ToRCH infections include Toxoplasmosis (toxoplasmosis), Rubella (rubella), Cytomegalovirus (cytomegalovirus infection), and Herpes simplex virus (an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus). All these infections have one thing in common: being relatively harmless in traditional times, they become extremely dangerous for pregnant women, or rather for the unborn baby. That is why it is better to take tests for the presence of antibodies to TORCH infections only when planning a pregnancy.
If, during the examination, antibodies to these infections are found in the blood, a woman can safely become pregnant. If antibodies to TORCH-complex infections are not detected before pregnancy, the expectant mother will need to take additional measures to protect herself and her unborn baby.
If tests for TORCH infection were not taken before pregnancy, this will need to be done as early as possible during pregnancy. The peculiarity of most infections of the TORCH complex is that they are asymptomatic, and until there are serious complications in the fetus, a pregnant woman may not even be aware of their existence. Therefore, tests for TORCH infections must be passed, regardless of how you feel.
Now more about the TORCH group infections themselves.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease that can be contracted from cats, through dirty hands, raw or undercooked (undercooked) meat. For a person with a healthy immune system, toxoplasmosis is not dangerous, and the only situation when it becomes dangerous is the primary infection with toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. If a woman has already been ill with toxoplasmosis before pregnancy (at least six months before her), toxoplasmosis does not threaten her unborn child. If, however, during pregnancy, infection with toxoplasmosis nevertheless occurred, then there is a risk of severe consequences for the fetus.
It is better to take tests for the presence of antibodies to toxoplasmosis not during pregnancy, but before it. If there are antibodies in the blood of the expectant mother, there is nothing to be afraid of. If the test shows a fresh infection, you need to wait six months before becoming pregnant. If antibodies are not detected, then during pregnancy it will be necessary to follow the rules that reduce the risk of infection with toxoplasmosis to almost zero:
- avoid contact with cats, especially cat litter;
- thoroughly wash all vegetables, fruits and herbs;
- to carry out garden work only with gloves;
- avoid contact with raw meat, thoroughly boil and fry meat dishes.
But even under these conditions, the test for toxoplasmosis must be taken several times during pregnancy. Moreover, it is desirable in the same laboratory, since, unfortunately, the results of diagnostic studies conducted in different clinics often differ.
The next infection of the TORCH group isrubella . This “childhood” disease is transmitted most often by airborne droplets and, as a rule, does not lead to severe consequences. After suffering rubella, a person develops stable immunity, so they do not get rubella twice. But for a pregnant woman, rubella is a serious disease that is deadly to the fetus. And since rubella prevention does not exist, the best option is to get vaccinated, which will need to be done before pregnancy, preferably three to four months.
If modern mothers have at least some idea about toxoplasmosis and rubella, then they often do not know what “cytomegalovirus” and “herpes simplex virus” are.
simple virusherpes (HSV) exists in 2 types. Type I manifests itself as a well-known “cold” on the lips. Type II (the so-called “urogenital herpes”) – in the bulk of cases affects the genitals. Herpes is transmitted by airborne droplets and sexually, also from a pregnant mother to the fetus. If a woman has contracted herpes before pregnancy, the antibodies pass to the fetus along with the virus, and most often the infection does not pose a danger to the fetus. Primary infection or recurrences during pregnancy can lead to intrauterine infection, are accompanied by severe complications, and infection during childbirth can cause fetal disease.
Both future parents will need to be examined for herpes at the stage of pregnancy planning. If the herpes virus is detected, the doctor will prescribe treatment, after which the infection will not bother either the expectant mother or the future baby.
Cytomegalovirus infection is a viral infection caused by cytomegalovirus (CMV). It can be transmitted sexually, through the blood, during breastfeeding. With healthy immunity, CMV is practically not dangerous and is asymptomatic. If immunity is reduced, then cytomegalovirus is activated and can affect almost all systems and organs of an infected person. An active cytomegalovirus can threaten a pregnant woman and fetus with the most unpleasant consequences.
As in other cases, it is better to take a test for antibodies to cytomegalovirus before pregnancy. If antibodies are not detected, the woman will be advised to conduct a monthly blood test, which will not miss the primary infection, the most dangerous for the fetus. If antibodies to CMV are detected and it turns out that a pregnant woman is a passive carrier of cytomegalovirus, then she will have to make additional efforts to maintain normal immunity. CMV, as well as HSV of a baby, can infect not only the mother, but also the father, therefore, not only the woman planning a pregnancy, but also the future father of her baby, must be examined.