Fever during Pregnancy

Fever during pregnancy – An overview

The body can be extremely vulnerable during pregnancy as your hormones go through an imbalance and your immune system is weak. One of the most common conditions that women face during pregnancy is a fever. Fevers are spikes in the body temperature that can lead to severe weakness, chills, and with the inclusion of a runny nose or cold could be a sign of flu.

Fevers can be caused due to numerous reasons like:

  • A viral infection
  • A bacterial infection
  • Weakened Immune system
  • Foreign entities in the body
  • Severe pain
  • Change in body composition

A fever can further suppress an already overworked immune system. There is no need to panic, however, as a fever could be potentially unrelated to your pregnancy and most women running a fever run no risk to the pregnancy itself.

Can Fever Be a Sign of Pregnancy?

On a happier account, a fever could be a sign of is pregnancy! However, a fever alone isn’t a sign of pregnancy. In case other symptoms accompanying the fever also indicate pregnancy, then the temperature is most likely a sign of it as well. Some of the other symptoms include:

  • Morning sickness
  • Rapid change in appetite
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Cramping

What Temperature is Considered as a Fever

When the body temperature is compromised and is too high, it can be indicative of a fever. An average adult has a body temperature between 95 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 to 38.5 degrees centigrade. Any temperature spike that exceeds this range falls into the ‘fever’ category.

Causes of Fever during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, a number of other conditions could cause a fever. Some of these are:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Gastrointestinal viruses (Stomach flu)
  • Influenza also is known as the flu
  • Upper respiratory infections are more commonly known as a cold
  • Food poisoning

These conditions are common and can usually be treated by medication and rest. There are a few more serious conditions that a fever could indicate which are less common but could potentially be dangerous, some of these are:

1. Septic Abortion

Septic abortion is a condition when the uterus becomes completely infected due to an abortion or medical and surgically treated miscarriages. Other potential signs of septic abortions include – low blood pressure, breathing difficulty, difficulty excreting any stool or urine, low or high body temperature.

2. Listeria

This is a condition that is commonly caused due to the consumption of contaminated or expired foods. Women who are pregnant have extremely low immune systems caused by extreme hormonal imbalances which increases the risk of them getting affected by this condition. If left untreated, this condition could potentially lead to miscarriages, infections to the foetus or newborn, stillbirth and premature delivery. A fever accompanied by nausea, diarrhoea, confusion, headaches, loss of balance, a stiff neck, and convulsions are signs of listeria.

3. Chorioamnionitis

The chorion and amnion are membranes that surround the uterus, this along with the amniotic fluid are important to ensure the health and survival of the foetus, Chorioamnionitis is a type of bacterial infection that affects these regions. If left untreated this condition could cause major complications to the mother such as – pelvic infections, abdominal infections, blood clots, and endometritis. Furthermore, the baby could also face complications like – respiratory infections, meningitis, and sepsis. A major concern for mothers who are afflicted by this infection is a condition called amniocentesis. If the fever is accompanied by other relevant symptoms like – unusually large amounts of sweat, a rapid heartbeat, abnormal discharge from the vagina, and a tender uterus it could be a sign of chorioamnionitis.

Symptoms of a Pregnancy Fever

Fevers caused by pregnancy could have numerous symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the joints
  • Blurry vision
  • Breathlessness
  • A bitter taste in the tongue
  • Sweating
  • Chills

Symptoms of a pregnancy fever: Chills

It is recommended that you get a complete diagnosis and keep in touch with your OB/GYN when you have a fever during the pregnancy.

Is It Food Poisoning?

A potential cause of a fever could be food poisoning, under most circumstances, food poisoning is accompanied by a  fever along with few other symptoms like:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach discomfort

Effects of Fever on Pregnancy

A fever during pregnancy can be mostly harmless. It is, however, recommended that you keep an eye on how high your temperature is. A high fever during pregnancy that is left unmonitored and untreated appropriately, could lead to devastating side-effects like a miscarriage or could be potentially fatal to you and your child. If the fever doesn’t go away in a day or two it could be a sign of some form of an infection.

Can Pregnancy Fever Affect Your Baby?

In most cases a fever with no other signs or symptoms is harmless to your baby, this, however, could change if the fever is extremely high. A high fever could lead to potential growth or developmental defects, miscarriages, a potential weakened immune system for the child, brain damage, susceptibility to infections.


Most of the common treatments for a fever can be treated with rest, if there is an infection, however, doctors may prescribe a course of antibiotics. Most of the conditions mentioned above can be treated with a combination of medication and rest, here are a few ways the doctors may treat the more serious causes of a fever during pregnancy:

1. Treatment of Fever in Case of Septic Abortion

Your doctor will treat this condition by emptying the uterus by flushing the contents out of the system. This is because the infection could linger if left alone. This with a combination of medication and rest is recommended.

