Pregnancy after viral meningitis

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with viral meningitis on 17th January of this year. I was in hospital for two days and have not yet returned to work as still suffering from fatigue if I do too much and seem to be prone to colds too, so my immune system is working overtime. I am hoping with as much rest as possible that I will get back to full health.

However, before this happened, my husband and I had been thinking of trying for a second baby this year. At the moment my body feels far too weak to try just yet, but I guess I just want to think there is some hope that I will be well enough to think about trying for baby at some point in the not too distant future. I feel very scared and vulnerable that my body is so weak, I have never had an illness like this before, and have always been so healthy. So it is quite upsetting to think this may stop us growing our family. Has anyone had a positive experience of getting pregnant after viral meningitis and how did their body cope with it?

Thank you.

2 Replies

  • Gosh I personally think you are jumping too far ahead that you are already considering that the VM could stop you having a 2nd child. Right now that is not a sensible decision to start trying for a baby because yes you do need to give yourself more time for recovery. I note that you say you only contracted VM on the 15th Jan 2016. Many medical people do not understand VM and will consider it no worse than the flu, and so they will express the expectation that you will recover from it equally as quickly, you only need to read the posts on here by other VM suffers to know that that is not correct. Some fully recover after a few months but for a few the effects are more ongoing. No one can predict how it will be for you. Your immune system will have been depleted when you had the VM and you need to build it back up again by making sure you are having a very good healthy diet and regular meals. It is to be expected that in the meantime you will be more susceptible to colds etc. You are only 6 weeks on from having VM and being hospitalised so it is still early days. Yes getting plenty of rest is recommended to help your body recover, try not have days when you push yourself and do too much as you will set your recovery back. Personally I think if you set your mind to re evaluating in the summer whether you are back to good health to try for another pregnancy that by then you probably will be well over the VM and back to good health yourself to ensure your baby can develop and grow without any post VM detriment to you or the baby.

    Am wondering if you have considered ringing the Meningitis Now helpline and chatting things through with them. They will be able to. Also reassure you that your recovery is as to be expected. They also have lots of helpful info they can send you and other services you can access - Freephone 0808 80 10 388 or if you haven't already, take a look at their website where there is also lots of helpful info you can download -

    Best wishes

  • Hi Strawberry Cream,

    Thank you so much for your response. I think it's been quite a reality check for me actually, realising that what is important right now is to allow my body to get well and and all the other things will fall into place when they're meant to.

    I think part of why I asked the question is me coming to terms with the fact of having to let go of control, also the fear of not making a full recovery and being able to get on with my life, and finally coming to terms with the fact that my body is not able to just 'power on' like I've done before in times of stress. Maybe this is my body's way of telling me that that's not a healthy way to be anyway!

    Yes, I have felt the same way about the doctors in the hospital and in my GP Surgery - there's a general sense that you will bounce back after a couple of weeks and they really underplay the recovery time. So much so, that I tried to go back to work after two weeks and just made myself very poorly again, the headaches and neck ache came back with avengance! And I have been off since. I am due to see Occupational Health this Thursday to discuss a phased return to work from next week, but I am still very scared that it may be too early. (Even the trip to see them, an hour away in central London scares me!).

    I have emailed the hotline and their response was really helpful. But perhaps you are right, I should also give them a ring to chat through these fears with them. This resource is amazing and provides support where there is very little in the medical community - I am very thankful of that!

    Thanks again for your support.

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