Conception during Icky Flu ~ dangerous?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 04-20-2004, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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This morning I met two friends ("Victoria" and "Jan") for coffee and made a startling discovery! Here is the story...

While we were chatting Jan gets all giddy and reveals that her and her hubby just started TTC. She also revealed that at the time of ovulation she had the stomach flu but they went ahead and "cuddled" because they want to have a baby so bad. This will be their first. Well, as soon as she had this happy news spilled, Victoria (who is very, um, lets say, not very sensitive) said, "Are you NUTS?! Jan, conceiving while having a virus like the stomach flu can cause all sorts of problems for the mother AND the baby!! You better hope you didn't get pregnant because your fetus will not be healthy!" I was speechless and Jan was close to tears. Eventually, Victoria had to leave to go to work and so Jan and I had a few seconds alone. She did end up crying and saying that she had NO idea about the danger. I admitted that I know nothing about it either but would try to find some facts out about it.

Okay, so ladies, even though I can't personally imagine mixing the two - sex and the STOMACH FLU - is there REALLY danger?!?!? I sure hope Victoria is being her usual know-it-all self and that there really isn't anything to it!

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#2 of 20 Old 04-20-2004, 03:48 PM
 
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I sure hope not, because this baby was conceived between almost back to back sicknesses. I don't know how we even managed to have sex, let alone actually conceive.
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#3 of 20 Old 04-20-2004, 03:51 PM
 
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That sounds like some old wives tail to me.
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#4 of 20 Old 04-20-2004, 09:58 PM
 
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I have a good friend whose son was conceived at the end of a bout with the flu. He's now a happy, healthy 5 year-old. This same friend also related the story of her own mother's conception of her two brothers after some random colds and sicknesses. Her mom used to joke that she was only fertile after being sick. This friends' brothers are both healthy 30+ year-olds now with children of their own.

I know this is only anecdotal evidence, but I have yet to see any research that demonstrates that a mother having the flu is detrimental to the future health of her growing baby. When you exhibit the symptoms of a flu, it is your body's method of eliminating the virus from your body. If you start to feel better after a few days, it means your immune system is working properly. (I could get into a whole discussion about the biochemistry of the immune system, but that would get tedious... ) Logically, it should have no repercussions on the development of a new and growing baby.

I would love to see "Victoria's" research showing the "problems for mother and the baby."

I vote that "Victoria" is just trying to be "her usual know-it-all self."

warmly,
claudia
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#5 of 20 Old 04-20-2004, 10:27 PM
 
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The only problem I could see would be if the woman in question were running a high fever at or after implantation (which is several days after fertilization)... and I assume with a stomach bug, she wasn't running a fever...

Even if you get the full-blown *influenza* virus when you're pregnant, the danger isn't from an interaction between the virus and the fetus... it's that pg women have a higher risk of dangerous complications (which can threaten the pregnancy, too). This is way different from a virus from which she has apparently fully recovered at the very, very beginning of a possible pregnancy.

I think Claudia hit the nail on the head.
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#6 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 01:43 AM
 
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stomach flu isn't really influenza, as someone else pointed out. And actually, I think the hormones associated with ovulation could cause someone to think they have the stomach flu. Lots of people complain about ovulation causing weird sickness like symptoms, including stomach flu and sinus crappiness...

But really, the only danger would be in getting a fever (over 102 degrees), as another poster pointed out. And even then, it would be more likely that everything would be fine (if it wasn't, there might be an early m/c, naturally.)

So, she should be OK Your other friend was being a know-it-all, as I am also prone to do myself
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#7 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 03:04 AM
 
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one of our favorite kids in the whole world was conceived while his mother was sick as a dog. we were actually kind of *hoping* i would get sick with something while we were ttc, in hopes of duplicating the amazingness.

*j
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#8 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I just emailed Jan with all of your comments. Thank you all so much - she will be soooo relieved! I figured Victoria's info came from some moldy wives tale closet!!

Melissa

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#9 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 02:38 PM
 
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I got pregnant with this baby while I had the flu. I was super sick for about 5 days after ovulation/conception. On the 6th day, I felt better. I also realized I was pregnant that day. (I can always tell very early.)

I was worried, and did some researching. I did not run across a thing in my research that said it was dangerous to be sick while you conceived. You and the embryo do not start sharing a bloodstream for quite some time.
Maybe if your friend had a really high fever after implantation, there could be damage, but I highly doubt it. Cells at that stage have an amazing ability to repair themselves.

