CMV is a common virus that infects people of all ages, regardless of ethnicity or socio-economic class, and most people have been exposed to CMV at some point in their lifetime without their knowledge. In fact, it is estimated that 50-80% of adults in the United States have been infected with CMV by the time they reach 40 years old. Once CMV is in a person’s body, it stays there for life.
People with an active CMV diagnosis will sometimes shed the virus in body fluids, such as urine, saliva, blood, tears, semen, and breast milk. Shedding of the virus may take place intermittently, without any detectable signs, and without causing symptoms.
Having one child with congenital CMV does NOT make you more prone to having another. There is no increase in risk for having another child born with congenital CMV. However, rushing into another pregnancy before your primary CMV infection is resolved may increase the risk of CMV transmission to your next baby.
Women who have experienced a CMV diagnosis during pregnancy, a fetal loss due to CMV, or a newborn with congenital CMV should discuss these factors with their doctor, who may recommend drawing CMV IgM and IgG antibody labs. If you are experiencing an active CMV infection, most experts recommend that women wait six to twelve months before trying to conceive again. Be patient, your peace of mind is worth the extra time consideration so the infection may appropriately resolve, ultimately ensuring a healthier start to pregnancy for you and your new baby.