Rubella Pregnancy | Complications And Guidelines

Rubella Pregnancy

Rubella Pregnancy

During pregnancy, if a to-be mother is infected by rubella virus is known as Rubella Pregnancy. It can cause serious problems to the unborn baby.

Rubella is an infection (also known as German measles), it causes mild flu-like symptoms and also rashes on the skin.

About half of people who are infected have these symptoms of flu. Many or rest of the people do have any symptoms, they are ignorant about their infection.

In every pregnancy, giving birth to a baby with defect has the chances of around 3-5% which is called background risk, but rubella, measles, mumps or MMR vaccine increase the risk of birth defects above the background risk.

Rubella pregnancy is known as German measles pregnancy. A virus that causes rashes with fever, headaches, running nose, achy joints, and red eyes is rubella.

Rubella Infection In Pregnancy Management

Chances of miscarriage get increased when a woman is infected by rubella. Rubella infection in pregnancy can be harmful to unborn baby.

In scientific term, when there is rubella infection in pregnancy, the baby comes at a risk to develop congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).

Effects or symptoms of CRS are a bit dangerous and risky. A most common symptom of CRS is hearing loss.

Any pregnant woman having positive rubella is referred to a fetal medicine specialist for counseling.

Rubella infection in pregnancy management considers the harmful effects of the virus on the baby.

As rubella infection is self-limiting, it does not have any treatment. Best way to protect baby from rubella infection in pregnancy is to make sure that you are immune to rubella.

If you are immune already then you cannot get infected with rubella.

Rubella Pregnancy Complications

Rubella pregnancy complications include experiencing arthritis (common in women). In some rare cases, complications can get up to brain infections and bleeding problems.

The most serious complication from rubella is that it can harm the unborn baby during pregnancy. It is a contagious disease.

If the woman who is unvaccinated becomes pregnant then it may lead to complications such as miscarriage or death of a baby just after birth.

Some serious birth defects such as heart problems, loss of hearing and eyesight or intellectual disability can be caused to the baby.

Rubella Pregnancy Test Positive

A rubella test (blood test) detects the antibodies that are made by the immune system, and help to kill the rubella virus.

Rubella does not cause long-term problems but rubella infected woman can transmit her disease to the baby and then some serious health issues can be caused to the unborn child such as CRS.

Rubella pregnancy test positive shows that the woman is infected with rubella. Most common method to test rubella is enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, EIA).

The test is done to check whether the woman who is pregnant or wants to become pregnant is at risk for rubella or not.

Rubella In Pregnancy Guidelines

Rubella in pregnancy as per CDC guidelines can be followed as:-

Before Pregnancy-

Get vaccinated with MMR vaccine and then avoid getting pregnant for a month after receiving the vaccine.

During Pregnancy-

To make sure that a woman is immune to rubella already or not, the prenatal test should be done. During pregnancy, vaccination is not suggested instead there are some guidelines which need to be followed to prevent getting infected with rubella.

  • Stay away from the one who is infected with rubella.
  • Even if you have been in contact with someone infected then contact your doctor right away.

After Pregnancy-

Get the MMR vaccine after you give birth to a child. Baby will also get vaccinated at about 12 months of age. So it also prevents the passing of rubella virus from a mother to baby during future pregnancy.

Rubella Pregnancy Vaccine

To protect ourselves and children from rubella, one needs to get vaccinated.

There are some vaccines which are suggested to a woman during each pregnancy to get such as a whooping cough and flu vaccine. There are some vaccines such as

  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine should be given a month before pregnancy.
  • Tdap vaccine should be given during pregnancy.
  • The flu shot is suggested to be given after giving birth.


The best protection against rubella is MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. It needs to be given before pregnancy.

If you did not get vaccinated against rubella in your childhood, so you can get vaccinated right away also, but the condition is that you have to avoid getting pregnant for a month after the vaccination.

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