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Thread: Chicken Pox Immunisation?

  1. #1

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    Default Chicken Pox Immunisation?

    Hey all,
    Just wanted to get some opinions and find out my options...
    Recently i posted a thread as i thought i may have been pregnant, turns out I wasnt.. But I did my BT anyway. Doctor says I have never had chicken pox and said to get immunised for this as chicken pox is very dangerous during pregnancy. Though this means our plans of trying to concieve will be put back 3 or more months. I guess too, If I hadnt had the blood tests, I wouldnt have know this. My concern is that, my husband doesnt want me to get the injection because he doesnt want to wait another 3-4 months to TTC.
    So before I decided, though I would check to see if this has happened to anyone, and which choice you made. I know it is my decision to make, but wanted to hear from other people what they thought also who may have been in the same dilema.
    So... how common is chicken pox? I have survived 27 years without it, what is the chances of getting it now? Your posts would be much appreciated
    Thanks heaps, Jess


  2. #2

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    I'm not sure what your chances would be of getting it as an adult, and quite often adults can get the illness in the form of shingles, but if you do get it while you are pg, there are significant risks to the unborn baby -that much I do know. I think for peace of mind it would be best to have the injection and just wait out the 3 months.

  3. #3

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    If it were me I would get the vaccination.

    A GF of mine who had never had chicken pox presented with shingles just recently. She has been in SO much pain and so sick, it has been heartwrenching. She was pg (in her thrid tri, so the baby wasn't, thankfully, impacted at all) but she has had a dreadful time.

  4. #4
    Mars Guest

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    I am in my 40th week of pregnancy and I found ot when i was 12 weeks pregnant through BT that i didnt have immunity. This worried me quite a lot during pregnancy but nothing ever happened and I was frequently around young children.

    You should read up on it because from what I gathered it is only a risk to your baby in the first few weeks of pregnancy or towards the end if you have it while giving birth and your newborn is exposed to it. Also if you do get it you have 72 hours to go to the hospital and get and injection that will protect the baby.

    Best thing is to read and make an informed decision for yourself. Good luck

  5. #5

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    My son was possibly exposed to chicken pox just before we concieved, and came out with a rash etc.

    We went to the GP, because if they get the booster as soon as they get the rash it is less severe etc.

    When i found out i got pregnant the day after we were there (i meant, i concieved then, found out 10 days later), i asked for my CP immunity to be checked. I knew i had it from 1st pregnancy, but i got CP when i was 5 and very mild, so just to reassure me, she checked it.

    My BT came back that my CP immunity was fine, but that i had be exposed to slap cheek, another viral infection the children had. I had to get retested as they weren't sure if i had it during early pregnancy, or before that (turns out it was before). Although slap cheek is differemt (higher risk of miscarriage, and other problem), those few weeks were very very stressful worrying about the baby being ok.

    Chicken pox is different in that there is a minor chance if you have it early the baby can have birth defects...

    Here is some info from the net:

    What can happen to my baby if I get chicken pox while I'm pregnant?
    Chances are good that no harm will come to your baby, but timing is a factor.

    If you get chicken pox during the first half of pregnancy, there's a slight risk that your baby will get something called congenital varicella syndrome. This condition is characterized by birth defects, including skin scarring, malformed limbs, an abnormally small head, vision or hearing problems, and motor or mental developmental disabilities. A baby with congenital varicella syndrome may also suffer poor growth in utero.

    If you do contract chicken pox, you'll have a detailed ultrasound at 18 to 20 weeks to look for signs of defects or other problems and at least one follow-up sonogram later to see how your baby is doing. You may also choose to meet with a genetic counselor to discuss the risks in your particular case and decide how you want to proceed.

    If you get chicken pox in the second half of pregnancy but more than five days before giving birth, your baby will probably be fine. Here's why: About five days after coming down with chicken pox, your body develops antibodies to the virus and passes them to your baby through the placenta, offering protection that his own immature immune system can't provide.

    If you develop chicken pox five to 21 days before your baby is born, he might develop chicken pox days after birth, but because of the antibodies he received from you, it's much less likely to be serious. (Some babies exposed to chicken pox in utero, particularly those exposed five to 21 days before birth, develop a case of shingles during infancy or early childhood without having had chicken pox after birth, but it's usually not serious.)

