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How Can Chlamydia Affect Pregnancy

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How Do STIs Affect Pregnancy? | Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and HIV

The reality is that while chlamydia can be damaging to both men and women, having irreversible effects, they can still be overcome. While the odds may be stacked against sufferers or former sufferers trying to conceive naturally, IVI has a long history of assisting patients with more complex needs. Conceiving and giving birth following diagnosis of and treatment for chlamydia is absolutely possible. There are a range of fertility treatment options, of which IVF may be the most suitable, either with patients own genetic material or with donated eggs or sperm.

Chlamydia can affect fertility, but with the range of options and expertise available at IVI clinics worldwide, a past infection need not dash any hope of starting a family.

Can I Breastfeed If I Have An Sti

Maybe. Some STIs affect breastfeeding, and some don’t. The following are some general guidelines, but talk to your doctor, nurse, or a lactation consultant about the risk of passing the STI to your baby while breastfeeding:

  • If you have HIV, do not breastfeed. You can pass the virus to your baby. In countries like the United States where clean water is available, using a breastmilk substitute like formula is recommended.
  • If you have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or HPV, you can breastfeed your baby.
  • If you have trichomoniasis, you can take the antibiotic metronidazole if you are breastfeeding. You may need to wait 12 to 24 hours after taking the medicine to breastfeed.
  • If you have syphilis or herpes, you can breastfeed as long as your baby or pumping equipment does not touch a sore. It is possible to spread syphilis or herpes to any part of your breast, including your nipple and areola. If you have sores on your breast, pump or hand-express your milk until the sores heal. Pumping will help keep up your milk supply and prevent your breast from getting overly full and painful. You can store your milk to give to your baby in a bottle for another feeding. But if parts of your breast pump also touch the sore while pumping, you should throw the milk away.

Chlamydia And Pregnancy Outcomes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , untreated chlamydia can increase the risk of several adverse outcomes in pregnancy.

Possible pregnancy complications that are associated with chlamydia infection include:

Your baby could also become infected with chlamydia during delivery if you are not being treated for the infection. Exposure to chlamydia at birth can cause infections of the eyes and lungs of newborns.

A past chlamydia infection can also lead to future fertility problems. Chlamydia has been implicated as one of the main causes of female infertility worldwide.

Having chlamydia might also increase your risk of having an ectopic pregnancy . This is because a chlamydia infection increases the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease and tubal scarringboth of which are associated with the development of an ectopic pregnancy.

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How Common Is Ectopic Pregnancy

A little over 1% of all pregnancies in the UK are ectopic. The great majority of ectopic pregnancies result in miscarriage.

However, if the egg does implant in a fallopian tube, the woman needs to be treated or undergo surgery to remove the egg. Ectopic pregnancies are very dangerous and they can lead to internal bleeding.

How Does Syphilis Affect Pregnancy

How does chlamydia affect your fertility?

Syphilis is sometimes incorrectly seen as a medieval infection that people think that been gone for centuries, which is very untrue. In most developed countries, we are in the middle of a syphilis epidemic. Syphilis, like HIV, is part of the routine blood tests that all moms to-be are tested for when they first get pregnant.

However, it is possible for a pregnant woman to be infected with syphilis while pregnant, which can lead to very serious implications for a baby. Syphilis is very easily treatable with penicillin.

If a newborn baby goes untreated, syphilis can lead to blindness, deafness, bone deformities and hard palate deformities. Syphilis can be a very nasty infection with serious implications and should be tested for and avoided at all costs.

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Can A Pregnant Woman Pass On A Sexually Transmitted Disease To Her Baby

Pregnant women with a STD may infect their baby before, during, or after the baby’s birth. For this reason, your healthcare provider will screen you for most STDs at your first prenatal visit. If you have sex with someone who is affected, after your initial screening, you will need to be tested again. Treatment of STDs is the best way to protect you and your baby.

Q: I Was Diagnosed With Chlamydia Several Years Ago But Treated It Immediately Could This Affect My Chances Of Getting Pregnant

A: If you’ve ever been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia, it’s a good idea to get checked out by your doctor before trying to become pregnant. Most likely the disease will not affect your fertility, especially since you treated it promptly, but there’s always a small chance that there could be some scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can make getting pregnant more difficult.

This scarring happens most often to women whose chlamydia went undiagnosed or was left untreated , which can lead to a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease . PID occurs when bacteria enter the cervix and spread throughout the reproductive organs. The main symptoms include lower abdominal pain, fever, backaches, and pain during sex.

If your doctor doesn’t find any scarring after examining you, he or she will probably encourage you to try to get pregnant on your own for six months. If you don’t conceive within that time, or if your doctor does discover some scarring, he or she may refer you to a fertility specialist.

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How Likely Is It To Be Infertile From Chlamydia

Both chlamydia and gonorrhea are preventable causes of both PID and infertility. If a chlamydia infection isnt treated promptly and properly, its estimated that 10-15% of women with chlamydia will develop PID .

