Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Pregnancy and Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite called Toxoplasmagondii that can threaten the health of an unborn child. You can get the infection from handling soil or cat litter that contains cat feces infected with the parasite. You can also get it from eating undercooked meat from animals infected with the parasite or from uncooked foods that have come in contact with contaminated meat. If you have been infected with Toxoplasma once, you usually will not become infected again.

What Are the Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis?

Because the majority of people with toxoplasmosis have no symptoms, it may be difficult to know if you have been infected. When symptoms do appear, they can resemble the flu and include fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and swollen lymph glands.

How Can I Find Out if I Have Toxoplasmosis?

A blood test is available that can show whether you currently have toxoplasmosis or if you have been infected in the past. Since this test is not routinely done, you may want to talk to your health care provider about being tested before you become pregnant.

If I Had Toxoplasmosis Before Becoming Pregnant, Is My Unborn Baby At Risk?

With rare exception, women who have been infected at least 6-9 months before conception develop immunity to toxoplasmosis and do not pass it on to their baby.

What Can Happen if I Have Toxoplasmosis During My Pregnancy?

Women infected with toxoplasmosis can transmit the infection across the placenta to their unborn baby. Infection early in the pregnancy is less likely to be transmitted to the baby than infection later in the pregnancy. Early infection results in more severe symptoms in the baby than a later one. Most babies infected during pregnancy show no sign of toxoplasmosis when they are born, but they may develop learning, visual, and hearing disabilities later in life.

How Can I Tell if My Baby Has Been Infected With Toxoplasmosis?

If you have toxoplasmosis infection during your pregnancy, there are several ways to check if your baby has been infected:

  • The fluid around the fetus or the fetal blood can be tested for infection.
  • About a third of infected babies have a problem that may be visible on an ultrasound.
  • The baby's blood can be tested after birth.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy