Gastrointestinal Diseases during Pregnancy and Lactation

Pregnant women are more vulnerable to infections, which often causes complications in their pregnancies. Febrile illness along with acute intestinal infections may in some cases cause miscarriage or premature labor. Certain infections have been reported to have caused miscarriage; however, there is no concrete evidence of common gastrointestinal disorders to cause miscarriage or premature labor. If the infection progresses to a critical stage, the fetus is at high risk from both the infection and also the subsequent treatment and antibiotics. Listeriosis is one such infection that can directly harm the fetus, as the organism can directly cross the placenta due to its intracellular lifecycle and is fatal to the neonate. There are such infections that can cause severe illness to the mothers, viz., E. coli, Shigellosis, Clostridium difficile, Cholera, Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia lamblia, and Entamoeba spp. In general, pregnant women are susceptible to constipation, diarrhea, fecal incontinence, and hemorrhoids due to various structural, hormonal and lifestyle changes during pregnancy.

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