with TSS is to stop the over reactive inflammatory response, which would also eventually eliminate the harmful bacteria from the body. However, this is greatly dependent on how soon the TSS has been diagnosed. The pregnant mom is immediately put on intravenous antibiotics and immunoglobulin that would help to fight the toxins.
It’s sad, but if the toxins have progressed and has started affecting your organs, there may be a need for surgery and medical intervention to prevent a complete shut down of organs. Needless to mention, contracting TSS during pregnancy will
Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure
The only way you can prevent TSS is to do the following, especially if you’re an expectant-mom:
- Clean wounds properly and don’t leave bandages, plasters, tampons, sanitary napkins for too long.
- Basic hygiene is of utmost importance: Wash hands, change tampons regularly and alternate between sanitary towels and tampons
- If you experience vaginal bleeding, clean up well
Clinical trials are being conducted for vaccines for TSS that would save millions of lives. It will soon be made available to women who have contracted TSS before, and run the risk of contracting it during their pregnancy. So, keep an eye out for such news.
It’s Very Rare
It is important to understand that TSS is very rare during gestation period, although at childbirth the risk increases slightly because of bleeding and tears. However, if you have any of the symptoms, get them checked immediately to rule out this deadly condition.