COVID-19-related disease severity in pregnancy

Am J Reprod Immunol. 2020 Nov;84(5):e13339. doi: 10.1111/aji.13339. Epub 2020 Sep 20.


The pandemic caused by COVID-19 is affecting populations and healthcare systems worldwide. As we gain experience managing COVID-19, more data become available on disease severity, course, and treatment in patients infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, data in pregnancy remain limited. This narrative review of COVID-19 during pregnancy underscores key knowledge gaps in our understanding of the impact of this viral infection on reproductive health. Current data suggest that pregnant people have similar disease course and outcomes compared to nonpregnant people, with the majority experiencing mild disease; however, pregnant people may have increased risk of hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Among patients who develop severe and critical disease, major maternal morbidity and mortality have been described including cardiomyopathy, mechanical ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and death. Many questions remain regarding maternal severity of disease in COVID-19. Further research is needed to better understand disease course in pregnancy. Additionally, the inclusion of pregnant patients in therapeutic trials will provide vital data on treatment options for patients. As we continue to treat more patients affected by SARS-CoV-2, multidisciplinary care and continued research are both needed to achieve optimal outcomes for mother and fetus.

Keywords: coronavirus; infection; pandemic; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / physiopathology*
  • COVID-19 / transmission
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Pandemics
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy*
  • Risk
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index