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Fevers During Pregnancy

By Lara A. Friel, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Texas Health Medical School at Houston, McGovern Medical School

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A temperature of > 39.5° C (> 103° F) during the 1st trimester increases risk of

  • Spontaneous abortion

  • Fetal brain or spinal cord defects

Fever late in pregnancy increases risk of

  • Preterm labor

Treatment of fever is directed at the cause, but antipyretics are indicated to decrease maternal temperature. In women with severe hyperthermia, cooling blankets may be used.