Tell "Jan" not to worry, and "Victoria" to think before she scares a friend like that! Women who are TTC can be fragile sometimes, and a lot of sensitivity is in order!
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#10 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 03:45 PM
 
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Oh yeah, I forgot about my own anecdotal story... We nailed the ovulation the month we conceived ds (believe me, I *know* EXACTLY when we conceived him!! ), and about 36 hrs later, I got really horrible food poisoning. I even wound up taking Tylenol, because I started running a fever and wanted to nip it in the bud (and knew I was running a fever because of the good ol' BB thermometer). Like I said, anecdotal, but ds is perfect.
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#11 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 05:15 PM
 
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It depends.

A friend of mine had to terminate when her son was diagnosed with Dandy-walker syndrome. He was having seizures so badly that it was tearing the placenta and she was at risk of fatal hemoraging. He also had so much water on his brain, that he would not have survived to term.

After much testing, it was determined that contact with the flu in early pregnancy (5-6 weeks) was most likely the culprit.

I don't mean to scare people, but yes, the flu can cause bad things in early pregnancy.
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#12 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 05:41 PM
 
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Foo, I'm really sorry to hear about your friend. That sounds pretty rough. However... there's a *huge* difference between being sick/having a fever at the time of *conception* vs. ~5-6 wks out.
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#13 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 06:22 PM
 
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Yes, I know, but it could still be a factor in early (meaning the 2 week LMP point) pregnancy too.
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#14 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 08:40 PM
 
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flu is one thing, but "stomach flu" isn't influenza! Her friend had the "stomach flu," not a real flu.

(I'm on a campaign to stop people from using the term wrongly, can you tell )

BTW, yes, we TTCers are very fragile. Even if something could have been awfully wrong, it would have been best to couch it in very gentle terms...
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#15 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 10:04 PM
 
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My apologies.

my friend did not have influenza.

I did not intend to scare, but inform. I have also lost two and went through years of infertility before being honored with being a mother. I do NOT intend to scare people, but there are real risks out there.

I do understand how difficult TTC can be and how sometimes even the simplest things can upset you. Again my apologies.

I'll leave this thread if it makes people more comfortable.
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#16 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 10:22 PM
 
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I had the flu with a fever about three weeks post conception (a week after I found out I was pregnant). I had a fever, but was able to keep it under the magic 102 point with tylenol.

My midwife said that the usual complication of a high fever very early in pregnancy is miscarriage. From my online research it also looks like spina bifida or other neural tube defects may be more common (there is a one week window for this to be a problem and I was in that exact time), but only if the fever cannot be controlled.

Tell Jan to think about this logically. If they did the deed while sick, she may not have conceived for a day or two. Therefore there was nothing yet there to be harmed by her illness, assuming she was over this virus within a few days. Remember, until there is a functioning placenta the embryo is pretty well protected against most maternal teratogens (alcohol, drugs, etc) as well.
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#17 of 20 Old 04-21-2004, 10:31 PM
 
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Foo, it wasn't you I was referring to as being insensitive, it was the OPer's friend, who was rude to her other friend.

Did your friend have stomach flu? That's interesting...[edited to add: by which I mean, it's interesting that stomach flu would cause this syndrome...]
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#18 of 20 Old 04-22-2004, 10:21 AM
 
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Ah, I understand, Sorry, pregnancy hormones were flaring last night!

It's unclear what strain of flu she had. She was caring for her DP and his daughter at the time, so she also didn't rest well. I think it may have been a stomach flu, but not positive.

This was two winters ago, when several rotoviruses were going around too...

I do hope that all is well with the original poster's friend.
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#19 of 20 Old 04-22-2004, 12:52 PM
 
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No worries, I'm having a PMS flare myself which pretty much explains my inability to communicate...
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#20 of 20 Old 04-22-2004, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everybody!

Jan and I talked last night after I had emailed her the responses (in fact, she checked out MDC and this thread herself once I told her about it). Her heart was put to rest immediately thanks to all of you! And, yes, she is very "tender" right now. She said she is going to leave a little breathing room between her and Victoria for a while. I agreed that right now, during this fragile time, is NOT the time to be constanly verbally fencing with a trouble maker.

Thanks Again!
Melissa

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