About 25% of pregnant women can have coronavirus symptoms that last two months or longer, according to new findings published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
For the study, scientists reviewed the clinical course and health outcomes of 594 pregnant women who tested positive for the coronavirus between March and July but weren’t hospitalized. On average, the women were age 31 and about 24 weeks pregnant. Of the participants, 31% were Latina and 9% were Black.
Some women reported having high blood pressure, pregestational diabetes, cardiac disease, thyroid disease, anxiety and depression. An estimated 34% of the women lived in the Northeast, 25% in the West, 21% in the South and 18% in the Midwest.
Results revealed that half of the women experienced COVID-19 symptoms after three weeks that lasted an average of 14 days. But 25% of the individuals still experienced symptoms after eight weeks. Researchers noted that even with mild disease and no hospitalization, it took a median of 37 days for symptoms to go away for pregnant women.
The most common early symptoms for these women were cough (20%), sore throat (16%), body aches (12%) and fever (12%). About 6% of women reported loss of taste and smell. Other symptoms included shortness of breath, runny nose, sneezing and dizziness.
In addition, the scientists noted that several COVID-19 symptoms also overlapped with common symptoms of pregnancy, such as nausea, fatigue and congestion.
Researchers hope these study findings can help pregnant women and their doctors better understand the after-effects of COVID-19, including the significant impact it has on their overall health and wellbeing.
For related coverage, read “Black Women Turn to Midwives to Avoid COVID And ‘Feel Cared For.’”