Chlamydia is one of the most commonly occurring, sexually transmitted bacterial infections that is passed to a woman through oral, sexual or anal contact. The infection is high amongst young school and college going women who are sexually active and promiscuous. It is highly treatable and preventable.
The Affect Of Chlamydia During Pregnancy
Women who develop Chlamydia show higher rates of miscarriage. They are also at risk for premature rupture of membranes and pre-term labour, which can be fatal for the baby. It may also create an increased risk of miscarriage. It raises the risk of a post pregnancy vaginal or uterine infection.
There is a chance of passing on the infection to the newborn baby especially if you give birth vaginally. Most babies with Chlamydia develop and eye infection or conjunctivitis. The susceptibility to pneumonia is also increased within a few weeks after birth.
The infection can be very serious and uncomfortable for a newborn baby though he/she respond well to antibiotics. The best bet is to treat the infection before the delivery so that the woman does not pass on the germs to her baby.
Symptoms Of Chlamydia In Pregnancy
Strangely, most women do not exhibit any signs of having Chlamydia, which makes it difficult to diagnose. Alternatively, for those who have been exposed, symptoms generally show up in 2-3 weeks. These include burning and itching while urinating, inflammation of the vaginal wall and cervix, pain during intercourse and a foul, thick discharge. The anus is infected through sexual contact and may become red and inflamed.
Even the throat can get red and inflamed because of oral sex. If left untreated or undiagnosed, the infection can become quite severe.The bacteria can travel right up to the woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes and cause a disease called as PID or pelvic inflammatory disease. This can also cause infertility if left undiagnosed or untreated. PID can lead to nausea, vomiting, pain during sexual intercourse and heavy bleeding.
Screening During Pregnancy
Most practitioners will screen you for Chlamydia during your pregnancy. This will be done by taking a swab of your vagina and sending it to the lab for testing. If Chlamydia is diagnosed, it will be first treated before you even decide to become pregnant. Re testing will be done during your pregnancy. Antibiotics help to cure the infection and the woman is subsequently retested after a few weeks during the course of her pregnancy.
A course of antibiotic over a week is given. The partner too is treated for the infection. You may also be asked to abstain from sex.
Make sure you always practice safe sex during your pregnancy. Stick to one partner only. Use condoms whenever and wherever necessary. Oral dams are necessary to prevent the infection from being passed through the oral route.
The woman should remain alert for any symptoms that create discomfort like itchiness and discharge. These should be immediately notified to the doctor who can put you on a course of treatment right away. You will also be screened for other STD’s during the remainder of your pregnancy.
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