Mumps Home > Mumps and Pregnancy
When a woman (pregnant or not) becomes infected with the mumps virus, the virus begins to multiply within the nose, throat, and lymph glands in the neck. The virus can also enter the blood and spread to other parts of the body. In pregnant women, the virus can travel to the placenta and the fetus.
After 16 to 18 days, on average (the range is from 12 to 25 days), mumps symptoms can appear. This period between mumps transmission and the start of symptoms is known as the "incubation period for mumps."
A pregnant woman with mumps is contagious anytime from about 3 days prior to the onset of the swelling of the salivary glands to 9 days after the onset of symptoms. A woman who is pregnant can spread mumps if she becomes infected with the mumps virus, even if symptoms never develop.
About 20 percent of women infected with the mumps virus do not develop symptoms. It is also thought that up to half of people infected with the virus do not develop the classic mumps symptoms, instead developing upper respiratory symptoms similar to the common cold.
If mumps symptoms do occur, the most common ones include:
- Swelling of the parotid salivary glands, which are located within your cheek, near your jawline and below your ears.
(Click Pictures of Mumps to see examples of salivary gland swelling.)
Other mumps symptoms can include:
Mumps symptoms generally improve after 1 to 2 weeks.