The COVID-19 pandemic is a period of increased risks of maternal and child morbidity and mortality, the occurrence of mental disorders, interruptions in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services.
The company ‘Gedeon Richter’summarized all the studies carried out since the beginning of the pandemic on the impact of coronavirus infection on the reproductive health of women and highlighted the main risks and presented brief conclusions.
Pregnant women with COVID-19, complications are more common
Pregnant women with COVID-19, stay in the hospital longer, they are more likely to have complications such as renal failure, sepsis, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Pregnant women are also more likely to need to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
In a comparative study of 10 pregnant women and 40 ordinary women with COVID-19, 40 percent of pregnant women required mechanical ventilation, while among the usual -13 percent.
A study in the United States among 46 pregnant women with COVID-19 showed that 15 percent of women had a severe disease due to obesity or chronic diseases.
The outcome of pregnancy in women with COVID-19 depends on the trimester, for example, among seven women who became infected in the first trimester, four had a miscarriage; four out of five women who became infected after 24 weeks of pregnancy had their babies born prematurely; three women at 26, 28, and 32 weeks of pregnancy underwent a cesarean section due to a worsening of their condition against the background of coronavirus infection.
The transmission of COVID-19 from mother to unborn child has not been proven to date. The Lancet and the Journal of Clinical Virology published materials that describe in more detail the results of studies on the impact of COVID-19 on the health of an expectant mother and child:
– Tests for COVID-19 in 179 babies born to a mother with coronavirus infection were negative.
– No virus was detected in umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, breast milk, and nasopharyngeal swabs of babies.
– In Wuhan, nine women who tested positive for COVID-19 gave birth to healthy babies over 36 weeks.
– There are known cases of infection of infants directly from contact with an infected mother or staff. So, six out of 179 newborns were diagnosed with COVID-19, three had a severe form of pneumonia that arose against the background of coronavirus infection.
The attention of obstetricians, neonatologists, and infectious disease specialists focused on improving and optimizing methods for preventing the horizontal spread of COVID-19 in all areas of medical care, including maternity wards and intensive care units.
COVID-19 can lead to an increased risk of maternal and child morbidity and mortality. These disappointing findings are presented in an article in The Lancet on the impact of coronavirus infection on sexual and reproductive health.
The main concerns of specialists are related to the prioritization of responses to the pandemic, which is being taken around the world today. It is this fact, in their opinion, that can lead to serious consequences:
– Interruptions in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services, which in turn can lead to an increased risk of maternal and child morbidity and mortality.
– Globally, there may be a shortage of contraception and providers of sexual and reproductive health services, as well as medical facilities.
– Reduced access to services in the field of family planning, abortion, antenatal care, detection and treatment of HIV infection, gender-based violence, and mental health care will lead to an increase in the number of cases and consequences of unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted infections, complications of pregnancy, miscarriages, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, suicide, partner violence, and maternal and infant mortality.
The COVID-19 pandemic doubles the risk of mental disorders. During pregnancy, women are most vulnerable to the influence of external factors and need more psychological support.
Taking into account the general anxiety and tension from everything happening in the world today, an anonymous survey was conducted with the participation of 260 respondents to assess depression and anxiety in pregnant women during the pandemic.
The main findings of the survey, published on the website on the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine once again highlights the importance of providing additional psychosocial assistance to pregnant women during this difficult time:
– The unpredictability of the pandemic, the consequences of restrictions, and the subsequent creation of fear indicate that pregnant women may be affected by any aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
– More than 35 percent of pregnant women showed an increased level of anxiety compared to the control group undergoing the study before the start of the pandemic.
– Mental disorders during a pandemic occur twice as often as under normal circumstances.
– The results obtained did not reveal a positive effect on the psychological well-being of pregnant women, which indicates the possibility of long-term mental complications as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
– During a crisis, pregnant women need psychosocial support, otherwise, complications may arise during pregnancy that can have a negative impact on both the mother and the unborn child.
According to the Ministry of Health, infection with COVID-19 increases the risks for a woman during childbirth and can lead to a number of complications: premature birth (39 percent), fetal growth retardation (10 percent), and miscarriage (2 percent).
In pregnant women with coronavirus infection and pneumonia, an increase in the frequency of cesarean section was observed due to the development of fetal distress syndrome.