Many women focus on when they are ovulating when they are trying to conceive, but far too few women think about other risk factors that they might have. One of those is toxoplasmosis. This is an infection caused by a parasite that is often found in undercooked meat, cat litter boxes, and in other places. It’s usually not a big issue for healthy people and many times they won’t even show symptoms. For pregnant women, though, it can be much more serious and if the infection occurs during pregnancy and is passed onto the fetus serious damage may result. In some cases the baby is born looking normal but the infection takes its toll over the first year and may cause brain damage, blindness, developmental delays, and other issues. There is treatment, but the treatment can’t erase the potential damage that may have occurred in the womb. So, what’s the easiest way to avoid toxoplasmosis? The answer is to avoid cats, their litter boxes, and raw meat if you are trying to conceive.

You may be one of those people who can’t eat a steak unless it is cooked medium rare or perhaps you don’t wash your hands well enough after touching raw meat and then put your hands in your mouth. You could have several cats and are in charge of changing the litter box. Regardless of what your risk factor is for toxoplasmosis you need to eliminate them. It’s easy to put someone else in charge of changing your cat’s litter box and you can suffer through eating well cooked meat until you get pregnant and give birth at least.

Get Checked

If you have some of the risk factors above for toxoplasmosis and are actively trying to conceive then please get checked first. A simple blood test can let you know whether you are infected or not and then a course of antibiotics can get you cleared up and ready for pregnancy. Doctors say that once you are infected and cured you won’t get infected again so it’s definitely worth taking the time to get checked before you get pregnant. There are too many things to worry about in pregnancy as it is that you don’t want to add something else to it. If you don’t have any real risk factors you are probably okay, but it still makes sense to get some blood work before getting pregnant to make sure everything is okay and you are ready to conceive.