The toxoplasmosis parasite can be fatal if contracted by a pregnant woman, but a new test has revolutionized the fight against it.
Being pregnant can be a tricky and stressful time, and not just for the obvious reasons. Yes you'll get bigger and your hormone levels will fluctuate, but there's also the lifestyle changes to consider. No drinking or smoking if you're into that kind of thing, little to no caffeine depending on your preference, arguably at a time when you feel like you need all of the above most to help with the stress.
There are also a few other things that pregnant women are told to avoid and if you haven't been pregnant before, the list might be a little confusing. Avoiding cats and raw meat/fish are two odd ones that don't really make sense on the surface. The reason women need to avoid those things is because of something called the toxoplasmosis parasite.
Toxoplasmosis is mainly found in raw meat and cat droppings, hence doctors urging women to avoid those two things when pregnant. To someone who is not with child, the parasite is normally harmless. If you're pregnant, however, it can cause major problems and even lead to miscarriage. A new test being developed as we speak may take away that fear altogether.
MedPage Today recently published the findings of a cheap, easy and effective test carried out on 244 individuals. "It is sensitive and specific, quick and easy to perform, equipment-free, and easily utilized," declared Rita McLeod MD, a co-author of the study. Not only does the test only cost around $4 to $5, but it takes just 30 minutes for doctors to find out the results, unlike with blood tests.
This new way of testing for the toxoplasmosis parasite is not only quick and easy but it will undoubtedly save lives, some of which haven't even begun when the parasite effects them. Those running the study want pregnant moms to be tested for the parasite between eight and ten times in total, starting with the twelfth week of pregnancy all the way up until six weeks after the baby is born.