    The most risky time to come down with chicken pox is between five days before giving birth and two days after delivery, because then your baby is exposed to the virus but doesn't have had time to receive antibodies from you before birth. In this case, he has a 30 to 40 percent chance of developing what's called neonatal varicella, or newborn chicken pox, which can be serious and even life threatening, especially if left untreated.

    Fortunately, your baby's risk of a severe case can be greatly reduced if he gets a shot of varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG), a blood product that contains chicken pox antibodies. He'll be given the shot soon after birth if your chicken pox showed up within five days of delivery or as soon as you discover your rash if it's within two days after delivery.

    If your baby shows any sign of developing the infection — such as coming down with a fever or showing a rash of even a few spots — he'll be treated intravenously with the antiviral drug acyclovir.
    Personally, i think if you were worried you were exposed to it (and lots of kids have it without knowing as they come out with a rash later etc), it will be a very stressful time for you..

    I would have the immunisation, and at least you can relax about it, but thats just my personal opinion.. I remember the worry about the slap cheek incident, i wouldn't want to worry about something like that again, and quite frankly, there is enough 'normal' stuff to worry about in pregnancy without adding something like this ontop of it.

    Good luck with making a decision.

  6. #6
    Simplicity Guest

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    I didn't have immunity to CP either and after a lot of thought decided to get it done. I just decided it was better to be safe and it can be a lot worse as an adult. I went through the same arguements against having it that I haven't caught it over the last 27 years, but figured I am likely to catch it sometime in the future if I have kids so it was best to get it done now. It was only 1 injection and I didn't have any reaction to it and we just had to wait 1-2 months before TTC.

  7. #7
    Simplicity Guest

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    I just got it done about 3 months ago. Actually 1 Dr said it was a course of 2 injections 1 month apart, but then the others I called said that it was just 1 that was required so I went with that.

  8. #8

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    Thanks heaps to everyone. Your posts really helped me. I decided to get the injection and got it yesterday. Now the doctor says I have to wait 3 months before TTC. So we will just be patient for a while. Thanks heaps
    Jess

  9. #9

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    Hi Jesselou

    I did some research on this a couple of months ago for the Rubella vaccine. Although the Drs say you need to wait three months, I think they are going by guidelines from the manufacturers of the vaccine who I think are covering themsleves just in case. The Australian Immunisation Handbook actually states you need wait only 28 days:

    "Contraindications: Rubella (and MMR) vaccine should not be given to a woman known to be pregnant, and pregnancy should be avoided for 28 days after vaccination.19"

    I rang the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) who do the Australian Immunisation Handbook and checked with them. They stated that best practice is to go by the NHMRC guidelines where you have differing advice. I'm not sure if the Chicken Pox vaccine is the same for the Rubella and I would definitely call them yourself to be reassured (NOT take my word for it). You can look at the Immunisation Handbook online at: http://www9.health.gov.au/immhandbook/

    Hope this helps and good luck!

    Cheers,
    Rach

  10. #10
    Saige's Mum Guest

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    Hi Jesselou

    Just dragging up an old post here I am going through this atm, debating whether to have the vaccination. I am also 27, I have a 14 month old daughter, so she may get a reaction when she is immunised at 18 months. I had a mc last week and we desperatley want to try again, but doc says I have to wait 6 weeks in between 1st and 2nd shots then 3 months after that! That is almost 5 months. How long did you wait in between first and second shots, and did you wait the whole 3 months after ttc again? Also if you don't mind me asking, is there a cost involved?

    Thanks!

  11. #11

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    If it were me I would definately get the vaccination not only because it is so dangerous for the baby if you get it when pregnant but getting the chicken pox as an adult is not nice. I have a friend who got it (just before she fell preg luckily) She was SOOOO sick. She was a school teacher though and is exposed to these things all the time

  12. #12

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    Not sure about adults getting inoculated. I know my wife stopped the process with at least one of our children and refuses to inoculate the rest. The shot will only reduce your risk, but is unable to protect you from actually getting chicken pox. And since it can be much worse in adults, my wife decided if it wont prevent then she is not going to mess things up or increase the odds our kids get it much later in life.

  13. #13

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    Hi all, just to butt in, I had no immunity to the Rubella, so I got a shot 6 weeks ago...I was told by my specialist I only had to wait 1 month...

  14. #14

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    Default chicken pox

    I only had to have one chicken pox vaccine & wait the 3 months. I only have 1 months to go now, then we can start trying again. They didnt say anything about a booster... So do you have to get 2 vaccines?
    Jess

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