If I had CMV in a previous pregnancy will I get it again in my next pregnancy?

This is a question we frequently receive through AskUs@marchofdimes.org

2014d037_1623Cytomegalovirus (also called CMV) is a kind of herpesvirus. You can get CMV by coming in contact with bodily fluids (like saliva, semen or urine) from a person who carries the virus. Women usually get infected by having sex with someone who has CMV, but many become infected by having contact with young children who have CMV. As many as 70 percent of children between 1 and 3 years of age who go to daycare may have CMV.

CMV is the most common virus passed from mothers to babies during pregnancy; you have a 1 in 3 chance of passing it to your baby (33 percent). Most babies born with CMV don’t have health problems caused by the virus. However, for some babies, CMV can cause conditions like microcephaly.

Many women who have had CMV in a pregnancy, express concern that they might become infected with CMV again, in another pregnancy. If you’ve already had it, you don’t need to worry about getting CMV again. Once you’ve had CMV, it stays in your body for life. During pregnancy your body produces antibodies against the virus which protect your baby from a more serious illness. In rare cases, you can still pass it to your baby, but it usually doesn’t cause any harm.

If you have concerns, speak with your health care provider.

Still have questions? Text or email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org

 

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2 Responses to “If I had CMV in a previous pregnancy will I get it again in my next pregnancy?”

  1. Irawan Says:

    Hi. I’m irawan from indonesia.My second baby was infected by cmv. And he dies in 8th month old. Right now we have plan to have a baby. But we scared if cmv will affect again. Is it safe to plan for having baby?

  2. Sara Says:

    Hi Irawan, we are so sorry for your loss. We have information on our website that you may find helpful: http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/from-hurt-to-healing.aspx.

    Once you’ve had CMV, it stays in your body for life. During pregnancy your body produces antibodies against the virus which protect your baby from a more serious illness. In rare cases, a pregnant woman can still pass CMV to her baby, but it usually doesn’t cause any harm. However, please talk to your health care provider. He or she can better advise you.

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