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Chlamydia Infection & Pregnancy

By

Updated February 18, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Woman talking to her doctor Photo © Dougal Waters/Getty Images

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection. It is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachmomatis and is it curable. You get chlamydia from contact with an infected partner, either orally, anally, or vaginally. It occurs in both men and women. During the birth process, an infected mother needs to protect her baby. About 2 million people a year are infected with chlamydia according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There are some symptoms of chlamydia:

  • abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis
  • pain while urinating

Typically you won't see infection symptoms for  about three weeks after being exposed to the infected partner. These symptoms may start out very mild at first and continue to progress. Some people don't even have very noticeable symptoms.

This is why it is important to be tested in pregnancy. If left alone, it can continue to move inside the body. This can cause a woman to get pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can even cause infertility or issues with the fallopian tubes if not treated. Men can also get something called epidydimitis.

A doctor or other practitioner will generally do a test in the beginning of pregnancy. A urine test can be done or a swab from the discharge. It can be difficult to tell the difference between chlamydia and gonorrhea, so it is important to have these laboratory tests. If your test is positive, you will be given antibiotics to help cure the infection. However, if your partner is not also treated, it is not uncommon to get reinfected. If you were to give birth to a baby with chlamydia, the baby would also be treated with antibiotics.

Source:

Chylamydia Treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/treatment.htm. Last accessed: February 18, 2014

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