2. Treatment of Fever in Case of Listeria

Doctors recommend rest and antibiotics to treat this condition. They will also ask you to avoid certain foods like luncheon meat unless reheated or cooked at a required temperature, raw seafood like sushi, uncooked or half cooked seafood like smoked salmon or any smoked seafood, soft cheeses, etc.

3. Treatment of Fever in Case of Chorioamnionitis

If a mother is suspected of having this condition, doctors will prescribe strong medication for both mother and child and may go ahead with an early delivery of the child. Both mother and child will be kept for observation for a period of time and once discharged, doctors will recommend rest for a week or two.


Under most conditions, doctors may recommend treating your fever with over the counter medication with low doses. Paracetamol tablets are the most common form of medication prescribed for fevers and can be bought at nearly any pharmacy. Fever medicine in pregnancy can lead to side-effects for both you and your baby. It is always best to consult your doctor before taking any form of medication.

Home Remedies

Here are some natural remedies to help alleviate your fever:

1. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids. Non-carbonated and electrolyte-infused drinks are the best. They not only keep you hydrated but also bring your temperature down and provide strength.

2. Herbal Tea

Different teas can help boost immunity. Also, drinking a cup of warm tea can help soothe the throat and chest, which subsequently helps ease congestion if you have any.

3. Rest It Out

Plenty of rest will make all the difference. Give your body the time to recoup and function. The inactivity will help to gain strength and avoiding any further aggravation.

4. Salt Water Gargle

When your fever is an addition to flu symptoms, this remedy can be very beneficial.  Salt is an extremely potent anti-inflammatory ingredient that also has numerous properties that combat fevers and bacterial or viral infections. Using warm water with a teaspoon of salt mixed in it to gargle can soothe the throat as well as help decrease the congestion and mucus in the region.

5. Steam

One of the most effective ways to ease a fever is by boiling water and adding some menthol salve in it, covering your head with a towel and allowing the treated steam to make its way into your system via the nasal cavity and pores. This opens your pores helping sweat out the fever. This also eases respiratory congestion and throat congestion.

Home remedies: Taking steam

Tips to Deal with Pregnancy Fever

Here are a few tips to help you fight a fever when pregnant:

  • Stay in an open and cool area
  • Get adequate rest
  • Stay indoors
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing
  • Sit under a ceiling fan
  • Avoid the A/C
  • If you have the chills use a blanket

How to Prevent Fever

Prevention can be the best cure! Sometimes you can’t prevent a fever when you’re pregnant due to the extreme hormonal imbalances and weak immunity but here are a few tips to help decrease the chances of you getting one:

  • Consume the required amount of vitamin C
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap
  • Ensure you get your shots, vaccines help avoid flu like H1N1
  • Avoid unpasteurised milk
  • Avoid allergy specific food

Preventing fever: Taking vitamin C


Here are some frequently asked questions about fever during pregnancy.

1. How Can I Treat Hay Fever During Pregnancy?

It is recommended you consult a physician about treating hay fever during pregnancy. They will most likely prescribe antihistamines and paracetamol tablets to help treat the condition. It is also recommended that you avoid products and foods you may be allergic to.

2. Is Scarlet Fever Harmful During Pregnancy?

It is a myth that scarlet fever will harm your baby during pregnancy. If you have scarlet fever during the delivery of your child, there are chances the baby may have it as well. There is no documented evidence that points to your child being harmed by scarlet fever otherwise.

3. What are the Risk Factors of a Dengue Fever in Pregnancy?

There can be numerous risks that dengue fever can cause, especially if you’re pregnant. This is because dengue fever diminishes your platelet count. It is recommended you consult your doctor to understand the complete risk factors of dengue during pregnancy.

4. Is Glandular Fever Harmful?

Glandular fever is a flu more commonly known as kissing flu. This type of flu in under normal circumstances not going to put your baby at risk. The condition itself can be treated through medication and rest. Consult your doctor for more information.

5. Can I Get a Fever in the First Trimester?

It is extremely common to have a fever during the first trimester as this is the time your body is adapting to the development of a foetus. This could also be due to a weakening immune system. Consult your doctor to better understand the safe parameters of a fever during this time.

It is common to be concerned about the conditions you or your partner may deal with during pregnancy. The unknown is a scary place to be after all, but it is important to stay calm and not panic. Share the symptoms and concerns you may have with your doctor so they can help you diagnose the problems and treat them. In most cases, fevers will come and go without causing any harm to your pregnancy. 

Also Read: Bronchitis in Pregnancy