Researchers have found that symptoms for pregnant women with Covid-19 can be prolonged, lasting two months or longer.
In the study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, the research team analysed the clinical course and outcomes of 594 women who tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus during pregnancy.
They found that the most common early symptoms for pregnant women were cough, sore throat, body ache and fever. Half of the participants still had symptoms after three weeks and 25 per cent had symptoms after eight weeks.
“We found that pregnant people with Covid-19 can expect a prolonged time with symptoms,” said study senior author Vanessa L Jacoby from the University of California San Francisco in the US.
“Covid-19 symptoms during pregnancy can last a long time, and have a significant impact on health and wellbeing,” Jacoby added.
While previous research on the SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy has primarily centred on hospitalized patients, the new analysis focused on ambulatory patients, who represent the overwhelming majority of adults with the virus.
Study participants tested positive between March 22 and July 10 and had a mean age of 31 years. The average gestational age at the time of enrolment in the study was approximately 24 weeks.
The researchers found several common symptoms of Covid-19, but also that symptoms related to the virus were complicated by overlapping symptoms of normal pregnancy, including nausea, fatigue and congestion.
Their findings also showed that primary first symptoms were cough (20 per cent), sore throat (16 per cent), body ache (12 per cent), and fever (12 per cent); by comparison, fever occurs in 43 per cent of non-pregnant hospitalised patients.
According to the study, loss of taste or smell was the first symptom in six per cent of pregnant women, other symptoms included shortness of breath, runny nose, sneezing, nausea, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, or dizziness.
The median time for symptoms to resolve was 37 days, the research has found.
“The majority of participants in our study population had mild disease and were not hospitalised. Even so, it took a median of 37 days for symptoms to ease,” the study authors wrote.
“Our results can help pregnant people and their clinicians better understand what to expect with Covid-19 infection,” they noted.