I am 18 weeks pregnant and I developed chicken pox during the 15th week. It started drying after 3 days. The doctor asked me to do an ultrasound scan to know if everything was normal or not. Now the doctor wants me to do an amniocentesis test to ensure completely that the chicken pox virus has not affected my child.
What is the amniocentesis test and will it be able to detect if my child has been infected with the virus or not? I am hoping that this test will not harm the baby in any way.
Amniocentesis is a test where using ultrasound guidance a needle is inserted in the amniotic sac within the uterus to collect around 10 ml of the amniotic fluid. This fluid is investigated to rule out any serious abnormalities in the baby.
This test is usually done between the 15th to the 18th week of pregnancy. Though amniocentesis is quite an advanced test, it cannot detect all kinds of abnormalities, including chickenpox infection. But you have to first understand how contracting chicken pox during pregnancy affects you and your baby.
In most cases, a pregnant lady who gets chicken pox during pregnancy will recover from it, without any harm to the baby, as long as she follows her doctor’s advice.
Your doctor might prescribe some medications for fever and pain as well as a topical ointment for the itchiness. It is best not to self medicate and to stick to medicines prescribed by the doctor. In extremely rare cases, some women might suffer from pneumonia.
While taking medications for chicken pox, inform the doctor if you have any breathing problems, rashes or bleeding. Luckily for you, now that you are 18 weeks pregnant and your chickenpox was during your 15th week of pregnancy, it is unlikely that the chicken pox would have affected the baby.
In the next few weeks, your doctor will ask you to undergo a comprehensive ultrasound to check how well your baby’s vital organs are developing. In rare cases when the baby has been affected by the virus, they can have some abnormalities like scars, or neurological problems. Sometimes these can be detected through the comprehensive scan.