Rubella and Surrogacy

rubella and surrogacy


April 2017

Rubella and Surrogacy

Rubella is a viral infection usually identified by a red rash.  Everyone is familiar with rubella and it is a common practice to vaccinate children to prevent it.  While some people have merely any symptoms, the infection may appear more severe for others. Rubella is not common during pregnancy, but if identified,  is likely to be a threat for a baby.

Future parents also have to act attentively when they need to use a surrogate mother. Normally surrogacy agency will collect all of the medical data from clinic that is essential to proceed with the program. However, intended parents should still have the information – the more they know, the better.


What is rubella?

Rubella is also known as German measles. Mostly the infection is recognized by its characteristic red rash. The virus is infectious and is passed from a person to person by sneezing or coughing. Rubella may also be passed on during a direct contact with an infected person.

As already mentioned, in most countries it is a common practice to vaccinate children in order to prevent rubella. For that reason, the infection is nearly eliminated in some regions. However, people still  get infected and sometimes transmit the disease without even knowing they have it. This happens because the symptoms are usually revealed after 2 or maybe even 3 weeks after the exposure to the infection. After the symptoms have disappeared, the person may still be contagious for about 2 weeks.

Signs are usually so mild that they stay unnoticeable. If noticed, the symptoms are likely to disappear in 2 to 3 days. The infection is sometimes referred to as three day measles.

If present, the symptoms include :

  • Fever
  • Inflamed or red eyes
  • Swollen lymph nodes around head and neck, also behind the ears
  • Pink-red rash that consists of small spots. The rash starts on the face and spreads down to the body.
  • Cold like symptoms – headache, running nose, cough
  • Aching joints – especially in adults
  • Muscle pain


Rubella and surrogacy


Congenital rubella syndrome

If a female gets infected by rubella during pregnancy, the virus may be transmitted to the baby through the bloodstream. The infection is especially dangerous for the fetus throughout the first trimester of pregnancy. However, it may cause  difficulties on the later stages of gestation as well. Congenital rubella syndrome is when the virus is passed on to the fetus and is considered to be a threat for a baby. Congenital rubella syndrome may cause :

  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth


Or health issues in a baby :


  • Deafness
  • Heart problems
  • Poorly functioning organs
  • Growth or mental retardation


What to do?

Good news is that once having a rubella virus is usually a guarantee that a person is immune to it. If surrogate has experienced german measles, it’s already a reasonable purpose for intended parents not to be worried. However, everything should be double checked.

Usually, when females plan pregnancy, they should test their immunity to rubella in advance and vaccinate at least a month before conceiving. Of course same applies to surrogate mothers. Intended parents should make sure that their surrogate has done the tests that confirm her immunity. Surrogacy agency and clinic will normally inform their patients about medical condition of a surrogate mother.


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