When you are pregnant, there must be many changes that occur in the mother's body. Starting from dizziness, nausea, vomiting, breast pain, weight gain, back pain, and others. Well, what if a pregnant woman has a fever? Is that normal? Recent research shows you should be aware of the incidence of fever while pregnant, while some say fever during pregnancy can cause children born with autism. Is that right?
What is reported in the latest research?
Reporting from Medical News Today, mothers who have fever during pregnancy have a greater risk of having children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or often referred to as autism spectrum disorders.
Research conducted in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders in 2013 showed that fever during pregnancy in the third trimester was associated with an increased risk of children having ASD.
The results of other recent studies in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry in 2017 highlight a similar connection. The difference is in the trimester. This study states that fever during the first and second trimester of pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of ASD. The strongest relationship occurs during fever in the second trimester.
The incidence of fever during pregnancy is reported to increase the risk of ASD by 34 percent in the child it contains. The incidence of fever in pregnant women during the second trimester can increase the likelihood of the occurrence of ASD by 40 percent. Meanwhile, a fever attack that occurs more than three times after the 12th week of pregnancy can increase the risk of the occurrence of ASD by three times.
Fever is a symptom that occurs when the body is trying to fight an infection. That means when a mother has a fever, the body is experiencing an infection from a virus or bacteria from the outside, and the body's immunity is trying to fight it.
When the mother is fighting infection, the amniotic fluid and blood will contain cells that are called higher than usual inflammatory cytokines.
What is the connection between infection and the possibility of autism?
Experts believe that ASD is generated not only from genetic factors, but also from environmental factors. Such as viral infections, pollution, and complications in pregnancy. The occurrence of an infection in the mother's body is also thought to increase the risk of ASD.
When talking about infection, this can not be separated from the immune condition. The role of maternal immunity is very important in fighting infection. Researchers suspect that the mother's immune response can affect nerve and brain development before the baby is born.
Why is a fever during the second trimester pregnant at risk of causing autism?
The cause of fever in the second trimester increases the risk of ASD is not certain. However, indeed in the second trimester this is the main time of brain development. At this time, the mother's immune system tends to decrease so that the mother's body does not reject the massive development process of the fetus.
These vulnerable conditions in the second trimester can make fetal development disorders more likely to occur.
So, fever during pregnancy can cause a child to be born with autism?
Maybe this finding is very frightening for some pregnant women or women who are waiting for pregnancy. However, according to a professor from the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, this risk is relatively small. Possible incidence of ASD or autism alone is around 1 in 88 births.
Although research showing fever during pregnancy can increase the risk of autism, it does not mean that all pregnant women who have a fever will give birth to children with ASD. The results of these studies are not fixed prices.
The fact is, there are thousands of women who have fever or flu during their pregnancy, but don't have children with ASD. These studies only show a link, so they cannot explain the cause and effect relationship.
Whether fever causes ASD has not been proven clearly. Although in numbers in studies that have fever there is a possibility of a higher risk for ASD. Autism and similar developmental disorders are influenced by many factors that are interconnected and very complex, not because of one thing.
- 5 Most Important Vitamins for Pregnant Women
- 8 Healthy Food Choices for Pregnant Women
- What to do if a pregnant woman has a flu before giving birth?