Manifestations of COVID-19 in pregnant women with focus on gastrointestinal symptoms: a systematic review

Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench. 2020 Fall;13(4):305-312.


Aim: This review study was conducted to evaluate the symptoms of COVID-19 in pregnant women with a focus on gastrointestinal symptoms.

Background: COVID-19 is a fatal respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that quickly became a pandemic. Although the main symptoms of this disease include respiratory symptoms, gastrointestinal manifestations have also been observed in some patients suffering from COVID-19. Pregnant women are among the most vulnerable groups in the community to infectious diseases.

Methods: Scientific databases were searched for articles published up to May 8, 2020. Any type of study investigating the manifestations of COVID-19 in pregnant women was included. Symptoms of the disease in pregnant women with an emphasis on gastrointestinal symptoms were assessed.

Results: The search resulted in 852 titles and abstracts, which were narrowed down to 43 studies involving 374 women. The most common symptoms of patients were fever (59.1%) and cough (48.4%), respectively. Gastrointestinal symptoms included diarrhea (4.5%), abdominal pain (1.6%), nausea (0.8%), and loss of appetite (0.3%), respectively. In studies on pregnant women with gastrointestinal symptoms, 13 fetal abortions occurred, most of which were induced abortions due to the risks posed by COVID-19.In thirty cases, and infected pregnant women reported a history of chronic pregnancy-related diseases.

Conclusion: COVID-19 in pregnant women, similar to the general population, can present with gastrointestinal manifestations. The gastrointestinal tract can be a potential route for infection with the novel coronavirus.

Keywords: COVID-19; Diarrhea; Gastrointestinal Tract; Novel Coronavirus Infection; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review