Infection in Pregnancy

Infection in Pregnancy

For most women, pregnancy is a normal and healthy condition. But pregnancy can also make women more susceptible to certain infections due to an altered hormonal, physiological and immunological state. Furthermore, some infections are exacerbated during pregnancy, making them more severe or more difficult to treat than in a non-pregnant patient.

Some infections that occur during pregnancy pose a risk primarily to the mother; others can also be transmitted to the fetus. Some infections during pregnancy can even lead to miscarriage, preterm labour, birth defects, or maternal death. To complicate matters, medications used to treat infections can cause serious side effects, especially for the unborn child.

Here, aimed at professionals working in the field of maternity care, we provide summary information on all aspects of infection and pregnancy and provide links to available national clinical guidelines and external repositories for further information.

As with all infections, even outside of pregnancy, it is important to see a healthcare provider as a first step to diagnosis and treatment.


Health Protection  Surveillance Centre (HPSC)  

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is an agency dedicated to the surveillance of communicable diseases.

Their functions cover six main areas of responsibility and are listed here.

The HPSC publishes a monthly report on infectious diseases in Ireland, called EPI-Insight, which can be viewed freely online.