Leukocytosis in pregnancy: symptoms and treatment

Leukocytosis in pregnancy — the state of the body, in which the concentration of white blood cells (leukocytes) increases in the bloodstream. Each pregnant woman regularly passes a blood test that shows not only the level of hemoglobin, but also the number of white blood cells — it is important that the white blood cells in the blood are not raised or lowered, as this is evidence of pathology.



Normally, the level of white blood cells can fluctuate — from 4 to 8,8х109 / l, but in pregnant women it is normal to increase the leukocytes in the blood to 11×109 / l. A slight increase in the number of white blood cells during pregnancy indicates the activation of immunity, an increase in the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation, and a slight thickening of the blood.

In those cases when leukocytes in the blood are increased significantly, leukocytosis develops Testifies to the presence in pregnant women of inflammatory processes or other pathologies requiring immediate treatment.

Causes of leukocytosis

Leukocytosis can develop in pregnant women for various reasons. The most common reasons for this violation are:


  • ARVI, ARI and other inflammatory diseases that a woman could get infected during pregnancy
  • severe pathologies such as viral pneumonia or chickenpox, dangerous not for the woman herself, but for the baby in her womb
  • an allergic reaction to certain medically prescribed medicines
  • getting injuries, burns and other traumatic injuries (scratches with suppuration, abscesses, fractures and others)

Also, the reasons that a woman developed leukocytosis, can be associated with severe processes in her body, for example, with the breakdown of malignant tumors or internal bleeding. In some cases, leukocytosis develops in pregnant women against a background of increased psychoemotional load. Therefore, doctors recommend that women in a position to avoid stress, as well as physical and mental fatigue.

Sometimes leukocytosis is physiological, not pathological, that is, it arises as a reaction to the action of certain environmental factors. For example, leukocytes in the blood of pregnant women can increase if they take too hot or too cold a bath. Also, the number of leukocytes in the blood can increase due to errors in the diet of a pregnant woman, which requires the doctor to correct her diet. Occupation with heavy physical work can also provoke leukocytosis, however it is important to remember that such leukocytosis only shows tests if they are carried out in the near future after exposure to an unfavorable factor from outside. If the leukocytosis is determined in the blood of a pregnant woman after a long time after such exposure, it is already a pathological condition.

The most serious reasons that can cause an increase in the level of leukocytes in the blood of pregnant women are:


  1. abscesses
  2. Peritonitis
  3. sepsis.

These conditions are dangerous not only for the child, but also for the mother’s life, so if the diagnosis is not timely and treatment is not prescribed, the baby in the womb of the pregnant woman and herself may die.

A few words should be said about the causes of the decrease in leukocytes in the blood of pregnant women. These are:


  • rubella;
  • Measles
  • malaria
  • Tuberculosis
  • viral hepatitis and some other serious pathologies

These diseases are dangerous in themselves, but also their danger lies in the fact that they can provoke the development of ugliness in the fetus, as well as cause premature birth. Therefore, these viruses and infections of pregnant women are regularly examined — many of them are included in the complex of examination for TORCH-infection. Also, the low level of leukocytes in the blood can be noted when a woman is exposed to radiation, when certain harmful chemicals are exposed to her body, when exhausted.

Diagnosis and treatment

The number of white blood cells in the blood in pregnant women can be determined using a routine blood test. Treatment begins with the establishment of the cause of leukocytosis. For this, it is sometimes necessary to conduct a full examination of a woman. When the diagnosis is made, the gynecologist, the leading pregnant woman, decides on further treatment.




The drugs that are used should be harmless for both the mother and the baby. But unfortunately, not in all cases there is an opportunity to eliminate leukocytosis and pathology, which caused it, without harming the health of the pregnant woman and the baby in her womb. Therefore, sometimes, in severe pathological conditions, the doctor may decide to terminate the pregnancy and save the life of the woman herself.