Pink Eye And Pregnancy
If a woman contracts pink eye while she is pregnant, it is not likely to cause any risk to the baby. Pink eye and pregnancy are rarely a problematic combination. The pregnant woman should consult a doctor about the pink eye. Most cases of pink eye may be allowed to subside on their own, though the doctor may choose to treat the pink eye with antibiotics if the pink eye is due to a bacterial infection.
Though antibiotics are often avoided during pregnancy, some antibiotics are safe for use during pregnancy. When deciding whether or not to prescribe medication, the doctor will weigh the benefits against the potential risks to the pregnant mother and unborn child. If the conjunctivitis is due to a viral infection, it is likely to be left to clear without medication. A doctor may recommend that the pregnant woman take antihistamines, over-the-counter eye drops, or other medication to treat the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.
A pregnant woman should avoid self-medicating during pregnancy. This includes the use of home remedies. Using medication such as eye drops that were prescribed for someone else is a dangerous practice. Home remedies and taking supplements could cause harm to the baby even if the remedy is considered safe or healthy. A pregnant woman should always consult her obstetrician before taking any supplements, medication, or using any home remedies.
The real problem of pink eye and pregnancy is if the newborn contracts pink eye during delivery. If the pregnant woman has herpes, gonorrhea, or Chlamydia, the baby has a risk of developing a severe eye infection during birth. When the baby passes through the birth canal, the baby’s eyes are susceptible to infection from any bacteria or viral infection that is present in the birth canal. In some cases in which the presence of one of these diseases is known, the obstetrician may decide to perform a cesarean delivery. A cesarean section will allow the baby to avoid contact with the sexually transmitted disease.
When a newborn contracts pink eye, it is sometimes called neonatal conjunctivitis. The symptoms of neonatal conjunctivitis are redness of the eyes and swelling and redness of the eyelids. A newborn must receive medical treatment or the condition could worsen and cause scarring of the cornea and blindness. Therefore, pink eye and pregnancy are not usually cause for concern unless the pink eye is contracted by the baby during delivery.