Chlamydia and Pregnancy

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The infection Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and it is transmitted by way of vaginal, oral, or anal sexual contact with another person who is already infected. Chlamydia is among the most widely transmitted sexually transmitted infections, with as many as 4 million people in the United States becoming infected annually.

Chlamydia is a curable infection, but it does not necessarily have many symptoms that can alert an individual to having become infected. This is problematic because the sooner the infection is treated, the less damage that it can do, but if a person has no symptoms, they are unlikely to have themselves checked out by a medical professional.

Chlamydia and Pregnancy

Untreated Chlamydia in women can cause what's known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This disease affects roughly one million US women annually, with as many as half of those women developing the disease on account of Chlamydia. PID is an infection of the reproductive organs. It has the potential to scar the fallopian tubes; this has the consequence of blocking those tubes and making fertilization and therefore pregnancy impossible. In other instances, that scarring can lead to an ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg cannot reach the uterus and instead implants itself in the fallopian tubes, assuring a miscarriage. This situation is so serious that it even puts the mother's life in jeopardy.

It has been estimated that as many as 100,000 women become infertile every year on account of pelvic inflammatory disease.

Meanwhile, if a woman contracts Chlamydia while pregnant, a baby who is exposed to the bacterium, especially in the birth canal, might develop an eye infection such as conjunctivitis, or the child may even develop a form of pneumonia.


 
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