Cytomegalovirus test

Cytomegalovirus testing can be done either before or during pregnancy. Many people are carriers of the virus without even knowing it, because the disease is rather mildly symptomatic. It becomes a threat only in pregnant women. Cytomegalovirus is passed to the fetus via the placenta, during childbirth or during breastfeeding. Cytomegaly in a pregnant woman can cause serious fetal malformations as well as cause a miscarriage. Knowing about carriage can help prevent this.

See the video: "What tests should you do before you decide to have a baby?"

1. What is cytomegaly?

Cytomegaly is a viral disease caused by cytomegalovirus. Currently, there is no vaccine or cure for the infection. However, you can try to avoid contamination and passing the virus to your child. Having cytomegalovirus immunizes you against it only for a short time, and the virus stays in your body forever.

Cytomegaly can hatch for up to several months. Infection with the virus occurs as a result of contact with an infected person, especially with their saliva, blood and other secretions. In adults and healthy people with a properly functioning immune system, the disease is harmless, characterized by flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all. However, if symptoms do occur, cytomegalovirus can cause prolonged fever, weakness, headaches, muscle and throat pain, coughing, and enlarged lymph nodes. However, when the immune system is failing or not fully developed yet, the disease can be very serious. That is why it is so important that a pregnant woman does not infect the fetus.

Cytomegaly in pregnancy can have different effects, but in a quarter of cases it leads to birth defects in the fetus. If a woman becomes infected in the first trimester, it can lead to congenital brain defects, abnormalities in the fundus of the baby's eye, and miscarriage. Infection in the second trimester can cause seizures and developmental disorders in a baby already after birth. Cytomegaly in the third trimester can induce preterm labor. A baby may be born with severe jaundice. Infection of a baby during labor is quite common. However, if the baby is not underweight and is not premature, it is not as dangerous for him anymore. The same happens with an infection while breastfeeding.

2. What does the cytomegalovirus test look like?

The cytomegalovirus test is a blood or urine test, not the usual pregnancy test. In order to be sure of a positive result, you usually need to do more tests, with a 14-day break in between. The blood is tested for the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies. The effectiveness of such a test is estimated at up to 99%. There can be several results:

  • negative IgM and IgG means no infection;
  • positive IgM and negative IgG - recent infection;
  • positive IgM and IgG - cytomegaly is just going through;
  • IgM negative and IgG positive - post-disease state, and the virus remains dormant.

The presence of cytomegaly may be indicated by the appearance of white discharge and worse than usual cytology results. In this case, it is a good idea to do a cytomegalovirus test.

Tags:  Family Pregnancy-Planning Preschooler