Tests before pregnancy:Chicken poxWhat can be done if I have never had chicken pox in the past?
Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is what causes the illness known as chicken pox. Luckily, most pregnat women have already been exposed to the virus and therefore are immune. However, some may not have previously had the infection. Because the virus can cause birth defects or illness in the baby (depending on when during the pregnancy an infection occurs), testing is available pre-conception or in early pregnancy to determine if the woman has antibodies to VZV. If you are not sure if you have ever been infected with chicken pox, your doctor can give you a blood test to determine if you have the chicken pox antibodies. If the test shows that you have antibodies than you are immune to chicken pox.
There is nothing you need to do to protect your baby during pregnancy if you have had chicken pox before. Your body should have antibodies that protect you from contracting chicken pox and therefore your baby will be protected. If you have not had chicken pox before, you my receive the shot of zoster immune globulin (ZIG) if you are pregnant and come in contact with someone who has chicken pox. ZIG must be given with 4 days of first exposure. This is only given if you do not already have the antibodies against chicken pox. You can get a chicken pox vaccine if you do not have the chicken pox antibodies and you are not pregnant. You must wait 3 months before trying to conceive. Comments: Tests before pregnancy - Chicken-pox
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