My daughter and husband had a viral illness this week that gave them temperatures between 103 and 104 degrees. Acetaminophen did not lower the fever in my husband, only 800 mg of ibuprofen the doctor gave him lowered it, and then only to 102 degrees. My question is this: if were to get this illness is a fever this high deleterious to fetal development? I am 8 weeks pregnant. Also, since Tylenol does not lower it and ibuprofen is contraindicated during pregnancy, then would speaking to my doctor about antiviral medication should I feel the symptoms coming on be warranted? Thank you very much for you time and consideration.
There have been some reports that have suggested that high maternal body temperatures may be associated with open neural tube defects in the developing baby. However, the elevated temperature would have to occur very early in the pregancy, since the fetal neural tube closes (has completed this phase of development) by 28 days post-conceptual age (6 weeks after the last menstrual period). Since you are now 8 weeks pregnant (I am assuming by LMP), if you have not had a fever by now there should be little concern of this problem.
Incidently, all pregnant women are recommended to be routinely screened for open neural tube defects at 15-20 weeks of gestation using the serum alpha fetoprotein test (MSAFP), which is one of the components of the "triple screen test" offered for birth defects. A normal result of this test should also be very reassuring in your case.
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