Under cover – The impact of vaccination as part of preconception care

Every day we come in contact with a variety of bacteria and viruses. Most of us do not affect us. In addition, there are also pathogens that can cause serious infections. Diseases such as measles, Varicella or tetanus can have serious complications and cause late consequences or even fatal. During pregnancy, measels and varicella have devasting effects on the developing foetus, like congenital anomalies, premature, spontaneous abortion and especially with varicella infections the risk of central nervous system and ophtalmological abnormalities.

Vaccinations are considered to be one of the most successful prevention strategies, for individual- and collective protection in a population There are infectious diseases that are not only dangerous for the mother during pregnancy, but can also be transmitted to the child. In order to prevent complications in pregnancy, it is important to have his vaccination status checked before a planned pregnancy, as vaccination options in pregnancy are limited. Maternal immunization has the potential to reduce the risks from infectious diseases for maternal preconception.

Vaccinations against measles- mumps- rubella (MMR), varicella and hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis are highly recommended to women without evidence of immunity before pregnancy. So the important message is- know your immune status and get protected!

Vaccination against Human papilloma virus (HPV) is recommended to men and woman to provide oncogen protection and to avoid a hepatocellular cancer and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Although HPV vaccination exerts a minor effect on the overall fecundability, its positive effects have been found in women with a history of sexually transmitted infections.

Due to its benefits, immunisation is an important part of preconception care without adverse effect to fertility and obstetric outcomes.


Anita Mitterdorfer, Head of the Academic Section Nursing

Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Austria

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