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Cytomegalovirus and Pregnancy


Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

is a virus that affects both adults and children. Most healthy people do not have symptoms and recover without knowing they are infected. It is important to know that if you are infected during pregnancy, CMV can infect and harm your unborn baby. CMV may lead to hearing or vision problems after your baby is born. CMV infection during pregnancy may also cause your baby to have development and learning problems.

CMV spreads

through contact with body fluids, such as saliva, urine, tears, or semen of an infected person. Pregnant women are most often exposed to the virus from young children, especially if the children are in daycare. Women may also come in contact with CMV through sexual contact. CMV can be spread for months to years after someone is infected. Over time, it becomes inactive and cannot be spread. In some cases, hormone changes during pregnancy or breastfeeding may cause the virus to become active again. CMV may also become active again when a person's immune system becomes weak, such as with an HIV infection or an organ or bone marrow transplant.

Prevent a CMV infection during pregnancy:

  • Wash your hands often. Wash your hands after you feed a child, wipe his face, handle toys, or change a diaper.
  • Clean items that may be infected. Use chlorine-based disinfectants to clean toys, surfaces, toilets, and shared items in your home.
  • Avoid contact with body fluids. Do not share food, drinks, or utensils with a child. Wash silverware, and dishes with soap and water. Avoid contact with saliva or nasal drainage when you kiss or care for a child.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You think you came in contact with someone infected with CMV.
  • You have a fever, sore throat, swollen glands, or a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


for a CMV infection during pregnancy includes medicine to support your immune system or treat the viral infection. Medicine may also help prevent your unborn baby from getting CMV.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Cytomegalovirus and Pregnancy (Ambulatory Care)

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