Dengue Fever During Pregnancy: Impact On Fetal And Maternal Health

Dengue Fever During Pregnancy: Impact On Fetal And Maternal Health
Pregnant women should take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Dengue fever during pregnancy presents unique challenges and risks, potentially affecting both maternal and fetal outcomes.

Written by saumya pandey |Updated : September 22, 2023 2:34 PM IST

Dengue cases have created havoc in the country as the numbers have hit the highest level. With the increasing cases, there has been a slight fear in everyone's mind due to the spike in infection and the mortality rate. Hence, it is imperative to find out who is the most affected. Besides the elderly, the mosquito-borne viral infection poses unique risks to pregnant women and their unborn babies. It can drastically impact fetal and maternal health. The article below will discuss how dengue during pregnancy can increase challenges and potential complications. While the repercussions might not be equal for every woman, as some might experience mild dengue symptoms, they can also develop dengue with life-threatening complications that might impact the fetus. It can lead to congenital dengue, preterm birth, low birth weight, and fetal loss. However, early diagnosis and proper medical treatment can decrease the risk.

Let's discuss the maternal and fetal outcomes!

Maternal Outcomes

Severity May Vary

The severity of the disease may vary from person to person. Still, in most cases, if proper medical treatment is not done, pregnant women can develop severe dengue, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Severe cases can lead to organ damage and life-threatening complications.

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Severe Bleeding

Severe dengue can cause hemorrhage or bleeding complications, including gastrointestinal bleeding and nosebleeds. This can impact the mother's health and also increase the complexity.

Organ Dysfunction Or Failure

Such a situation is rare, but organ failure is a severe outcome of dengue during pregnancy. Liver and kidney dysfunction can occur, requiring intensive medical management.

Can Lead To Extreme Dehydration

During pregnancy, high fever and vomiting can lead to extreme dehydration. Fluid management is essential to avoid any complications during pregnancy. Take plenty of fluids like vegetable and fruit juices; coconut water can also reduce dehydration.

Fetal Loss

In severe cases, dengue fever can lead to fetal loss or stillbirth. If the dengue fever remains untreated on time, it can lead to some devastating outcomes that highlight the seriousness of the disease in pregnancy.

Fetal Outcomes

Congenital Dengue

This happens when there is insufficient time to transfer maternal protective antibodies to the fetus. Although this transmission from mother to fetus is rare, it is still possible. It can affect a baby's health. There are also chances of infants developing dengue just after birth as maternal antibodies wane.

Premature Birth

It is common for the mother to have dengue fever as it can increase the chances of premature birth. Premature infants may face respiratory and developmental challenges.

Low Birth Weight

Mothers who have dengue can give birth to babies with low weight. They're not so healthy because of the health conditions of their mother. This can have severe health consequences, and babies can suffer later in life.


There are some severe maternal and fetal consequences of dengue fever during pregnancy. However, the proper medication and timely treatment can mitigate the chances of decisive results. Furthermore, pregnant women should take extra care to protect themselves from the mosquito bite. Early measures will not worsen the condition, so any signs of dengue should be addressed and treated as early as possible.