When it comes to keeping an eye on your sexual health and avoiding and potential complications, regular screening is a must. CDC recommends annual chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for all sexually active women younger than 25 and older women with risk factors. This can be done with your doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.

How Does Gonorrhea Affect Pregnancy

Chlamydia and fertility

Gonorrhea is an STD that we regularly mention at LetsGetChecked for two reasons one because it is heavily on the rise and two, gonorrhea has also become more resistant to antibiotics.

If a woman contracts gonorrhea during her pregnancy, similarly to chlamydia, its not an infection that will cause significant damage. However, it does potentially increase the risk of miscarriage and also runs the risk of having a preterm delivery.

On the occasion, a baby has been infected with gonorrhea, it can be evident in the form of an eye infection or pus in and around the eyes, that can be treated with antibiotic eye drops and an injection.

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Ectopic Pregnancies Due To Chlamydia

When a woman gets pregnant, the egg is fertilised in the fallopian tubes before it moves to the womb .

An ectopic pregnancy happens when the egg implants outside the womb, for example in one of the fallopian tubes . This happens when PID, which is often caused by chlamydia, has caused scarring to the fallopian tubes and blocked them.

Recent studies have shown that chlamydia damages the fallopian tubes, inflicting a series of small scars. This process does not necessarily cause any symptoms and it often goes unnoticed.

Preterm Labor Preterm Birth And Low Birth Weight

Globally, preterm birth has been identified as the single most important cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality, accounting for 27% of the nearly four million reported annual neonatal deaths it is a risk factor for chronic lung disease, infections, and neurologic disabilities including intracranial hemorrhage, cerebral white matter damage, and cerebral palsy . Around the world, preterm birth has also recently become the leading contributor to mortality for all children under five, not just neonates .

Worldwide studies have estimated that 14.9 million infants are born premature . Estimates of preterm birth rates range from 5% in Europe to 18% in African nations with an average of 7.5%, 8.8%, and 12.5% in more, less, and least developed regions . Yet, it is in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where over 60% of the preterm infants are born India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Indonesia have the highest numbers of preterm births in the world .

While the vast majority of preterm births occur secondary to spontaneous preterm labor, preterm birth is often the end product of numerous causal factors . Some have suspected that genital tract infections may be a risk factor for preterm delivery. Symptomatic and chronic intrauterine infection with organisms like C. trachomatis may be important contributing factors with some suggesting that genital tract infections may contribute to as many as 40% of preterm birth cases .

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Get Tested Before You Get Pregnant

If you are trying to get pregnant, you should get tested for STDs. And so should your partner. Many STDs do not cause obvious symptoms but can cause serious harm to a baby. You or your partner could have an STD and not know it.

Many STDs can be treated before you get pregnant to prevent harm during pregnancy. If you are infected with an STD, dont panic. You can take precautions before and during your pregnancy to keep yourself and your baby healthy and safe.

Screening for STDs can include tests such as:

  • Pelvic and physical exam. Your doctor will look for signs of infection, such as warts, rashes or discharge.
  • Blood test. A blood sample is checked for signs of STDs.
  • Urine test. A urine sample is tested for signs of STDs.
  • Fluid or tissue sample tests. A sample of fluid or discharge from an infected area of your body is viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing.

ACOG and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend HIV testing for all pregnant women. Routine HIV screening for all pregnant women started in 1995. Since then, the estimated incidence of mother-to-child transmission of HIV has dropped by about 85 percent.

Vaccines can also protect you from getting infected with some STDs. Vaccines are available for hepatitis B.

Am I At Risk For Chlamydia

Chlamydia in pregnancy: risks to mother and fetus ...

Anyone who has sex can get chlamydia through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, sexually active young people are at a higher risk of getting chlamydia. This is due to behaviors and biological factors common among young people. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men are also at risk since chlamydia can spread through oral and anal sex.

Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should be tested for chlamydia or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman younger than 25 years, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. If you are an older woman with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has an STD, you should get a test for chlamydia every year. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men as well as pregnant women should also get tested for chlamydia.

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How The Most Common Stis Can Impact Trying To Get Pregnant

Its too difficult to get the information we need about sexually transmitted infections . The topic often feels hush-hush, even among friends, and contracting an STI comes with unfair stigma and shame that can make talking to providers complicated.

But the truth is that STIs are incredibly common and, just like any other infection, theyre nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, 50% of sexually active people will contract an STI before the age of 25, according to the American Sexual Health Association.

I always remind patients that they wouldnt be ashamed of catching a cold, and in the same way, theres no reason to be ashamed of catching a viral or bacterial infection on the opposite end, says Dr. Jenn Conti, MD, MSc, FACOG, OB-GYN and Modern Fertility medical advisor. Infections happen and, luckily, we have ways to treat them.

Whether youre trying to conceive, currently pregnant, or thinking about having kids down the road, were breaking down everything you need to know about STIs and pregnancy.

