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How COVID-19 affects pregnancy

While everyone is concerned about COVID-19 infection, pregnant women are more concerned about trying to do everything to protect themselves and their babies. Unfortunately, the data so far shows that pregnant people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at higher risk for severe disease and death, as well as complications in their pregnancies.

It was frightening during the early days of the pandemic as there were no answers for even many of the basic questions. Questions include whether pregnancy increases the risk of getting sicker or dying from the virus and if it was possible to transmit the virus to a fetus in utero or to an infant through breastfeeding. After years into the pandemic, we do have many but not all answers about it. It looks like the physical and immunological changes that take place during pregnancy do appear to make pregnant women more susceptible to severe disease, pregnancy complications such as preterm birth or miscarriages, and death. There is also evidence piling up for possible long-term effects due to SARS-CoV-2 exposure in utero. Interestingly, the sex of the fetus also seems to be associated with the altered immune response to COVID-19 during pregnancy.

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