Mumps Home > Mumps and Pregnancy
The transmission method and symptoms are the same for pregnant women as non-pregnant women with mumps, and pregnancy does not seem to have an effect on this. Women should not have the mumps vaccine if they are pregnant or trying to conceive. However, women who are concerned about mumps and pregnancy is something they are trying to achieve can use other means, such as frequent hand-washing and avoiding people with known symptoms.
Mumps is a contagious illness caused by a virus that can result in fever and swelling of the neck. Women who are pregnant can get mumps just as easily as women who are not pregnant. In fact, mumps occurs in 1 to 10 of every 10,000 pregnancies.
Mumps is considered less contagious than both measles and chickenpox, and does not seem to have the devastating effects that rubella can have on the growing fetus (see Congenital Rubella Syndrome).
The cause of mumps is an infection with the mumps virus, which is found worldwide. The virus only infects humans. Mumps appears to be happening more in adults, with approximately 40 percent of mumps virus infections occurring in this group. Even so, mumps epidemics are relatively uncommon.
The mumps virus resides in the mucus in the nose and throat of the infected person, along with the saliva. When that person sneezes or coughs, droplets spray into the air. The infected mucus can land in other people's noses or throats when they breathe or put their fingers in their mouth, nose, or eyes after handling an infected surface.
(Click Mumps Transmission for more information on how the virus is spread.)