Chlamydia And Female Fertility

If left untreated, chlamydia can spread and infect other parts of the female reproductive system, in particular the uterus and fallopian tubes, which can result in pelvic inflammatory disease . With one in five women with chlamydia developing PID, chlamydia is the most common cause of infertility in women.

PID sometimes develops without causing symptoms and just like chlamydia, it is often diagnosed too late. Over time, the disease causes blocking or scarring to the fallopian tubes, which leads to infertility as well as miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth.

In other cases, PID can lead to an ectopic pregnancy, which represents a serious health risk for the mother.

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How Can You Avoid Chlamydia And Pregnancy

  • Chlamydia and pregnancy can both be avoided by not having sex, but this is not a valid option for many people
  • You can avoid pregnancy and reduce the risk of contracting STIs by using condoms
  • You can also take the contraceptive pill to avoid pregnancy, but it will not protect you from STIs like chlamydia

Can chlamydia treatment affect the pill most broad-spectrum antibiotics do not affect the combined contraceptive pill or the mini pill. This includes the antibiotics used to treat chlamydia. The only exception is if you vomit or have severe diarrhoea whilst taking the contraceptive pill and antibiotics. You would need to read your patient information leaflet or speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Can other antibiotics affect the pill? antibiotics that have consistently proven to have an effect on the contraceptive pill are rifampicin-like antibiotics. They include rifampicin or rifabutin and are not used to treat chlamydia.

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Symptoms Of Chlamydia During Pregnancy

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Chlamydia is known as the silent STI. Most people infected with chlamydia, including pregnant women, have no symptoms and seem normal upon physical examination. According to the CDC, only 10% of men and 5% to 30% of women who test positive for a chlamydia infection will develop symptoms .

The symptoms of chlamydia are similar in pregnant or nonpregnant biological females. In most cases, chlamydia infects the cervix first, causing vaginal discharge. The bacteria can also irritate the urethra , resulting in urethritis, which is often signaled by pain while urinating. Untreated chlamydia can spread to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, causing abdominal pain or pelvic pain and pelvic inflammatory disease .

Some people develop an eye infection, called chlamydial conjunctivitis . The symptoms include redness, infection, and discharge. Chlamydia can also infect the rectum, either through receptive anal sex or the spread of bacteria from the cervix or vagina. This might produce pain, discharge, or bleeding or cause no symptoms at all. Lastly, you can develop oral chlamydia if you come in contact with your partners infected vagina, anus, or penis most of the time there are no symptoms .

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Babies Born With Syphilis

Syphilis is sometimes misdiagnosed or assumed to be the flu. The infection can present itself as a sore or chancre on the vulva, vagina, cervix, anus or rectum. If left untreated, syphilis can lead to organ damage and eventually death.

How can syphilis affect your pregnancy and your baby?Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is very harmful to infants and unborn babies. It can cause a mother to miscarry or the baby to be stillborn. Syphilis can easily be transmitted to a fetus and can cause serious or even fatal infections. This bacterium can be transmitted to the baby in the birth canal or can transfer to the fetus from the placenta. Infants with congenital syphilis are often born prematurely and if left untreated, syphilitic babies will likely develop serious issues in internal organs like the heart, brain, skin, eyes, ears, bones and teeth. Syphilis can be treated during pregnancy with antibiotics to both decrease the risk of spreading it to the baby and stop the infections progression in the mother.

Primary syphilis chancres most frequently appear on the genitals, but can also occur on the fingers, mouth, lips, tongue, tonsils, anus and breasts and nipples. If a chancre is present on the breast and/or nipple, mothers should not breastfeed.

What Are The Symptoms Of Chlamydia During Pregnancy

In most cases, there are no symptoms. Some women may experience vaginal discharge and/or pelvic or abdominal pain.Males usually have pain while urinating and may have a discharge from the penis. If you are pregnant and you notice your partner is experiencing these symptoms, you should both be screened for STIs like chlamydia.

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Who Is At Risk For Chlamydia

Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. Anyone with genital symptoms such as discharge, burning during urination, unusual sores, or rash should refrain from having sex until they are able to see a health care provider about their symptoms.

Also, anyone with an oral, anal or vaginal sex partner who has been recently diagnosed with an STD should see a health care provider for evaluation.

Because chlamydia is usually asymptomatic, screening is necessary to identify most infections. Screening programs have been demonstrated to reduce rates of adverse sequelae in women. CDC recommends yearly chlamydia screening of all sexually active women age 25 or younger and older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections . Pregnant women should be screened during their first prenatal care visit. Pregnant women younger than 25 or at increased risk for chlamydia should be screened again in their third trimester. Any woman who is sexually active should discuss her risk factors with a health care provider who can then determine if more frequent screening is necessary.

Routine screening is not recommended for men. However, the screening of sexually active young men should be considered in clinical settings with a high prevalence of chlamydia when resources permit and do not hinder screening efforts in women.


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