Health Watch — New Lives: Placental Infection

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about some medical issues that may arise during the process of having children. While most births occur without complications, in some cases there may be problems. One possible problem is an infection of the placenta or nearby membranes. When this happens, the infection can spread throughout both mother and child, and one possible result for the unborn child is cerebral palsy. Doctors usually deliver the child immediately, even if it’s premature, and then treat both mother and child with antibiotics.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that women who had this infection with an earlier pregnancy are more likely to have it again. Dr. Vanessa Laibl, the UT Southwestern obstetrician and gynecologist who led the study, says there may be a genetic component that makes some women more likely to develop this infection. 


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February 2007

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