There are several things related to COVID-19 that are still unknown. Researchers are continuously keeping an eye on developments related to the highly infectious disease. New research has now suggested that the coronavirus can elevate the risk of the placenta and lead to stillbirths in women infected with the coronavirus. It is an uncommon outcome but pregnant women infected with COVID-19 face an elevated risk. Scientists and health authorities believe that vaccination can help prevent these cases.
Placental and autopsy tissue from 64 stillbirths and four newborns who died shortly after birth were analysed by researchers in 12 countries, including the United States. All the cases involved unvaccinated women giving birth while they had COVID-19 during pregnancy.
According to Jeffery Goldstein, a pathologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, the study backs the outcome of small case reports and confirms that placenta damage rather than an infection of the fetus is the likely cause of many stillbirths in women infected with COVID-19.
Goldstein was not part of the study, which was published recently in Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
Earlier evidence suggested that chances of stillbirth are higher than usual for pregnant women who tested positive with COVID-19. The chances of stillbirth were higher, particularly from the delta variant. This is why vaccination recommendations have included pregnant women.
According to researchers, normal placenta tissue is a healthy reddish hue and spongy. However, the specimens they studied were stiff, with dark discolorations of dead tissue. The placenta is an organ that forms and attaches to the womb during pregnancy. It plays an important role in providing oxygen and nourishment to the baby by connecting itself with the umbilical cord.