Body Temperatures During Pregnancy

Body Temperatures During Pregnancy


Warm Body Temperature During Pregnancy

A temperature rise at the early stages of pregnancy is common. Dramatic changes in a woman’s body, especially the hormonal ones (progesterone release), slow the heat production and lead to the rise in temperature. If your body temperature stays at 37 degrees during the first weeks after conceiving and there are no other negative symptoms, it is absolutely normal. Let’s look into the action plan, causes and treatment of the temperature rise.

Subfebrile Temperature: Treatment

Subfebrile temperature is a low fever (up to 38 °C degrees). It seems to be an easy condition, but it’s actually very hard for the body to fight it. You feel tired and fatigued, but that’s not the worst part. If it persists, this type of temperature can be the first symptom of a slowly developing but serious inflammatory process. For example, a body temperature that equals 37.5 °C can be a signal of an abdominal pregnancy, which is a very dangerous condition. We will talk about possible causes later in this article.

What can you do? First of all, see your gynecologist. If your gynecologist finds no pathologies, they will refer you to the general practitioner to take a blood and urine tests. If an inflammatory process will be found, then the doctor will prescribe you a treatment after confirming the diagnosis.

Causes and Effects

Let’s look into the causes. There is a number of asymptomatic diseases, such as pyelonephritis, tuberculosis, herpes, cytomegalovirus and other conditions that are dangerous for the fetus. Women who planned their pregnancy rarely suffer from a low fever caused by virus or infection, because they had a full health check (and treatment if necessary) before conceiving the baby.

Any infection is a danger for the fetus. The consequences depend mostly on the gestational age. A serious condition during the first 1-3 weeks after conceiving can either trigger a miscarriage or stop the fetus development. It’s an “all-or-nothing” condition, which means if the infection attacks the fetus during the main organ development (i.e. in the first trimester) it will unavoidably lead to a congenital condition in the future baby. In the worst case scenario a doctor can recommend the abortion. If the doctor says it is possible to keep the baby then this pregnancy will be under a very close supervision with the woman undergoing many screenings confirming the baby’s health.

An infection during the 12th-14th weeks of the pregnancy is less dangerous because the placenta is fully formed. The fetus is more likely to die if the infection occurs in the first trimester, but in the second trimmest the placenta guards the fetus. Still, the placenta can’t protect the fetus from all the negative factors, it can just defuse some of them.

Starting at the 30th week, a low temperature fever (38 °C and below) can become dangerous again. Usually it can’t affect the baby’s development at this stage of pregnancy, but it can trigger an abruption of placenta (a very dangerous condition for the woman) or lead to premature birth. Also, the placenta can’t protect the baby as well as in early pregnancy as it has a tendency to “age” or “wear out” with each week, so its protective functions become limited in late pregnancy.

How to Lower the Temperature

Whatever is the cause of the temperature rise it needs to be tackled, otherwise, as we mentioned above, it can lead to the abruption of placenta. All methods can be divided into drug and drug-free approaches. Remember, if the pregnancy body temperature rests to 37-37.5 °C, then there is no need to do anything about it. This is your body’s way of fighting a sickness, so there is no need to interfere.

If your thermometer shows 38-38.5 °C degrees, then you need to take action. Make sure your room is well ventilated. Wear light non-wool clothes. Drink warm beverages like tea or fruit infusions. Don’t rub down vinegar or vodka to fight the temperature rise, as it is very dangerous. You can take off your clothes and sponge yourself down with lukewarm water if you feel comfortable with that. Don’t put a cloth drenched in cold water on your forehead, as it can provoke more shivers, which can lead to another temperature rise.

A high temperature rise during pregnancy (38 °C and above) can be treated with medication. The safest and most effective is paracetamol. Make sure you take the right dosage.

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