Can Catching Lyme Disease During Pregnancy Cause a Miscarriage?

Question: Can Catching Lyme Disease During Pregnancy Cause a Miscarriage?

"I just found out I have Lyme disease. I'm taking the antibiotics already, but I'm three months pregnant. Are there any risks to my baby?" -- User


Right now there is no conclusive evidence that having Lyme disease during pregnancy poses risks for the baby, especially since you are already being treated.

There were some case reports in the 1980s that suggested that Lyme disease might increase the risk of pregnancy loss, but later research found that there was no apparent risk to the baby when moms are treated for Lyme disease during pregnancy.

It is theoretically possible that there might be an increased risk of problems when moms have Lyme disease that is not diagnosed and treated. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease belong to the spirochete family, and other spirochete bacteria are known to cause harm to developing babies, but evidence is limited for whether the same is true of the Borrelia species that cause Lyme.

In any case, given that your Lyme disease is being treated, chances are everything will be fine.

For moms who are concerned about catching Lyme disease during pregnancy, it helps to use precautions to reduce the risk of catching Lyme disease and call your doctor if you should notice the characteristic bull's eye rash associated with Lyme disease.


Strobino, Barbara A.; Williams, Christine L.; Abid, Syed; Chalson, Richard; Spierling, Paul. "Lyme disease and pregnancy outcome: a prospective study of two thousand prenatal patients." Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Aug;169(2 Pt 1):367-74.

Walsh CA, Mayer EW, Baxi LV. "Lyme disease in pregnancy: case report and review of the literature." Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2007 Jan;62(1):41-50.

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